Anchorage School District Wants Higher Standards for Students
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage School District (ASD) officials say it's time to expect more from their students.
The district is looking to adopt tougher standards for students, which is in line with what many other states.
“We don't really have a way of seeing how our students are stacking up,” said ASD superintendent Carol Comeau.
That is one reason the district says we need to do what 46 other states are already doing - adopt what are called common core standards to get students on the same page as their peers in the Lower 48.
“Like districts are Seattle, Portland, Sacramento [and] Cleveland,” said ASD School Board President Gretchen Guess. “All of those districts are going to be on the same common core, have the same expectations and have the same rigor for children so we can compare how are we doing with other districts.”
The state is also changing standards for what it expects students to know at certain grade levels, but ASD says there are more reasons to opt for the national standards.
The district has lots of kids that move around. Fourteen-percent are military families who say they would benefit from consistent education, state to state.
ASD also says it wastes a lot of time retraining new hires to state standards when they come already prepared to teach common standards.
The final reason though is perhaps the most important. “We think our students deserve to be taught at a higher lever,” said Guess.
The district says the state standards just aren't tough enough.
“But we think, if we adopt these, that we can start with the younger students and as they work up through the system that they are going to be much better prepared to meet those national benchmarks,” said Comeau.
ASD needs to approve any changes in the standards. They will be discussing these changes at a meeting on March 22 and they may vote. The public is welcome and public testimony will begin at 6:30 p.m.