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Back To School Success
by AK Lt. Governor Loren Leman


August 30, 2004

I want to alert you to some of the progress we are making in Alaska with education accountability and how you can help.

Alaska's latest Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results demonstrate improvement. Last school year 58 percent of Alaska's public schools passed the AYP assessment required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. These results are up from 42 percent the year before. AYP calculates our students' reading, writing and math skills through testing. Part of a successful AYP assessment is that 95 percent of a school's student body needs to be tested to meet the target.

Parents, guardians and students themselves play important roles in Alaska's continued success. You can:

1. Start daily routines. Let your child become involved with packing lunch or laying out clothes. Consider an earlier bedtime.

2. Make sure your child attends school regularly. Remember, tests reflect overall achievement. The more effort a student puts into learning, the more likely he or she will do well on tests.

3. Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Students need a quiet work space. Control the TV set-don't let it control you!

4. Set aside ample time for homework, and assist your student.

5. Meet with your child's teacher to discuss progress. Ask for suggested home activities to help improve understanding and prepare for tests.

When I was a legislator I supported measures to increase accountability in education to help improve results. I am pleased some of these efforts are paying off. The State of Alaska makes a considerable investment in education, and I hope you will too. I encourage you to be accountable. Let's keep Alaska's education assessments on the rise!



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