State bureaucracy causes low student scores

Alaska’s students are scoring significantly below the national average when it comes to math and reading curriculum, according to newly released federally mandated test scores administered in the fourth and eighth grades. However, can these results be trusted, or is there actually an education crisis in Alaska?

I remember taking mandatory testing that was supposed to give teachers an insight into their students’ understanding of math and reading. I also remember that we hated the testing and clicked through each question, selecting answers at random. So, can these results truly be trusted? Until these mandatory tests are accounted for in the student’s GPA, until that student has some skin in the game, we won’t take it seriously.

If one wants an accurate representation of students’ overall education rates in public schools, one must dig deeper than a few test scores. One must look at the rigor of the curriculum being taught. Why is it that private school students are generally better educated? If one responds that it is the teacher-student ratio, I would respond that Cordova has these private school numbers. One of the many reasons that private school students are better educated than public school students is because they have better curriculum. They don’t have curriculum that is mandated down to school boards by state bureaucrats who have never taught a single day of their lives, like public schools.

We once again see within the education system: state bureaucracy ruins a good thing. If public schools could have the kind of rigorous curriculum that private schools have and if students had some skin in the game in relation to standardized testing, we would see an increase in education rates in Alaska.