School district in Alaska implements CCSS without waiting for state approval

Even though the state of Alaska has not yet adopted the Common Core State Standards, the school board of the Anchorage School District (ASD) in Anchorage, Alaska, has voted to implement the standards.

KTVA Alaska reported the story on March 26 and the Achieve Perspective newsletter also reported the decision, made in mid-March. Alaska is one of only five states that does not use the Common Core, but the board decided it wanted Anchorage students to be able to compete at the national level.

The Anchorage School District has been following its own set of standards, which ASD Board President Gretchen Guess says are comparable to the state’s.

Guess says Common Core will benefit Anchorage students by putting them on an academically even playing field. She said that’s especially important for families who are only in the Anchorage district for a few years.

"We have [a] 14 percent military population, those students are with us for three years and are most likely going to go to states that have the Common Core,” said Guess. “We have to be very sensitive to ensure they don't have gaps in learning either.”

ASD will not wait until the next school year to implement the Common Core. Students will be held to higher expectations right away. Teachers will receive additional training this summer.

- Heather Hintze, KTVA

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