Senators Joe Paskvan, Dennis Egan, and Gary Stevens during the closeout hearing of the Senate Finance DEED Subcommittee, March 20, 2012
This blog contains highlights from the Alaska Education Update. The update is issued daily during session and contains detailed summaries of education issues under consideration by the Alaska State Legislature. If there is a hearing on a Monday, a report will, with few exceptions, be released by Tuesday morning. There is also a weekly edition of the update. During interim, reports are issued only when there has been action. Interim action may include hearings, bill signings, the release of the Governor's proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and other items that may be of interest to the education community.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Alaska, with a population of 710,231, is too small a population to be able to train 800 new teachers per year?

On Monday, April 4 the Senate Education Committee heard a presentation on University of Alaska teacher training programs from Deborah Lo, dean, School of Education at UAS, Mary Snyder, dean, School of Education at UAA, and Eric Madsen, dean, School of Education at UAF.  

During that presentation, Dean Snyder made a comment that I thought odd.  She said she doesn't believe they will ever be able to meet the demand for teachers in state, because of the population base.  She thought at most they might someday be able to meet 50 percent of the teacher need. 

Alaska needs about 800 new teachers trained every year, but only about 200 new teachers graduate from the University of Alaska every year.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Alaska is 710,231.  Was Dean Snyder actually saying that Alaska does not have a big enough population base in which to find and train 800 new teachers every year?  I feel I must have misunderstood her statement, as it doesn't make any sense to me.

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