Welcome to Education Matters

Education Matters, Inc. was created in October 2012 to implement recommendations that came out of the 2011-12 Education Summit convened by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan. The Summit was an initiative to improve education performance for all students in Anchorage public schools.  It aimed to raise the achievement bar so that Anchorage high school graduates are competitive in the international workplace. 

Great Teacher Initiative

Building on the recommendations identified at the Summit, Education Matters' initial focus is on one of the high impact reforms of great teaching.  To that end, in April 2013 Education Matters convened the first session of a 3-part “Great Teacher Colloquium” that brought together more than 50 educators, state and local school board members, teacher’s union officials, elected officials, business and other community leaders to consider approaches to ensure that every classroom in the Anchorage School District has a “great” teacher.

Importance of Great Teaching - Symposium #1 (April 2013)

The initial meeting of the Great Teacher Colloquium was designed to explore:

  1. The qualities that define great teaching and great teachers;
  2. Possible approaches in regard to recruiting, training, evaluation, professional development and compensation that would ensure a great teacher in every classroom in Anchorage.

Over the course of the one-and-a-half day session, participants heard from national and international experts about high-performing school systems in other countries and the validity and usefulness of standard U.S. measures of teacher quality. In addition, they heard from the Superintendent of the Anchorage School District about ASD’s teacher corps and professional development and evaluation efforts.

Meeting participants identified the qualities they would like to see embodied in all Anchorage teachers, as well as a small number of high-leverage actions they would like to explore further in subsequent sessions.Participants developed a series of recommendations on which further is being done. 

Download final report from Symposium #1.
Click here for details and to view Symposium's proceedings.

Symposium #2: Best Practices in Teacher Preparation (May 2014)

A broad range of stakeholders again convened to discuss best practices in teacher preparation.  Meeting participants discussed the impact great teaching has on student learning; best practices in teacher preparation from around the country; and steps by which teacher preparation programs can be transformed.  The sessions were followed by a panel of the deans from the University of Alaska's college and schools of education.