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Fifty-four Attend Annual Summer Superintendents Conference


August 10, 2005

Fifty-four superintendents and other administrators from about 40 of Alaska's 53 public school districts including the Ketchikan school district met with Department of Education officials August 8 and 9 in Juneau for the annual Summer Superintendents Conference for an update on the activities and priorities of the State Board and Department of Education & Early Development.

jpg Superintendents Conference

Cynthia Curran, Administrator of Teacher Education and
Certification, addresses the group.
Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Education

State Education Commissioner Roger Sampson urged the superintendents to be leaders in the effort to increase student achievement and the quality of schools. Sampson, citing test results showing more than 40 percent of Alaska's third-graders are not meeting state standards in reading, said all teachers need to be teachers of reading in order to raise those scores.

Superintendents had the opportunity to meet with professional education staff members who are the key communication links between school districts and the department.

State education administrators also reviewed their efforts to meet the Murkowski administration's four education goals: promote academic growth for all students; continue to refine the state's assessment and accountability system; promote the continuous growth of professionals and paraprofessionals to provide effective standards-based instruction; and increase effective instructional time.

Barbara Thompson, director of teaching and learning support, told superintendents that the state's teacher-mentoring program, begun last school year, showed an increase in the retention of new and inexperienced teachers. The program, which placed 22 mentors in 101 schools last year, will use 24 to 28 mentors this year, she said. A program to coach new principals, begun in January, will increase from seven principal-coaches to 10 coaches, who will work with 70 to 100 new principals, Thompson said.

Les Morse, administrator of assessment and accountability, told superintendents that the department and the State Board of Education & Early Development have reshaped the standardized assessments for grades three through 10, to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.


Source of News & Photograph:

Alaska Department of Education


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