Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/13/2004 11:07 AM House EDU

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION                                                                            
                         April 13, 2004                                                                                         
                           11:07 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Carl Gatto, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Paul Seaton, Vice Chair                                                                                          
Representative Dan Ogg                                                                                                          
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Mary Kapsner                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 84                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to a curriculum for Alaska history; and                                                                        
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHB 84(EDU) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
HOUSE BILL NO. 551                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to the issuance of teacher  certificates to and                                                               
revocation  of  teacher  certificates  of  persons  convicted  of                                                               
felony  drug offenses  and  to the  issuance  of limited  teacher                                                               
certificates to  persons convicted of certain  crimes involving a                                                               
minor and felony drug offenses."                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB  84                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA HISTORY CURRICULUM                                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KAPSNER                                                                                           
02/07/03       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/07/03       (H)       EDU, HES, FIN                                                                                          
04/13/04       (H)       EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                            
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MARJORIE MENZI, Project Director                                                                                                
Alaska History Curriculum Development Program                                                                                   
Alaska Humanities Forum                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented a power point  presentation on HB
84 and answered questions from the members.                                                                                     
IRA PERMAN, Executive Director                                                                                                  
Alaska Humanities Forum                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented a  power point presentation to the                                                               
committee, testified in support of  HB 84, and answered questions                                                               
from the members.                                                                                                               
TIM STEELE, Member                                                                                                              
Anchorage School Board                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of HB  84 and answered                                                               
questions from the members.                                                                                                     
STEVE HAYCOX, Ph.D.                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 84.                                                                             
KEVIN SWEENEY, Legislative Liaison                                                                                              
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on  HB 84 and  answered questions                                                               
from the committee.                                                                                                             
BARBARA THOMPSON, Director                                                                                                      
Teaching and Learning Support                                                                                                   
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on  HB 84 and  answered questions                                                               
from the committee.                                                                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 04-18, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR CARL GATTO called the  House Special Committee on Education                                                             
meeting to  order at 11:07  a.m.  Representatives  Gatto, Seaton,                                                               
Wilson,  Ogg, and  Kapsner were  present  at the  call to  order.                                                               
Representatives  Wolf and  Gara  arrived as  the  meeting was  in                                                               
HB  84-ALASKA HISTORY CURRICULUM                                                                                              
Number 0035                                                                                                                     
CHAIR GATTO announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 84, "An Act  relating to a curriculum  for Alaska                                                               
history; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
Number 0043                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  MARY   KAPSNER,  Alaska  State   Legislature,  as                                                               
sponsor,  testified on  HB  84 and  answered  questions from  the                                                               
members.   She told the  members that  this bill requires  that a                                                               
student must [pass] this Alaska  History course before graduating                                                               
from high  school.   It directs the  Department of  Education and                                                               
Early Development  to develop a standards-based  curriculum.  The                                                               
hope is this  course would be one of six  required social studies                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  shared that U.S. Senator  Ted Stevens has                                                               
provided  for  an  appropriation through  the  Alaska  Humanities                                                               
Forum  which has  given  the Department  of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development  to issue  a zero  fiscal note  on this  legislation.                                                               
She told  the members  that Marjorie Menzi  will be  presenting a                                                               
power  point  presentation.   Marjorie  formerly  worked for  the                                                               
Department of Education  and Early Development and  now works for                                                               
the  Alaska  Humanities Forum  specifically  working  to get  the                                                               
Alaska History curriculum in high schools.                                                                                      
Number 0182                                                                                                                     
MARJORIE  MENZI,  Project  Director,  Alaska  History  Curriculum                                                               
Development Program,  Alaska Humanities Forum, presented  a power                                                               
point  presentation on  HB  84 and  answered  questions from  the                                                               
members.  She noted that  the presentation is actually being done                                                               
jointly with Ira Perman who is on-line from Anchorage.                                                                          
Number 0229                                                                                                                     
IRA   PERMAN,  Executive   Director,  Alaska   Humanities  Forum,                                                               
