State of Alaska Archives: on Education


Sean Parnell: Digital Teaching Initiative: video conference remote schools

What more can we do to prepare these children for life after high school? First, we must recognize our students need 21st century classrooms to compete in a 21st century economy. Our Alaska Digital Teaching Initiative will give our young people access to high-quality teachers and instruction.

Today, eight districts use video conferencing to reach our more remote schools. Course instruction is delivered in real time, so students can take courses not otherwise available to them.

The Alaska Digital Teaching Initiative will empower our teachers to reach beyond their own classrooms and districts. Digital teaching can bring together students from Tanana and Ruby with Fairbanks students. Not only will students have access to a more diverse array of classes, they will have access to a more diverse array of insights.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Alaska legislature Jan 22, 2014

Sean Parnell: Put school choice to the people for a Constitutional vote

Alaska's Constitution says no money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution. The question of school choice is not about religious schools; it is about whether parents should have the freedom to say what school best meets their child's education needs with their child's share of public money--their money. Wealthier Alaskans can always send their kids to private or religious schools, but others cannot.

The US Supreme Court has affirmed a parent's right to make these choices under what they call the "private choice test:" The education spending must have a valid secular purpose; the aid must go to parents and not the schools; the education program must be neutral with respect to religion; and there must be adequate non-religious options.

[We should put this issue to] the people for a vote. On this question--whether parents ought to have a greater say in their child's education--it is time legislators let Alaskans decide.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Alaska legislature Jan 22, 2014

Joe Miller: Federal funding is unconstitutional

Q: Do you support federal education standards and testing for K-12?

A: No.

Q: Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?

A: No.

Q: Do you support federal funding for charter schools?

A: No.

Q: Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?

A: No.

Miller adds, "I believe education should be left up to state and local governments. The federal government has no authority under the Constitution to create education standards or provide funding for schools.

Source: Alaska Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test Sep 9, 2010

Sean Parnell: Performance Scholarship: fund tuition for good H.S. grades

If we give every high school student the opportunity for a merit scholarship, if we challenge them to reach higher to take personal responsibility for their futures, many will. These students will transform our economy and positively change the trajectory of Alaska's future for generations.

With the Governor's Performance Scholarship proposal, all Alaskan high school students can earn tuition for an in-state university or job-training program. They must complete a more rigorous curriculum than what's now required to graduate from high school. But for students who take this curriculum, better grades will mean greater tuition awards. If a student maintains a C+ average but completes this more rigorous curriculum, they will earn 50% of their tuition; a B average will earn them 75% tuition and with an A average while taking this tougher curriculum, a young person will earn 100% tuition for an in-state university or job-training program. Merit scholarships work.

Source: Alaska 2010 State of the State Address Jan 20, 2010

Sarah Palin: 3-year plan: $1B for early learning, vo-tech, accountability

We promised public education reform--so schools can plan ahead, and bureaucracies do not smother a school's creativity or a student's aspiration. We now take the next step in our three-year education plan--to offer every young Alaskan--rural and urban--the opportunity to learn and work and succeed in the world.

We'll fully forward-fund all our school districts with more than a billion dollars--that's more than 21% of General Fund expenditures. Education is that high a priority. We'll focus on early learning, vo-tech and workforce development, an enhanced University, streamlined operations, we'll hold schools accountable, and we'll encourage opportunities for students with special needs.

Source: Alaska 2009 State of the State Address Jan 22, 2009

Sarah Palin: 294 Alaska public schools progressed under NCLB

Congratulations to the staff at the 294 Alaska public schools that made adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards for the 2007-2008 school year. Our schools faced a higher bar in 2007-2008 for the percentages of students who score proficient in language arts and math assessments. Congratulations to the many schools that continue to improve in student achievement but may have fallen short in 1 or 2 of the 31 categories schools are held accountable for in NCLB.
Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: August 2008 Newsletter Aug 20, 2008

Sarah Palin: School debate should focus on accountability

In education, we are shaping a three-year funding plan to finally shift the school debate from perpetual “money talk” to accountability and achievement! We are focusing on foundational skills needed in the “real-world” workplace and in college.
Source: 2008 State of the State Address to 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

