"Alaska's Education Challenge is a question to all Alaskans. 'How will we meet the educational challenges in Alaska?'" –Dr. Michael Johnson, Alaska Education Commissioner
In order to meet Alaska's educational challenges, we will address our public education system through three components:
- A call to action: Shared Commitments
- Increase Student Success: Success will be identified using multiple measures as part of a rich and varied curriculum.
- Support Responsible & Reflective Learners: Families, tribes, educators, and communities will provide relevant learning opportunities.
- Cultivate Safety & Well-Being: All schools will be safe and nourish student well-being.
- A focus of efforts: Measurable Goals
- Support all students to read at grade level by the end of third grade
- Increase career, technical, and culturally relevant education to meet student and workforce needs
- Close the achievement gap by ensuring equitable educational rigor and resources
- Prepare, attract, and retain effective education professionals
- Improve the safety and well-being of students through school partnerships with families, communities, and tribes
- A prioritization of change: Targeted Strategies
Answering the Call to Action
The map below highlights school districts and organizations across the state who have adopted the Alaska’s Education Challenge three shared commitments through resolutions. Has your district or organization adopted the commitments? Contact Sam Jordan at the Department of Education and Early Development and get your resolution on the map!
Alaska's Education Challenge Process
In September 2016, the State Board of Education and Early Development established five strategic priorities aimed at improving public education for all students in Alaska. Following the State Board’s initial actions, Governor Walker, in his 2017 State of the State address, spoke of the need to improve public education in Alaska. The Governor’s comments launched the current effort to craft changes in our education system that will address student achievement gaps and increase graduation rates by making sure that every student across the state has equitable opportunity to learn and succeed.
Following the Governor’s address, DEED released a public survey in February 2017 asking Alaskans to share their priorities for public education reform. Nearly 1,400 Alaskans in 109 communities submitted over 18,000 ideas for topics to be considered during Alaska’s Education Challenge. From April to October 2017, DEED gathered nearly 100 Alaskans from all corners of the state representing diverse backgrounds, interests, and experiences to work collaboratively and focus their efforts on developing up to three recommendations for each of the five strategic priorities set by the State Board. The State Board reviewed and accepted all 13 committee recommendations. Governor Walker subsequently accepted the recommendations, and a final report was submitted to the Alaska Legislature in January 2018.
In January 2018, the State Board, Commissioner Johnson, Governor Walker, Lt. Governor Mallott, commissioners, legislators, and representatives from the five committees and partner organizations held a press availability event and provided an overview of the work completed to date and shared next steps. Since then, DEED has continued working with partner organizations to develop a plan around three components and focus the work on specific goals that are most likely to improve student outcomes.