presented a power point presentation  to the committee, testified                                                               
in support of HB 84 and  answered questions from the members.  He                                                               
told the committee that Marjorie  Menzi, the Project Director for                                                               
the  Alaska  History  Curriculum Development  Program,  which  is                                                               
developing  a  course for  Alaska  history  for all  Alaska  high                                                               
schools students.  He told  the members that the curriculum would                                                               
be   presented   to  the   members   through   the  power   point                                                               
presentation.   Mr. Perman added that  he and Ms. Menzi  would be                                                               
available to  answer questions from the  committee throughout the                                                               
presentation.     He  said  that   after  the  members   see  the                                                               
presentation he hopes HB 84 will  be passed out of committee with                                                               
a "do pass" recommendation.                                                                                                     
MR. PERMAN  reminded the members  that about  a month and  a half                                                               
ago during U.S. Senator Ted  Stevens address to the joint session                                                               
of the legislature he said the following:                                                                                       
     The Alaska  Humanities Forum is developing  a statewide                                                                    
     curriculum  in Alaskan  History.   It is  my hope  that                                                                    
     this  curriculum  will  enable  future  generations  to                                                                    
     grasp and preserve what it means to be 'Alaskan'.                                                                          
Number 0468                                                                                                                     
MR. PERMAN commented that everyone is  aware of the fact that the                                                               
state faces unusually difficult  fiscal times, but Representative                                                               
Kapsner said  thanks to Senator Stevens'  this bill has a  zero a                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
MR. PERMAN  offered that some  might question why  Alaska history                                                               
should be  required at this time.   He explained that  there is a                                                               
large national  awareness that democracy is  not self-sufficient.                                                               
It  must be  taught to  every generation.   It  is important  for                                                               
students to  learn about  our history and  about our  values, and                                                               
government  institutions, so  that  each generation  participates                                                               
and  continues  to  be  involved.   Including  this  course  will                                                               
prepare our students  to be knowledgeable adults.   Shortly after                                                               
taking  this course  the students  will be  eligible to  vote, he                                                               
pointed out.   To  be a  good voter  a person  needs to  know the                                                               
state's  history,   how  the  government  works,   cultures,  and                                                               
geography.   Mr.  Perman emphasized  that  everyone is  concerned                                                               
about our  future generations  and want them  to stay  in Alaska.                                                               
If they have a  sense of what it means to be  Alaskan, it is more                                                               
likely they will stay here.                                                                                                     
Number 0614                                                                                                                     
MR.  PERMAN   explained  that  [the   map  in  the   power  point                                                               
presentation  shows]  how Alaska  history  is  taught across  the                                                               
state.   There are  52 school  districts, and  for the  most part                                                               
Alaska history  is taught at  the elementary school level.   Some                                                               
school districts  teach Alaska history  at the high  school level                                                               
as an elective,  he added.  In the rural  areas of Alaska, Alaska                                                               
history  is  a  required  course that  all  students  must  take.                                                               
However,  Mr. Perman  pointed out  that in  the highly  populated                                                               
areas  such as  Anchorage, Fairbanks,  Juneau, Sitka,  Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna, and  Kenai areas, if Alaska  history is taught it  is an                                                               
elective  at the  high  school level.   He  added  that very  few                                                               
students  actually take  the course.   So  these students  emerge                                                               
from high  school with  very little knowledge  of what  Alaska is                                                               
all about,  he summarized.   He told  the members that  this bill                                                               
would require  that every  high school  student have  completed a                                                               
high school level course in Alaska history.                                                                                     
Number 0719                                                                                                                     
MR. PERMAN said  that their research shows that of  the 50 states                                                               
47  require either  through state  law or  regulation that  their                                                               
high  school students  take their  state's history  course.   The                                                               
laws also set the grade level  at which the course must be taken,                                                               
he added.  Another interesting  point that was discovered is that                                                               
most  states  require  that students  take  the  course  multiple                                                               
times, for example at the  elementary level, the secondary level,                                                               
and again  at the high school  level.  There is  a big difference                                                               
in what is taught.  At  the elementary level the teacher may pose                                                               
the questions, "Do  you know that you have a  permanent fund?  Do                                                               
you know that you will receive a  check?  Do you know how much it                                                               
is?"  Then the  question is:  "Do you know  where it comes from?"                                                               
At the high  school level the questions would  be something like,                                                               
"How did the  permanent fund come to be?"   This would bring into                                                               
question Alaska's political process and  how the state works.  He                                                               
summarized that Alaska History at  the high school level is going                                                               
