Weiss: Juneau schools fared well in new state accountability system

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The State Department of Education and Early Development this week released its new school accountability system results which is part of Alaska's Every Student Succeeds Act.

    Interim Juneau School District Superintendent Dr. Bridget Weiss was asked how her schools fared on the Performance Evaluation for Alaska's Students or PEAKS test.  "Juneau faired very well,"  she said.  "This is a brand new accountability system for the State of Alaska.  So there are many components to it, but overall we're very pleased with our results and we are acclimating ourselves to the new system."

    The system outlines three levels of support a school might need.  One is universal, which are schools needing the least amount of support.  Eleven of Juneau's 14 schools fell into that area.

    Three were in the comprehensive level of support category.   Dr. Weiss said those schools have an identified area of need in graduation rates.  She said those are their specialty high schools:  HomeBRIDGE, Johnson Youth Center, and the Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School.  She added that those are places where they have a really small sample base which makes things a little tricky.    "This is, we have to remember, a federal mandate and a state built system of accountability that works for lots of our schools and districts, but is more challenging for those that are smaller.  Some of our smaller communities in Alaska will also have challenges because they have such small sample sizes and that is the case when we have these specialized programs."

    An elementary school, Saye'ik Gastineau Community School in Douglas, fell into the "Targeted Support and Improvement" category.  "That rating is based on some of their student group performances who performed well in many, many categories and had a couple of sub-group categories where the performance level was lower and that put them in that category."  

    The testing of students in grades three through nine was conducted in April.

    A more in-depth look will be provided to the public during a School Board work session on Tuesday, November 13 which is scheduled from 4:30 to 5:45 at the Thunder Mountain High School Library.


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