ERIC Number: ED168782
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Decentralizing Education in Rural Alaska Highlights Needed Research.
Hecht, Kathryn A.
In July, 1976, Alaska's 21 Regional Educational Attendance Areas (REAAs) came into being; these REAAs provide elementary and secondary education in a huge geographical area for approximately 11,000 pupils, 70% of whom are Native. Prior to 1976 education for these rural areas was controlled centrally by a distant state agency. Beginning in 1975, the REAAs had a one-year transition period in which to draw regional boundaries, elect and minimally train school boards, hire staffs, and locate offices. Substantive educational issues have emerged following the completion of the second year of REAA operation. Among these issues are: how local does local control need to be; has 100% state financing for REAAs provided sufficient resources; how can board members, administrators, and teachers acquire more training in their roles and an understanding of each other; how can curriculum and programs integrate education into the local community and its culture; and how can the amount and type of resources and technology available to both teachers and students be increased. Despite the significance of the vent of the REAAs, little official attention has been directed toward researching or systematically evaluating the phenomenon. Without adequately focused, implemented and disseminated research, development of quality education in rural Alaska seems unlikely. This study of the REAAs utilizes information from mail questionnaires to superintendents and board members, existing data, one case study, isolated individual studies, and an end-of-project seminar. (BR)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, Curriculum Development, Decentralization, Educational Finance, Educational Needs, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Information Dissemination, Program Development, Research Needs, Resources, Rural Education, School District Autonomy, Self Determination, State Legislation, Teachers, Technology
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (April 1979, San Francisco, California)