to be far more in-depth.                                                                                                        
Number 0865                                                                                                                     
MR.  PERMAN  told the  members  that  the  good news  about  this                                                               
legislation is  that there  will be  no cost to  the state.   The                                                               
funding has been provided by  Senator Stevens.  It was determined                                                               
a couple of years ago that  there just wasn't enough money in the                                                               
state's  budget to  make an  effort  like this  happen.   Senator                                                               
Stevens made  it his mission to  ensure that money did  not stand                                                               
in the way of making this  happen.  All the costs associated with                                                               
putting this in  place was in the president's budget  and will be                                                               
administered  through  the  Department  of  Education  and  Early                                                               
Development.   The  course is  under development  now.   Marjorie                                                               
Menzi who  is the project director  will give a brief  summary on                                                               
the status of its development.   The funds have been provided for                                                               
the classroom materials and teacher training.                                                                                   
Number 0992                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI  explained that the  course is a  web-based curriculum,                                                               
not a distance-delivered  curriculum.  This course  will be using                                                               
the web  as resource material, but  it will be produced  on a CD,                                                               
and  there will  be  one for  every student  and  teacher in  the                                                               
state.   There will also  be a  printed teacher's guide  with the                                                               
lessons and  activities that will  be on the  CD.  There  will be                                                               
standardized student assessment to  ensure that the students have                                                               
Number 1190                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI  told the members  that there is a  28-member committee                                                               
of  primarily educators  and community  leaders  from around  the                                                               
state who  have directed  the development of  the course.   These                                                               
individuals have  identified the six main  narratives themes that                                                               
will  be  the  basis  of  the course.    Chronology  will  be  an                                                               
important  part as  it relates  to world  history.   It was  also                                                               
decided that  regional history  will be  included because  of the                                                               
rich regional  history that has  already been developed  by local                                                               
school districts.                                                                                                               
MS. MENZI  explained that the  committee will  identify essential                                                               
questions and  enduring understandings that students  should have                                                               
as  a result  of taking  this course.   The  six themes  that are                                                               
being  developed are  geography,  cultures,  Russian period,  the                                                               
early American  period, government  or statehood  governance, and                                                               
post statehood  and current  events.  She  told the  members that                                                               
all of the  authors are affiliated with the  University of Alaska                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
     Geography - Dr. Roger Pearson                                                                                              
     Cultures - Paul Ongtooguk                                                                                                  
     Russian Period - Dr. Steve Haycox                                                                                          
     Early American Period - Jo Antonson                                                                                        
     Government - Dr. Terrance Cole                                                                                             
     Post Statehood/Current Events - Dr. Steve Haycox                                                                           
MS. MENZI  told the members that  all of the main  narratives are                                                               
currently  being  worked  on.     Because  this  is  a  web-based                                                               
curriculum it  will be possible to  incorporate primary documents                                                               
from the  Virtual Library and  Digital Archives (VILDA)  from the                                                               
Alaska  state  historical  library.   The  University  of  Alaska                                                               
Fairbanks  has been  working on  what  is called  the "Juke  Box"                                                               
project which is  an oral history collection and  which will also                                                               
be available for the class.   Ms. Menzi shared that there will be                                                               
a section on  biographies.  Many of our history  makers are still                                                               
alive and there is a  great effort to capture their retrospective                                                               
thoughts on what they lived through.   That will also be included                                                               
in the curriculum through the Juke Box project.                                                                                 
Number 1345                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI  shared that another special  feature available through                                                               
the  class  is a  virtual  field  trips.    There are  many  site                                                               
currently  up and  filled  with information,  so  by guiding  the                                                               
students  through  these  virtual  field  trips  it  will  enable                                                               
students to  experience a lot  of Alaska  that they might  not be                                                               
able to  visit.  As  the former Director  of the Alaska  Close Up                                                               
Program  she  became aware  of  the  fact  that  so many  of  the                                                               
students from Northern  Alaska had no idea  what Southeast Alaska                                                               
was like,  and students  from Southeast Alaska  had no  idea what                                                               
Northern Alaska  was like.   In the  1980s it was  her experience                                                               
that most of  the students had no idea what  the Capitol was like                                                               
and what  happened there.   Virtual field  trips will  enable the                                                               
students to experience historical  monuments and landmarks around                                                               
the state, she said.  She  emphasized that because this is a web-                                                               
