"First Alaskans Institute and the Alaska Native Policy Center have an ongoing commitment to enhance Alaska Native education and achievement." said Carrie Brown, senior vice president, First Alaskans Institute. "This report gives the people of Alaska a benchmark by which we can measure future improvements."
The Policy Center intends to use this report to inform policy makers, parents, school boards, administrators, teachers, program funders and the general public about the status of Alaska Native education.
The report, compiled by the McDowell Group, provides a statewide and regional picture of academic achievement, using data from the State Department of Education and Early Development. Major indicators discussed in the report include:
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status
High school graduation rates
Special education students
Benchmark exam results
High School Qualifying Exam results
The report further examines how education indicators have changed since the original publication of the Alaska Native K-12 Education Indicators Report in 2003.
Two new indicators in this year's report include educator turnover rates and information on General Education Development (GED) attainment.
"There are ongoing efforts focused on closing the academic achievement gap for Alaska Native students," said Greta Goto, director, Alaska Native Policy Center.
"But it is clear from these latest data that there is much room for improvement. For example, at a statewide level, the high school graduation rate for Alaska Native students is 47.5%, while for all other students it is 67.3%.
"Clearly, we need to get behind the data and understand why the disparity exists between these numbers. The story they tell is crucial to developing healthy communities, as there is a strong link among education, health and economics."
Please visit the website at www.firstalaskans.org for an executive summary and full copy of Alaska Native K-12 Education Indicators Report 2004.