ERIC Number: ED437253
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Closing the Gap: Education and Change in New Stuyahok. Case Study.
As part of a larger study of systemic educational reform in rural Alaska, this case study examines reform efforts underway in New Stuyahok, a community of 440 people in southwestern Alaska. The population is almost entirely Yup'ik Eskimo. The K-12 school enrolls about 150 students. In 1992, Alaska Onward to Excellence (AOTE) established district and village leadership teams that began the process of bridging the gap between school and community. Through a collaborative approach to planning, the school and community established two major goals: postsecondary success and increased bilingualism. A 1995 action plan sought to increase community involvement in the AOTE process, the use of community instructors, village pride in Yup'ik culture and language, and integration of community culture in the school. The bilingual education program was also targeted for improvement. From 1993 to the present, student achievement has shown a positive trend, with improvements in postsecondary attendance, standardized test scores, and writing assessments. However, increased student proficiency in and use of Yup'ik remains an unmet goal. A major problem is high teacher turnover, which works against building a stable school culture or maintaining reforms. Recommendations are offered in the areas of site-based decision making, training for leadership teams, integration of Yup'ik cultural knowledge, teacher education, and state policy. The results of student, graduate, teacher, and parent surveys are included. (Contains 25 data tables and figures.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, Bilingual Education, Bilingualism, Case Studies, College Attendance, Community Involvement, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Eskimos, Improvement Programs, Indigenous Personnel, Rural Education, School Community Relationship, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on the Education of At-Risk Students (ED/OERI), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.; Alaska Univ., Fairbanks.
Identifiers - Location: Alaska