Education board considers new Native language opportunities

Public comment is being sought by the Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development on regulations on Native languages, teacher certification and assessment participation guidelines.

The proposed amendment to the Native language regulation would expand opportunities for students to meet any world language requirements and update the term “foreign language” to “world language,” to include non-English languages including Alaska Native, American Indian and American Sign Language.

Including these options in the world languages definition and providing additional options to take these courses would create more opportunity for students working to meet Alaska Performance Scholarship requirements, graduation requirements and college entrance requirements with an Alaska Native language, the board said.

Proposed regulations for teacher certification address two of six essential areas identified by the Governor’s Working Group on Teacher Retention and Recruitment, including expanding certification pathways simplifying qualifications and streamlining the certification process.

Public comment will also be sought on proposed amendments to regulations on administering statewide assessments for students with disabilities.

The 30-day public comment period is to begin when the proposed regulation changes are posted in the state of Alaska’s Online Public Notices.