Sarah Palin: Committed to providing strong education, including morals

It is our energy development that pays for essential services, like education. Victor Hugo said, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” It’s a privileged obligation we have to “open education doors.” Every child, of every ability, is to be cherished and loved and taught. Every child provides this world hope. They are the most beautiful ingredient in our sometimes muddied up world. I am committed to our children and their education. Stepping through “the door” is about more than passing a standardized test. We need kids prepared to pass life’s tests--like getting a job and valuing a strong work ethic. Our Three-year Education Plan invests more than a billion dollars each year. We must forward-fund education, letting schools plan ahead. We must stop pink-slipping teachers, and then struggle to recruit and retain them the next year.
Source: 2008 State of the State Address to 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

Sarah Palin: Budget funds education, but will to work is also critical

We’re asking lawmakers to pass a new K-12 funding plan this year. This is an investment that is needed to increase the base student allocation, district cost factors and intensive needs students. It includes $100 million in school construction and deferred maintenance. There is awesome potential to improve education and embrace choice for parents. This potential will prime Alaska to compete in a global economy. Beyond high school, we will boost job training and University options. We are proposing more than $10 million in new funding for apprenticeship programs, expansion of construction, engineering and health care degrees. But it must be about more than funds, it must be a change in philosophy. It is time to shift focus, from just dollars to “caliyulriit,” which is Yupik for “people who want to work.” Work for pride in supporting our families. It’s about results and getting kids excited about their future--whether it is college, trade school or
Source: 2008 State of the State Address to 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

Sarah Palin: Court ruling against NEA: state adequately funds education

Alaska has “fully met its constitutional obligation to adequately fund education,” an Anchorage Superior Court ruled today in the case of Moore vs. Alaska. The plaintiffs--which included NEA-Alaska and several school districts--sued the state, asking the court to order significantly more state funding for Alaska schools--seeking to double Alaska’s education budget.

Instead, the Judge left decisions about the state’s education funding formula to the Legislature, and said the court would not determine educational programs. The judge’s ruling said the evidence shows that Alaska has “thorough and appropriate” educational standards and a “finely tuned” method of testing children.

But the state must be more aggressive in overseeing troubled school districts, the judge ruled, citing the Yupiit School District, one of the plaintiffs, in particular. In those schools, the court also found that students haven’t had sufficient opportunity to prepare for the high school exit exam.

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Press release 07-154 “Court Rules” Jun 21, 2007

Sarah Palin: Fully fund K-12 and support early funding of education

My budget includes fully funding the “K through 12” foundation formula. In addition, I’ve included more than $200 million in new dollars to cover the increased retirement costs for local school districts, so that more local school district dollars get into the classroom, where the money belongs. We’re facing a potential $10 billion PERS/TRS retirement plan shortfall that affects local schools. Our $200 million dollar line item for school districts is part of the half BILLION dollar proposal to help th districts, local governments and the state alleviate the pension plan burden while we work with the Legislature on a long-term solution. I’ve also committed to help provide local school districts with more predictability, for better planning by supporting “early funding of education.” I’ll introduce a separate education appropriation bill and ask that it’s passed. Our local school districts deserve to know what they have to work with early enough for them to create efficiencies through planning
Source: 2007 State of the State Address to 24th Alaska Legislature Jan 17, 2007

Sarah Palin: Supports $20 million needs-based aid for U. Alaska

We have no needs-based aid for Alaska students. Governor Murkowski tried to put $20 million in the budget for aid, but the Legislature rejected it. Let’s make our own University available to students who might otherwise go without higher education.
Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Sarah Palin: Forward-fund K-12 schools to allow better planning

I support adequate and full funding for education, as well as for pupil transportation and municipal school debt reimbursements. There must be recognition for increases in costs for energy, utilities, insurance, and salaries. We cannot go back to the day of simply ignoring inflation. A centerpiece of my fiscal plan is to forward fund K-12. School districts will be able to do a better job of planning their budgets for upcoming years if they know in advance the level of funding they can expect from Juneau.
Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Sarah Palin: Supports charter schools, home schools, & other alternatives

My administration will support existing programs that already offer alternative school options available throughout the state, including charter schools, rural boarding schools, home school options, correspondence schools, and vocational/technical, and magnet schools. There are many successes out there that we can look to as models. My administration will support and expand existing programs that successfully offer new approaches to ensure an appropriate education for every child in Alaska.
Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Sarah Palin: Target early education programs to at-risk groups