based  course students  will  be  able to  visit  sites like  the                                                               
Alskool site on  Alaska Native cultures, the  oral history sites,                                                               
and  government  sites.    She explained  that  the  course  will                                                               
largely use public  domain sites because it is  very expensive to                                                               
get copy write permissions for private materials.                                                                               
Number 1450                                                                                                                     
MS.  MENZI  said  that  a  special  assessment  tool  called  the                                                               
culminating  project.    This was  implemented  by  the  National                                                               
History  Day  program  which encourages  students  to  develop  a                                                               
culminating project in  their studies.  For  example, the student                                                               
could either  do an exhibit,  performance, paper,  or documentary                                                               
which   demonstrates  the   knowledge  obtained   through  Alaska                                                               
history, she commented.   There have been students  in Alaska who                                                               
have  been recognized  in National  History  Day competition  for                                                               
their contributions  and have been published  in national history                                                               
MS. MENZI  told the  members that the  committee is  working with                                                               
Lucid Reverie LLC  in developing a site.  Many  other state model                                                               
curriculums  were studied  to  determine  what important  feature                                                               
should be on  the site.  Some of the  things that were identified                                                               
were the  historical timeline.  The  dates used will be  the same                                                               
as those  used by the  library to do  their VILDA project  so the                                                               
timelines  will be  in sync.   She  emphasized that  there is  an                                                               
effort  to work  collaboratively  with anything  that might  have                                                               
input  into   this  project.     For  example,  the   project  is                                                               
collaborating  with the  museum in  Anchorage which  is currently                                                               
doing arts curriculum on-line and  it will be incorporated in the                                                               
history curriculum, she said.                                                                                                   
Number 1658                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI  provided a brief  visual overview  of the site  to the                                                               
members.  [The CD is  available through Alaska History Curriculum                                                               
Development Program,  Alaska Humanities Forum, the  Department of                                                               
Education and  Early Development.]   She emphasized  that funding                                                               
for teacher training was also  provided by Senator Stevens.  This                                                               
summer 30  teachers will be trained  at UAA, will then  pilot the                                                               
course, it  will be  revised to  address what  does and  does not                                                               
work in the classrooms.                                                                                                         
Number 1801                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  GATTO announced  for the  record that  Representative Gara                                                               
has been in the meeting for the entire presentation.                                                                            
Number 1810                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  told  the  members that  this  bill  has                                                               
widespread  support throughout  the  state.   She  said that  the                                                               
following groups are in support of this legislation:                                                                            
     Commonwealth North                                                                                                         
     Humanities Forum                                                                                                           
     Alaska Historical Commission                                                                                               
     Anchorage Chamber of Commerce                                                                                              
     Alaska Equal Rights Commission                                                                                             
     CIRI Foundation                                                                                                            
     Alaska Resource Development Council                                                                                        
     Former governors                                                                                                           
     National Education Association                                                                                             
     Alaska Association of School Administrators                                                                                
     Alaska Municipal League                                                                                                    
     Alaska Geographic Society                                                                                                  
     Palmer Historical Society                                                                                                  
     First Alaskans Foundation                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  pointed to the many  supportive newspaper                                                               
editorials that have been included in the members' packets.                                                                     
CHAIR GATTO asked  if there are any organized  groups that oppose                                                               
HB 84.                                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER replied not to her knowledge.                                                                            
Number 1868                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  complimented Ms. Menzi on  her efforts and                                                               
enthusiasm for this project.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA asked  if the  courses  currently taught  in                                                               
Anchorage are the same as those that would be taught statewide.                                                                 
Number 1903                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI commented that the  Anchorage School District adopted a                                                               
requirement for  a semester course  in Alaska history  last year.                                                               
The project  is working very closely  with them.  She  noted that                                                               
the Anchorage  School District  is doing  a training  this summer                                                               
for their  teachers which is  separate from the training  we will                                                               
be providing.   She emphasized that the courses  are being merged                                                               
and  next year  everything  will  be in  sync.    The course  the                                                               
project will provide will be on CD.                                                                                             
