House Education considers delaying standards

  • By MIKE COPPOCK
  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014 11:27pm
  • News

JUNEAU — The House Education Committee began hearing testimony on a resolution Wednesday to delay implementing new English language and mathematics standards for Alaska.

House Resolution 9, sponsored by Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, called for the delay because it may force districts to overhaul their existing curriculum.

“We visited different schools and their frustration was pretty high,” Wilson said. “They said too much was happening at once.”

Wilson said both the Legislature and local school districts need a cost analysis on implementing the new standards. She noted a delay would help school districts with the transition to the new standards. Wilson said requiring the districts to make the transition within a year was not fair.

The Alaska State Board of Education approved the new English language arts and mathematic standards this year. They are to go into effect 2015.

“Without the funding, this is another unfunded mandate we’re asking our districts to do,” said Chairwoman Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla.

Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, felt a delay would be good for teachers involved.

“They need a reasonable time for in-service to do a good job,” said the Wrangell representative.

However, superintendents from Kodiak and North Slope school districts disagreed.

“If we move back now, it will be demoralizing to our teachers who have spent hours and days already to get ready,” said Peggy Cowan, superintendent for the North Slope School District.

Cowan said she is concerned about the costs to her district for implementing the standards, but her staff are already prepping for the new standards.

Stewart McDonald, superintendent for the Kodiak Island School District, did not wish to go backward. He said the committee should be patient once the new standards are implemented for there will be a natural dip in grades during the transition period.

“I think attaching performance too close to funding would be a mistake,” McDonald said.

Wilson said she had witnessed educators practicing different teaching styles at some districts for the new standards.

“We are teaching for the test,” Wilson said. “On everything we do, we train for a test.”

Wilson said under the news standards curriculums are to change every six years.

Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, suggested the cost analysis be extended out to cover 10 years as well as an analysis of the entire impact the new standards brings into play.

I would like to know how much time will be taken for testing in classroom,” Reinbold said.

The resolution remains in committee.

More in News

A sign warning of a June 28, 2021, bear attack is placed at the head of the Kenai River Trail on Skilak Loop Road in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Federal wildlife officers seek information about early-May black bear poaching

Officials think the poaching happened near the east entrance of Skilak Loop roughly 2 miles from Jims’ Landing

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Ninilchik woman dead after Tuesday collision

The woman was attempting to cross the Sterling Highway from Oil Well Road when she was struck by a pickup truck

Graduates listen to Connections Homeschool Principal Doug Hayman speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday in Soldotna. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Graduates listen to Connections Homeschool Principal Doug Hayman speak during the school’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Expect a lot from yourself and from others’

Connections Homeschool students accept diplomas at commencement ceremony

Screenshot
Graduates of Seward High School leave the gym at the end of their graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
‘Give people something to talk about’

Seward High School graduates 30

Kenai Police Chief David Ross speaks to Kenai City Council members about an ordinance that would repeal sections of city code that prohibit public sleeping and loitering and the city’s curfew on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai OKs repeal of loitering laws, curfew for minors

The policies, first enacted in 1978, are difficult to enforce and potentially violate citizens’ rights, according to the Kenai Police Department

Nikiski Middle/High School graduates throw their caps into the air at the conclusion of a graduation ceremony in the school’s gym in Nikiski, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nikiski graduates ‘will always be a part of each other’s stories’

The graduates celebrated their time together and took a moment to anticipate the bright futures that lie ahead

A seal pup rescued from near Kenai beach is treated by the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Response Program on May 9, 2024. (Photo courtesy Kaiti Grant/Alaska SeaLife Center)
SeaLife Center admits abandoned harbor seal pups

Both seals were found abandoned and malnourished, and both were born prematurely

Caitlin Babcock, left, and other graduates enter Soldotna High School’s commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna sends off more than 140 graduates at Tuesday commencement

More than 140 students stepped off the Soldotna High School graduation stage… Continue reading

Most Read