Here is a post from Politico which may shed some light on Alaska’s quandary on its troubled Alaska Measurement of Progress (AMP) test:
“IS ALASKA MAKING ‘EVERY EFFORT’ TO ADMINISTER TESTS? After major technical glitches [http://politico.pro/1S1OhcD], resulted in Alaska canceling all testing for the rest of the year [http://politico.pro/1Vylnpe ], early figures showed that the proportion of students tested fell well below the 95 percent required by federal law. In the past, the federal Education Department has warned states about not meeting that bar, but it has also given consideration to states that have made a good faith effort to meet the threshold. Education Department spokeswoman Dorie Nolt noted that track record in new statement. “In the past, when states have faced technical challenges, they have worked – sometimes over a period of many weeks – to find a remedy. If a state is unable to administer their statewide assessment after repeated attempts, the department will consider whether the state made every effort to meet its obligation under the law,” she said.
– Interim Alaska state chief Susan McCauley said she understands the consequences of canceling testing. “At the end of the day, if the department felt we had inappropriately discontinued testing, they could withhold federal funds. They have the authority to do that,” McCauley told Alaska Dispatch News. [http://bit.ly/1Woob94] “I am confident that the Department of Education in D.C. will feel that the decision is a justifiable one,” she said.”
In the past, the US Department of Education has agreed with Alaska’s efforts to meet the NCLB requirements. However, it never followed up on some of the agreed upon obligations of Alaska, such as the statement from the University of Alaska president that Alaska’s model will preclude the remediation of any graduates of the Alaska public high schools. We shall see if the die is cast and the US DOE favors students or the public education system. Alaska could lose hundreds of millions of federal funding and this will be the main determining factor regarding Alaska’s decision. Follow the money.