Improving Education 101

Updated: Feb 28

Let's improve student learning together Anchorage!





Our ASD budget for the 2021/22 school year was just approved at $841,318,521.00 (Thank goodness for that last dollar!) ASD is at 40 % reading proficiency and 40% math proficiency. In other words 60 out of every 100 are not meeting the ELA (English Language Arts) or math 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!

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“Anchorage kids deserve a better education.”

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