The State should target early education programs to specific at-risk groups that truly need them. These groups will benefit from access to high-quality programs currently out of their reach. We must find a way for these children to obtain a safe and positive environment in their early years. Today, social & economic pressures sometimes encourage both parents to return to work outside the home. My administration will publish useful educational material for parents about children in their early years.
Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Sarah Palin: Alignment between parents, teachers, schools, & business

Alignment is the unity of purpose which brings parents, children, teachers, public administration and businesses together towards a common goal of quality education. Alignment towards the common goal is built upon the values of respect for one another, our unique cultures and traditions, and our individual personal values. Here is how Alignment fits together:
Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Sarah Palin: Faith-based materials ok in homeschooling

Ideally, the purpose of administration is to ensure that our schools offer such choices to parents, students and teachers. Choice in public education is a relatively new idea, but is already widely implemented. We see from our experience that innovation such as charter schools, homeschools, correspondence, Montessorri, and various other alternative schools have a broad appeal to parents, students, teachers and administrators. There is still room to grow our choices to serve more families.

I support and respect the rights of independent homeschoolers and those who partner with local and state-wide school districts. There must be equity in treatment of all homeschoolers in all programs across the state. The use of privately-purchased, faith-based materials should not be a reason for withholding funding.

Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Sarah Palin: ABC method: back to basics, plus patriotism & ethics

I believe we need to respect families and provide greater access to curricula and programs that teach ethics and character. The ABC method is a local program that depends strongly on these principles. ABC students have nightly homework, back to basics curriculum, patriotism, ethics and citizenship training. Programs such as ABC have core principles of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.
Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Sarah Palin: Supports parental choice for what is best for their children

Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

Sarah Palin: Don’t push school boards on creationism but allow discussion

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor’s race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state’s public classrooms. Palin was answering a question from the moderator when she said, “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.”

In an interview, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms: “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.” She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum. “I won’t have religion as a litmus test, or anybody’s personal opinion on evolution or creationism,” Palin said.

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: Anchorage Daily News follow-up Oct 27, 2006

Sarah Palin: I believe we have a creator; and many theories of evolution

Palin said she thought there was value in discussing alternatives. “It’s OK to let kids know that there are theories out there,” she said in an interview following the debate. “They gain information just by being in a discussion.”

That was how she was brought up, she said. Her father was a public school science teacher. “My dad did talk a lot about his theories of evolution,” she said. “He would show us fossils and say, ‘How old do you think these are?’ ”

Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, “I believe we have a creator.” She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact. “I’m not going to pretend I know how all this came to be,” she said.

Knowles was asked Thursday if he believed in a creator and, if so, how he reconciled that with evolution. A campaign spokeswoman responded, “Tony wants to stick by what he said last night -- creationism has no place in public school classrooms as an ‘alternative’ to evolution.”

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: Anchorage Daily News follow-up Oct 27, 2006

Tony Knowles: Keep alternatives to evolution out of classrooms

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor’s race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state’s public classrooms. Palin said, “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.”

Democrat Tony Knowles said such alternatives to evolution should be kept out of science classrooms.

In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms.

Knowles was asked Thursday if he believed in a creator and, if so, how he reconciled that with evolution. A campaign spokeswoman responded, “Tony wants to stick by what he said last night -- creationism has no place in public school classrooms as an ‘alternative’ to evolution.”

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: Anchorage Daily News follow-u Oct 27, 2006

Tony Knowles: No politics in science; no creationism in schools

Q: Should public schools teach alternatives to evolution?

KNOWLES: The answer is no. The reason why is we don’t want politics in our science. We actually want more science in our politics. We don’t want to just teach all things because it may be politically correct. We want to teach the best science there is, and there is overwhelming evidence, there’s almost incontrovertible evidence that evolution is the science that, that we know. And that’s what we should always teach, to never compromise on the principles just because it’s politically popular.

PALIN: Teach both. Don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject--creationism & evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: KAKM-7 with Michael Carey Oct 25, 2006

  • The above quotations are from State of Alaska Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(MT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Sep 08, 2014