The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for the April 2 election to the Anchorage School Board to answer a series of questions on issues facing those bodies. We’re publishing select responses daily. The answers were fact-checked when facts were cited and edited for spelling, grammar and clarity. To see all the responses, click here. For Assembly candidate surveys, click here.
Q: What specific ideas do you have to improve overall performance of students?
Highly qualified and trained teachers who are responsive to the academic, social and emotional needs of all students and who consistently listen to the hopes and dreams of parents.
Kai Binkley Sims
There needs to be a multifaceted approach, studies show that parental involvement is critical to a student’s success. We have a large transient population in the Anchorage area. As many as one in 4 students will change schools within the district each school year. This makes it extremely difficult for students to make consistent progress throughout the year, and creates additional challenges for teachers. Attendance also needs to be a continued focus.
Sharing ideas and successes between schools. Looking at and evaluating schools with high proficiency to compare with schools that are not and finding a common thread that would help all schools.
Reading by age nine, 4th grade literacy. Too many of our students reach 4th grade a year or more behind in reading level. 4th grade literacy has worked in every state that has implemented it and it improves achievement in all socio-economic classes, while often reducing SPED [special education] rates. Reading at grade level is the absolute best way to ensure students can be successful throughout their K-12 education.
Ronald Stafford did not respond to the survey.