CAEPR Spring 2014 Projects

State of the State in Education

This report will address the current state of K-12 education in Alaska and place Alaska within the national context. We will review student outcomes including standardized test scores and graduation rates, graduation policies and requirements, school calendar and day length policies, and professional development policies. We will also review the major challenges facing Alaska’s educators and how communities, school and districts are responding to those challenges.

Statewide Survey of Teacher Working Conditions and Factors Related to Teacher Retention

We have been surveying teachers in rural and urban Alaska about their views on working conditions and other factors related to teacher retention and the teaching profession. The results will assist efforts to improve teacher recruitment and retention and also inform the development of better policies statewide. We completed a first round of rural teacher surveys in Spring 2013, with over 270 teachers responding. In Fall 2013, we fielded the survey in the 5 big districts (Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Mat-Su and Kenai) with over 900 teachers responding. In February and March 2014 we fielded the survey again in ten rural districts that are part of an NSF-funded study of teacher retention issues in northern districts (headed by Ute Kaden of UAF), and over 300 teachers completed it. We are now analyzing the data, and will be posting reports to our website on a regular basis. The rural teacher survey instrument is available for download (PDF, 99KB).

Educator Supply and Demand Report

We will update data on teacher and administrator supply, demand and turnover from previous reports. This will include turnover rates by district, data on number of teachers prepared in-state versus coming from elsewhere, and a closer look at special educators, math and science teachers, and Alaska Native teachers and administrators.

Recent UA Teacher Preparation Graduates Survey

In coordination with the UAF School of Education and UAS School of Education, we will survey graduates as they leave education programs, alumni one, three and five years after graduation, and employers of those alumni. This report will provide programs with information about graduates’ areas of strength and weakness, as seen by both the graduates themselves and their employers. The Schools of Education will use the survey as part of their ongoing program improvement efforts.

CAEPR 2012 Projects

New Alaska Standards: College and Career Readiness (pdf, 56KB)

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) is developing new standards for K12 education in language arts and mathematics. Draft standards are currently being reviewed, and the State Board of Education will take action on the new standards in June 2012 following a period of public comment from January – May 2012. More information on the new standards is at: DEED is interested in ensuring that achieving the new standards will prepare students for college or careers. As part of this effort, DEED has contracted with the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) to conduct an initial validity study, in partnership with the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) in Eugene, Oregon. In order to evaluate the new standards, CAEPR is inviting faculty teaching entry-level courses in 4-year and 2-year degree programs and certificate programs across Alaska to participate in a survey asking them to rate the new standards in relation to their courses, according to how applicable and important the standards are for their course. These standards will play an important role in shaping high school education in Alaska, and it is critically important that the Content and Performance Standards for Alaska Students accurately reflect what it takes for students to succeed in postsecondary courses.

Download the PDF announcement (56KB)

UAA Student Preparation for College English: A Study of Student Perceptions

In this study, Professor Diane Hirshberg, research assistant Kent Spiers, and students participating in an Honors 292 seminar surveyed over 250 college freshmen in the University of Alaska system in entry level English courses. The goal of the survey was to determine students’ perceptions of how well their high school language arts courses prepared to succeed in college English courses. The students then analyzed the responses for graduates of Alaska high schools, looking separately at Anchorage School District graduates and students who attended public schools in other districts, private schools, or who were home schooled. A full report will be available soon.

Download the presentation (PDF, 2.36MB)

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