Transforming our Alaska education system

Originally posted in Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

“In Alaska, public funds for education seem to be used to establish both public and private kingdoms. These bureaucracies have taken on a life of their own. They are structured to fund their own survival, not educate our rapidly failing student population.

According to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) in 2018-2019 the unorganized borough had a 15.72:1 student to teacher ratio – close to the national average of 16:1. The organized borough student – teacher ratio was 23.45:1.

Yet the unorganized borough Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools (“PEAKS” – DEED’s protocol for reporting results) shows Math Proficiency during 2018-2019 averaging 25.17% and English Language Arts proficiency averaging 28.85%. That’s 75 of 100 children functionally illiterate in Math, and 71 of 100 functionally illiterate in Language Arts…

…Our children, Alaska’s most important resource, are not getting the education they deserve and our state will be worse for it in the coming years.”