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House Democratic Legislators comment on Alaska’s waiver from No Child Left Behind

“One Size Fits All Never Fit Alaska”

Today, four Democratic legislators from the Alaska House of Representatives released the following comments on Alaska receiving a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In 2012, nine House Democratic legislators sponsored a resolution (HJR 39) calling on the Parnell administration to apply for these waivers to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure student success and school accountability.

“The federal government’s decision to grant the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver request is an encouraging step in Alaska’s efforts to maintain local control of our schools and our children’s education,” said House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau). “The state is doing its part to develop Alaskan standards, and it’s important that it also give our schools the resources they need to not only meet the standards to but to help every Alaskan student exceed them.”

“One-size-fits-all never fit Alaska,” said Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks). “For years these requirements unnecessarily stigmatized Alaska schools, so it’s good that the state finally took the steps to get the waiver so we can develop Alaska-specific standards and maintain local control and resources for our schools.”

“Having taught in rural Alaska, I know getting out from under these federal guidelines based on the Lower 48 will be a big win for those students and others across our state,” said Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage).

"We need to improve educational achievement, and one-size policies not tailored for Alaska don't help,” said Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage). “Nor does the state’s four-year course of educator staff cuts. One victory, more to go."

“This has been a long time coming for Alaska,” said Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). “I look forward to working with my colleagues to implement Alaska-specific standards and accountability measures to help our students succeed.”

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