"Although this bill retains the requirement that a school not meeting adequate performance must draft a school improvement plan, the bill removes from statute the detailed descriptions of a school improvement plan."
- Rep. Gatto
An Act relating to reports on school and school district performance; and relating to accountability of public schools and school districts; and providing for an effective date.
Alaska currently has two systems of school designators: a state system and the Federal system. Alaska law requires schools be given the designations "distinguished," "successful," "deficient," or "in crisis," whereas federal law uses terms such as "distinguished," "proficient," "in improvement," "corrective action," and "restructuring." Alaska law should be amended to align itself with Federal law.
House Bill 405 holds districts and public schools accountable but does not increase their administrative burden. Although this bill retains the requirement that a school not meeting adequate performance must draft a school improvement plan, the bill removes from statute the detailed descriptions of a school improvement plan. Federal laws, and the regulations adopted by the state board, already comprehensively and satisfactorily prescribe the required contents of an improvement plan.
In addition, this bill eliminates unnecessary and unhelpful reports, but keeps the school report card system intact. For example, current law requires below-proficient schools report to the state board. Yet, the state board already has the school report card from all schools, including those that are below proficient. This requirement is a paperwork and time burden on schools, districts, and the state board, while failing to substantially aid in the goal of educating children. Similarly, current state law requires the Department of Education and Early Development to provide the legislature with a report, separate from the school report card, on the progress of schools and districts. Preparation of this report does little to advance the understanding of the legislature or the public not already accomplished by the school report card. A better approach is to eliminate these unnecessary reporting burdens ensuring that accountability information is contained in the school report card, and continuing to refine and rely on this valuable reporting tool.
I urge your consideration and support for this measure.