Measuring Up



Alaska

Not scored

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state.

What is the state of charter schools in Alaska?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

27

5%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

6,224

5%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

64%

49%

15%

Black

2%

3%

-1%

Hispanic

5%

7%

-2%

Asian

3%

6%

-3%

Other

26%

35%

-9%

Total minority

36%

51%

-15%

 

4. Students in special populations (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

16%

44%

-28%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

16%

44%

-28%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

30%

18%

9%

Suburb

11%

2%

9%

Town

44%

17%

27%

Rural

15%

63%

-48%

Total nonsuburban

89%

98%

-9%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

0

   
 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2010–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2010–11

2

Average Annual Open Rate

1.5%

2011–12

0

2012–13

0

2013–14

0

2014–15

0

Total number

2

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2009–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

1

Average Annual Closure Rate

0.7%

2010–11

0

2011–12

0

2012–13

0

2013–14

0

Total number

1

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Percentage of charter schools with an identified special focus (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

No Excuses

0%

Total

30%

STEM

0%

Arts

0%

Classical

0%

Purposely diverse

0%

Single sex

0%

International/Foreign language

11%

Montessori/Waldorf

19%

Dropout/Expulsion recovery

0%

Military

0%

Vocational training

0%

Public policy/Citizenship

0%

 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

 

 

 

12. Percentage point change in top categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

5 stars

41

39

-2

4 stars

29

39

10

Total

70

78

8

 

13. Percentage point change in bottom categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

2 stars

4

4

0

1 stars

0

0

0

Total

4

4

0

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2014–15)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

93%

7%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2014–15)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

8

27

3

100%

State education agency

0%

Independent charter board

0%

Noneducational government entity

0%

Higher education institution

0%

Nonprofit

0%

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2013–14)

Number of virtual public charter school students

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

Alaska enacted its charter school law in 1995. In our most recent rankings of state charter school laws, it ranked #40 out of 43, making it one of the weakest laws in the country. While the law does not cap charter school growth, it allows only local school districts to authorize charter public schools and provides little autonomy, insufficient accountability, and inequitable funding to charters.

A state’s charter public school movement had to meet three conditions to be scored and ranked in this year’s report. First, the movement had to serve at least 2 percent of the state’s public school students. Second, the state had to participate in Center for Research on Education Outcomes’ (CREDO’s) National Charter School Study 2013 so that we had a measure of student academic growth data for its charter public schools in comparison with its traditional public schools. Third, the state needed to have a state accountability system in place that categorized all public schools on the basis of performance in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Alaska’s movement did not meet at least one of these conditions, so we did not score and rank it in this year’s report.

However, below we provide the data we were able to gather. Based on this information, we offer the following observations:

  • In 2014-15, there were 27 charter public schools and 6,224 charter public school students in Alaska, constituting 5 percent of the state’s public schools and 5 percent of the state’s public school students, respectively.
  • In 2013-14, on average, the state’s charter public schools served lower percentages of racial and ethnic minority students (15 percentage points less) and free and reduced-price lunch students (28 percentage points less) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • In 2012-13, 89 percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas as compared with 98 percent of traditional public schools.
  • Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, two new charter public schools opened in Alaska. The average annual open rate in the state was 1.5 percent.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2013-14, one charter public school closed in Alaska, an average annual closure rate of 0.7 percent.
  • In 2012-13, 30 percent of the state’s charter public schools were special-focus schools.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, the percentage of charter public schools performing in the top two categories of the state’s accountability system increased by 8 percentage points (from 70 percent to 78 percent).
  • Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, the percentage of charter public schools performing in the bottom two categories of the state’s accountability system stayed the same (4 percent).
  • In 2014-15, 93 percent of the state’s charter public schools were start-ups and 7 percent were conversions.
  • In 2014-15, only local school districts were allowed to authorize charter public schools in the state. Eight of them had done so as of that year.
  • In 2013-14, zero full-time virtual charter public schools operated in Alaska.