Sami: “I am NOT a politician, just an educator who loves kids. Our kids deserve better than to be in the midst of political battles.”
WHERE I COME FROM
Sami is Alaskan born and educated. She attended Inlet View Elementary, Central Junior High, and graduated from West Anchorage High School. She then went on to obtain her Bachelor of Music Education from University of Utah, her Master of Science from Long Island University and her Master of Educational Leadership from UAA. In addition, she has her Alaska State Certification in teaching, counseling and administration.
A THRIVING CAREER
Sami is a retired educator who held many positions during her educational career, such as teacher, counselor, assistant principal, and principal. She worked in Title 1 schools, neighborhood schools, optional schools and in the private setting. Sami is a prior member of unions Anchorage Education Association and Anchorage Principals’ Association.
Paid for by Sami Graham for School Board at 3705 Arctic Blvd, Box 224, Anchorage, AK 99503.
We Can Do Better!
With a $572,500,000 budget, plus additional CARES money, ASD is at 42% reading proficiency. In other words 58 out of every 100 children in the ASD are not meeting state average ELA
(English Language Arts) proficiency. Unfortunately we are lower in math with only 40% proficiency. We can do better!
Would you put your child on a plane if the Captain said, “We have about a 40% chance of making our destination?” Our children get one chance at their education. Their schools have
been closed all year while private schools, following guidance from the CDC, have held in-person-school with few issues. Public schools in the Mat-Su have been in session, as well. Children have learning windows that are being missed. We can do better!
During the Feb. 2nd board meeting, the superintendent shared the ‘Grade Mark Distribution’ for 20/21. At the secondary level, 9.73% of ALL grades are F’s. An additional 5.29% of all marks are IA(Incomplete.) Incomplete grades WILL become F’s if the students do not attend summer school. Potentially 15% of all secondary marks are F’s. We MUST do better!
With high attendance rates, one Anchorage high school has proficiency scores of 16.81% math/27.51 ELA. Eagle River High has a 94% attendance rate yet 48.61% proficient in ELA and
50.2% in math. What is even more concerning is that in 2013/14 Eagle River High had 89%ELA and 70% math proficiency. In a decade we fell hard and we fell fast. We can do better!
We are failing our children and we need to determine how? Why? What else can we do? We can’t keep doing the same old thing when we have the data to prove that what we have been
doing is not successful. Yes, the teachers are working, and some are working very hard, but the system is failing. We can do better!
In response to the low proficiency scores, the district had a strange response. Rather than increasing funding in instruction, they decreased the instruction budget by 11.4%, they increased the Special Education instruction by 12.1%, they increased district Administration support by 5% and only cut district administration by 3%. We can do better!
The need to focus on Improving Student Performance is Paramount! We owe our children a good education, and we are failing them. How do we do it? We ask one simple question: Does this help improve student performance? Lower class size? Yes! Teacher retention? Yes! Professional development and training? Yes. An accredited teacher certification program? Yes.
Holding administrators accountable? Yes! Fewer classroom behavior disruptions? Yes! Safe schools and School Resource Officers that have positive relationships with students? Yes!
Teacher and parent input into the curriculum? Yes! Strong sports, Arts, and Extracurricular activities? Yes! Modeling successful existing programs? Yes! Support successful teachers and release unsuccessful teachers? Yes!! Student outcomes are important.
We can do better!