History of the Standards
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*Governor Walter J. Hickel directs Commissioner
of Education Jerry Covey to develop a plan to improve Alaska’s system
of public schools.
*The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission initiates Alaska 2000 (AK2K)
a reform movement led by more than 100 Alaskans.
*The State Board of Education approves AK2K recommendations,
including the goal of developing student academic standards in ten core
areas: English, mathematics, science, geography, history, skills for a
healthy life, government and citizenship, fine arts, technology and world
*The State Board commits to developing content standards
in the ten core identified subject areas.
*Two rounds of public hearings are held on the content standards in math,
science and English/language arts.
*Content standards in math, science and English/language
arts are adopted and take effect on January 4, 1995. education.alaska.gov/standards/
*Public hearings are held on the history, geography, government and health
content standards and they are adopted to take effect July 26, 1995. education.alaska.gov/standards/
||Governor Knowles takes office and a new State Board appoints
Shirley Holloway Commissioner of the Department.
World Language and technology content standards receive public review
and are adopted by the Board to take effect March 28, 1996. education.alaska.gov/standards/
||*The Alaska Quality Schools Initiative (QSI) education.alaska.gov/standards/
replaces AK2K as Alaska’s major school reform initiative. QSI has
four major strands: High Student Academic Standards and Assessments, Quality
Professional Standards, Family, School, Business and Community Network,
and School Excellence Standards.
*School and community leaders attend the Knowles Administration’s
first Education Summit in Girdwood and the Department commits to developing
a results-based system of education based on standards.
||*The Legislature passes the secondary pupil competency testing
law (AS 14.03.075) http://old-www.legis.state.ak.us/cgi-bin/folioisa.dll/stattx02?
requiring all high school students to pass an exit exam in order to receive
a diploma. Those who do not pass get a certificate of attendance. (Effective
date: February 1, 2004).
*The Department of Education makes the English/Language Arts, Math, Science,
and Social Studies frameworks available in CD-ROM format developed by
the Department between 1995-1997 to assist educators in implementing standards-based
||*The Council for Basic Education (CBE) http://www.c-b-e.org/
reviews Alaska’s proposed reading, writing and math performance standards.
The department makes changes to standards as recommended by CBE.
*Governor Knowles signs into law Senate Bill 36 (AS14.07.020 (b). http://old-www.legis.state.ak.us/cgi-bin/folioisa.dll/stattx02?
that requires the development of student performance standards in reading,
writing and mathematics. Benchmark exams at designated grade levels are
The QSI portion of SB36 required the following:
- Academic Standards—Mandated the State Board of Education to
adopt academic standards in reading, writing and math at four levels:
ages 5–7, 8–10, 11–14 and 15–18. The high school
and benchmark exam questions are to measure whether students have met
- Alaska Benchmark Examinations—Mandates the department to assess
students at the 3rd, 6th and 8th grades beginning in March 2000
- Developmental Profile—Requires schools to complete a developmental
profile on all entering kindergarten and first grade students. education.alaska.gov/tls/assessment/developmental.html
- QSI Grant—Gives school districts additional dollars through
the Quality Schools Grant program if they establish plans to adopt standards,
intervene with additional services for children who are not meeting
the standards, and train educators how to teach students in a results-based
system of public education. The QSI Grant program became part of the
state’s school funding program.
- School Designators—Requires the State Board to develop an annual
system of rating schools, and designate each school by August 2002 in
one of the four categories: distinguished, successful, deficient and
in crisis. The categories are to be based on a school’s student
test scores and other indicators of student performance.
- School Report Cards—Requires each school to annually report
specific information about student performance beginning July 1, 2000.
The information required includes school accreditation status; results
of norm-referenced achievement tests; results of state standards-based
assessments in reading, writing and mathematics; description of student,
parent, community and business involvement in student learning; and
rates of student attendance, K–8 retention, grade 7–12 dropout
and graduation. The department is required to issue its first school-by-school
report card on January 15, 2001. education.alaska.gov/stats/
*The Education Commission of the States http://www.ecs.org/
submits a partial review of Alaska’s proposed performance standards
in reading, writing and mathematics. The review is favorable.
*The State Board adopts the student employability standards as an eleventh
content standard. education.alaska.gov/standards/employability.html
*Frameworks in Arts, World Languages, and Health were developed by the
Department and published in print form.
||*The State Board adopts student performance standards in
reading, writing and mathematics. education.alaska.gov/tls/PerformanceStandards/
*Benchmark exams for grades 3, 6 and 8 and high school exams are field
tested statewide. The State Board mandates all sophomores to take the
*Public schools complete first developmental profiles of kindergarten
and first grade students. education.alaska.gov/tls/assessment/developmental.html
*The State Board adopts by reference the content and performance standards
contained in the publication Alaska Standards: Content and Performance
Standards for Alaska Students. education.alaska.gov/tls/PerformanceStandards/
*The Board adopts by reference the employability content standards. education.alaska.gov/standards/employability.html
||*Governor Knowles appoints an Education Funding Task Force
to recommend a five-year funding plan to fulfill the goals of the QSI and
improve education in Alaska.
*The State Board adopts passing scores for the high school exam. education.alaska.gov/tls/assessment/hsgqe.html
*Education Summit 2000 develops strategies to help more children meet
the state’s new higher standards in reading, writing and mathematics.
School district teams examine the performance of their students on state
tests and learn how to analyze and score data and to improve schools to
better meet the learning needs of students.
*The second high school exam is administered statewide. education.alaska.gov/tls/assessment/hsgqe.html
*The State Board adopts proficiency cut scores for the benchmark exams.
*The School Designator Committee meets to recommend elements of a system
to rate schools as distinguished, successful, deficient and in crisis.
*The State Board adopts Alternate Performance Standards education.alaska.gov//tls/assessment/
and the Student Cultural Standards. http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/standards/standards.html
*The first administration of the high school and benchmark exams is conducted
statewide. All 10th grade students are required to take the high school
*Alaska content standards are measured against National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP) standards. Alaska’s standards match
well with NAEP standards. http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/
*Committees meet to recommend passing scores for the high school exam
and proficiency scores for the benchmark exams.