School Board Q&A: What grade would you assign to Anchorage's quality of education?

In the days leading to Tuesday's municipal election, we'll be publishing responses from School Board candidates to a range of questions. Read other questions at

Q: Some say budget cuts are diminishing or could diminish the quality of education. What grade would you assign to Anchorage's quality of education, on an A to F grading scale? Why?

School Board Seat A

Bettye Davis: B - there is an improved dropout rate and parents seem to be satisfied with their student's education.

Don Smith: B- to C+. But getting better!

School Board Seat B

Stephanie Cornwell-George: C. We are doing a lot of good things but that requires teachers to be working above and beyond. It is burning good teachers out especially with the high class numbers. We have a lot of challenges that can't be fixed by throwing money at them. We need to involve the people doing the work in coming up with creative solutions no matter what funding comes our way.

Eric Croft: B. There are individual teachers doing an excellent job, often in very difficult situations. We need to focus on getting them adequate support, training, and time to teach to our high standards and expectations.

David Nees: It is not the budget cuts, it is the amount of money not going to the classroom. Less than 50% of the ASD budget goes to instruction. F for the 16 schools with less than a 50% literacy rate in 3rd grade. D- for the district, as a whole, for ignoring 30% of its children.