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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Educational System Malfunction in the State of Alaska

By Robert Arnold


February 25, 2023

Greetings Editor,

Our public schools system are failing our students, and ultimately our society will pay the price. Let’s look locally to see the picture, KAYHI has a wonderful history of turning out the great movers and shakers of this city and beyond. Today, the numbers don’t lie, and according to the superintendent enrollment rates are steadily dropping. Only 20.93% of high school students are proficient in reading and writing and only 12% are able to do standard math, most shocking 44.9% of the student body are chronically absent. The State of Alaska has a major problem, this has been going on for years. We rank at the bottom in education, compared to every other state in the Union. Why have we not taken action? Apathetically continuing, “the same ole, same ole,” it does not work anymore. Some States, like ours, at the bottom of the barrel, have begun to reform their systems, States like Arkansas, with the LEARNS program, and Florida have led the way.

The quest to raise the BSA by a $1000 dollars is being floated over the Alaska State Legislature. I ask the simple question, why are we losing students? During Covid parents were alarmed at what was passing as “education”, some did something about it, choosing a different path for their kids, dis-enrolling from public school and choosing other ways to educate their kids. Those students are ahead of their peers, but Mom and Dad got left with the bill, while each student gets $22,783 (State and Federal $),it is only for those who attends public school. Parent should have the choice where to send, or spend, their child’s education, it is in their hands, and public monies should follow the child.

Let’s measure academic success, a reward for good teachers and a earned public retirement, to lure the brightest and the best. Most often our schools have become bloated with an excess of Administrators, who command handsome pay and are not directly involved with the day to day education, of our students. Teacher and staff have, in desperation, tried to save the system, and as a reward have been the first targets in budget cut. Ketchikan we can do better, lets have a real conversation and speak freely, reform education before it is too late!

A very Concerned Citizen,

Robb Arnold
Ketchikan, Alaska


Editor's Informational Note: Student Enrollment 2015-2023

2015- 2016 Student Enrollment PK-12:

132,966 Statewide
2,365 Ketchikan

2016-2017 Student Enrollment PK-12:

133,223 Statewide
2392 Ketchikan

2017- 2018 Student Enrollment PK-12

133,381 Statewide
2,378 Ketchikan

2018-2019 Student Enrollment PK-12

132,554 Statewide
2,346 Ketchikan

2019-2020 Student Enrollment PK-12

132,577 Statewide
2,311 Ketchikan

2020-2021 Student Enrollment PK-12

130,394 Statewide
2,158 Ketchikan

2021-2022 Student Enrollment PK-12

130,442 Statewide
2,163 Ketchikan

2022-2023 Student Enrollment PK-12

131,212 Statewide
2,100 Ketchikan

Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Opinions expressed are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Sitnews.

Received February 16, 2023- Published February 25, 2023

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