News Release: Alaska Kicks Off First Statewide Pilot of EdRising Academy Program
June 01, 2017
Anchorage, Alaska, June 1, 2017 — This week, the 49th state became the first to implement the groundbreaking EdRising Academy curriculum as a key strategy to strengthen and diversify local teaching pipelines. With joint coordination by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Alaska Department of Education, districts across Alaska will be implementing the EdRising Academy curriculum, developed by Educators Rising, in 2017–2018, for high school courses to introduce young people to teaching.
The program, which includes curriculum, teacher training, and “Beginning to Teach” micro-credentials for students, is a centerpiece of a “grow your own” teacher recruitment strategy in a state where Alaska-born teachers are twice as likely to be retained as those who come from out of state. Missy Fraze, an Anchorage-based educator working with the Alaska Department of Education to coordinate the statewide pilot, said, “Having a common framework available to all districts will help us build a community of practice for Educators Rising teachers in Alaska, which will be critical for our rural and urban districts. We are excited to have an opportunity for teachers to come together in a face-to-face training and begin building relationships that will carry through to the virtual professional learning community.”
From May 30 through today, 18 educators from across Alaska gathered at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage for an intensive training led by Educators Rising staff members Dan Brown and Jean Snell. Co-Director Dan Brown said, “It’s thrilling to see educators from such diverse contexts — urban teachers as well as teachers from villages in Western Alaska accessible only by plane — rallying around a shared, coherent vision for introducing young people to teaching. Educators Rising is proud to be their partner in this effort.”
Joshua P. Starr, Chief Executive Officer of PDK International, said, “PDK is committed to helping communities find smart, system-level solutions to elevate teaching and learning. We couldn’t be happier to debut the EdRising Academy curriculum in Alaska to help educators and leaders across the state grow their own teachers in a sustainable, research-backed way.”
The School of Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is offering participating teacher leaders graduate credit and is the official host of the Educators Rising Alaska state affiliate within the Educators Rising national network. Interim Dean Steve Atwater said, “After more than a decade of working to grow Alaska teachers through our Future Educators of Alaska Program, we are now pleased to improve this work by joining the Educators Rising network. Educators Rising offers us the support, capacity, and resources we need to take important next steps. Given Alaska's difficulty with recruiting teachers, the timing of our move to Educators Rising couldn't be better.”
Educators Rising staff is traveling to New Mexico and Kentucky to launch additional statewide pilots later this summer. Those interested in learning more about the EdRising Academy program can sign up to receive important updates and information.
About Educators Rising
Educators Rising, a division of PDK International, is transforming how America develops aspiring teachers. Starting with high school students, we provide passionate young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustain their interest in the profession, and help them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators. The result is a pipeline of accomplished teachers who are positioned to make a lasting difference — not only in the lives of their students, but also in the field of teaching more broadly. Learn more at educatorsrising.org.