Yesterday I posted a letter that I had sent to Anchorage School District Superintendent Ed Graff and others on the rollout at an ASD in-service day last Friday of a new curriculum on “Alaska’s Fiscal Future.” According to a press release issued by the Governor and posted by ASD on its website the day before, the new curriculum “centers on the Alaska Revenue and Expenditure Model developed earlier this year by the Alaska Department of Revenue.”
As I explained in yesterday’s post, I have significant concerns about DOR’s model.
As I received responses during the day from the Superintendent and others I came to realize that, while ASD was responsible for the Friday rollout and was listed in the press release as one of the developers of the curriculum, the issue extended as well to two other organizations that, according to ASD, played a larger role in developing the materials.
Those organizations are the University of Alaska – Fairbanks division of “eLearning & Distance Education,” which appears to have set up a website containing the materials used by ASD entitled “Alaska’s Fiscal Future: Educational resources for solving Alaska’s fiscal challenges,” and the Alaska Council on Economic Education, which describes itself as “a non-profit partnership of leaders in business, economics and education who are devoted to advancing the economic way of thinking so an informed public understands economics, shapes their future and advocates sound personal, local and national economic policies” and, according to ASD, helped set up the in-service day. The Board of Directors of the Council is available here.
I have long admired and respected the efforts of both organizations and readily anticipate that their efforts in developing the curriculum are motivated by the best of intentions. For the same reason as I outlined yesterday in my letter to ASD, however, their use and adoption of the DOR model as the “center” of the curriculum materials is problematic.
Consistent with my letter yesterday to ASD, this morning I sent a letter also to those involved in the effort at the UAF eLearning division and ACEE. A copy follows: