Two-thirds of Alaska Native students in Juneau drop out of school prior to graduation. One-third of children from all other ethnic groups drop out of Juneau public schools. These statistics are reprehensible. And, the proposed school building in the valley is not the solution to this problem.
The real solution resides in the development of new, innovative, data-driven curricula proven and tested in other, similar school settings. Rather than a new building, our school board and superintendent should invest their energy in advocating for, and finding funding to produce, lower student-teacher ratios; assessment instruments with appropriate checks for bias, reliability, and validity (including cultural validity); effective drug and alcohol programs; an improved content and image for vocational programs; and the list goes on.
A new building is superfluous, unless it provides an entirely different program for those students who are unable to complete high school at Juneau-Douglas High School.
It's the program, not the building, that needs to change. Supporting this proposition will not increase the likelihood of a larger operating budget in the future.
Support new programs, not a new building. Vote no on Proposition 1.
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