The National Education Association held a conference last month in Denver, Colorado to discuss ways to improve the quality of education for public school students.  The president of the Alaska NEA was attending. 

The Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly touched on several pertinent issues.   NEA Alaska president Ron Fuhrer says school safety, standardized testing and teacher preparation among other things will be major topics discussed.  However, the primary focus was student achievement. 

As of July 1st, former Alaskan public high school students that failed the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam and received a certificate of achievement are eligible for a high school diploma. 

US Senator Lisa Murkowski spoke Wednesday at a committee meeting in Washington, DC about her Native American Languages Reauthorization Act of 2014.  KDLG’s Thea Card has more.

Senator Murkowski shared her personal connection in wanting to enhance Native language learning in Alaskan schools.  She explained that when she placed her children in an immersion school in Anchorage, it was difficult to get respect and support from districts for those schools. 

The state of Alaska will begin a new system for rating schools in the fall.  The new system is fairer and more realistic for alternative and small schools. 

Alaska's New Standardized Tests

Jun 16, 2014

Alaska will pay $25 million in the next five years for a new standardized test. The new test is being created by the Achievement and Assessment Institute at the University of Kansas and will be administered to the state’s 77,000 third through 10th graders.

In 2012, the state of Alaska received a waiver, excusing it from the federal No Child Left Behind law.  Director of Assessment, Accountability and Information Management for the Alaska Department of Education Erik McCormick says the state has been looking for a new standardized testing system.

On Friday, the Bristol Bay Native Corporation’s Education Foundation sold more than $6.48 million worth of mining shares donated by Rio Tinto.  KDLG’s Chase Cavanaugh has details on how the Foundation will make use of the windfall.

Dental Health Aid Therapists are mid-level dental technicians trained specifically to work in rural villages. Ten years ago, the first group of Alaskan students returned from New Zealand with their certification.  Now, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium offers the program in state. 

DHATs are trained to do cleanings, fillings, simple extractions and provide dental education to the community that they serve.  Since the program in Alaska started ten years ago, DHATs have expanded to cover more than 40,000 Alaska Native people in over 80 rural villages. 

Alaska-Fairbanks Gets New Arctic Research Vessel

Jun 12, 2014
University of Alaska-Fairbanks

A state-of the art research vessel is now being operated by the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.  KDLG’s Chase Cavanaugh has more.

UAF Bristol Bay Campus

The University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Marine Advisory Program are teaming up to teach the art of commercial fishing in the Bristol Bay region. KDLG’s Luke Brummer has more.

Summer Program Encourages Math and Science

Jun 10, 2014

The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program is bringing over 100 students from all over the state to the University of Alaska Anchorage for a five-day program that allows students to participate in hands-on math and science related exercises.  Two of the students chosen to participate are from the Dillingham area.

Alaska has school districts that run the spectrum from large to small and from urban to rural. The director of the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, Diane Hirshberg, recently spoke about the unique challenges rural schools face and the possible ways districts can help their students. Her comments came during the most recent Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference and Economic Summit held back in March.

New Maritime Workforce Plan for Alaska Released

May 28, 2014

The State of Alaska, the University of Alaska and representatives from the Alaskan fisheries, seafood and marine industries created a plan to increase the number of in state residents working in maritime careers. The Alaska Maritime Workforce Development Plan aims to create and educate a substantially Alaskan workforce in the maritime sector.

The director of the Alaska Sea Grant at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Paula Cullenberg said two years ago the university created the Fishery Seafood Maritime Initiative, or F-S-M-I, to find out what the maritime industry needed.

Bill Schwan

The Dillingham School District class of 2014 graduation took place Friday May 16th, and with it came many heartfelt speeches from teachers and graduating seniors alike. Between the applause from joyous attendees, voices in this audio

postcard can be heard from Kevin Hardin, Co-valedictorians Tiera Schroeder and Connor Ito, Representative Bryce Edgmon and Superintendent William McLeod.

New Marine Advisory Program Agent for Bristol Bay

May 20, 2014
Marine Advisory Program

A man with commercial fishing experience has been tapped to be the new Marine Advisory Program agent in Dillingham. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details.

Governor Parnell's office

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell signed education reform legislation during a signing ceremony on Tuesday. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details.