CHAIR GATTO asked how the student uses the CD.                                                                                  
MS. MENZI responded that it is used just like a textbook.                                                                       
CHAIR GATTO commented that the student must have a computer.                                                                    
MS. MENZI  pointed out that  if the  teacher has one  computer in                                                               
her classroom, he/she  could use it as has been  done here in the                                                               
committee room.   It is also  possible to print out  the portions                                                               
of the  CD and give reading  assignments.  The CD's  can be taken                                                               
home, used  at the  library, or  computer labs.   She  noted that                                                               
this will  be an  innovation.   She said  that the  Department of                                                               
Education  and  Early  Development  can  confirm  this,  but  she                                                               
believes  98-99 percent  of  Alaskan students  have  access to  a                                                               
computer and Internet connection.                                                                                               
CHAIR GATTO  added that in Rural  Alaska in some cases  there are                                                               
14 students in  a class and all are issued  a laptop computer for                                                               
classroom use.   He asked  if Anchorage adopted  this requirement                                                               
on its own without a state law.                                                                                                 
MS. MENZI  replied that is  correct.  The Anchorage  School Board                                                               
adopted this requirement.                                                                                                       
CHAIR GATTO  asked if  there is  some justification  for imposing                                                               
this  class rather  than allowing  school districts  consider and                                                               
adopt this requirement.                                                                                                         
MS. MENZI  replied that there  are some districts that  have been                                                               
reluctant  to   adopt  it.     Anchorage's  leadership   will  be                                                               
significant in  terms of local  adoption, but there  are students                                                               
who are not  getting this.  She shared that  five of her children                                                               
went to Juneau  Douglas High School, and none of  them are in the                                                               
state.   They  each graduated  from  college and  are all  living                                                               
elsewhere, she commented.  She  said she believes it is important                                                               
for students to  study their state and realize  how unique Alaska                                                               
Number 2133                                                                                                                     
MR. PERMAN  commented that most  school districts simply  did not                                                               
have the resources to put this  course in place.  It is expensive                                                               
to develop  a course, train  teachers, and provide  materials for                                                               
the course work.   He emphasized that he has  not encountered any                                                               
school districts that  have philosophical opposition to  this.  A                                                               
poll a few  years ago asked if it was  believed that Alaskan high                                                               
school students  should learn Alaska  history and the  result was                                                               
that 91 percent said yes.                                                                                                       
CHAIR GATTO told  Mr. Perman that he is not  opposed to the bill,                                                               
but has  some further questions.   In  reference to the  poll, he                                                               
said he  believes that  there would  be a  positive result  of 91                                                               
percent to teach most subjects.                                                                                                 
MR. PERMAN replied that the  phrasing of the question was "should                                                               
Alaska  history be  required to  be taught  to every  high school                                                               
student  in  Alaska."    Even  though it  was  a  requirement  or                                                               
mandate, the margin was still two  to one in favor of having that                                                               
course taught to Alaska high school students, he said.                                                                          
CHAIR GATTO questioned  what the response would be  if the public                                                               
were asked  which class  of electives should  be deleted  so that                                                               
the student can be taught Alaska history.                                                                                       
MR.  PERMAN  responded   that  the  same  question   came  up  in                                                               
Anchorage.  He commented that the  state requires that there be 6                                                               
semesters in social studies and many  of those are electives.  He                                                               
admitted that  having this course  as a requirement  would remove                                                               
the  opportunity for  students to  take one  of those  electives.                                                               
Mr. Perman  said that school districts  have different electives.                                                               
In Anchorage  there are 49 possible  electives.  He said  that he                                                               
believes  the  local  school  districts will  have  to  make  the                                                               
decision about what elective might not be taught.                                                                               
CHAIR GATTO used  a hypothetical example of  Ms. Menzi's children                                                               
who went  to college.   If they applied  to college with  a third                                                               
year  of  math or  two  years  of math  and  one  year of  Alaska                                                               
History; would the  absence of a third year of  math diminish the                                                               
number of colleges  that might have accepted them, he  asked.  In                                                               
other  words,  he  questioned  whether   the  students  would  be                                                               
penalized for taking Alaska history  and eliminating a chance for                                                               
the students to take a third year of math.                                                                                      
Number 2368                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI commented that since  the students are already required                                                               
by the state  to take six credits in social  studies to graduate,                                                               
this  course would  not  be taking  away a  course  of study  the                                                               
student  could take.   It  is just  part of  the existing  social                                                               
studies requirement, she  emphasized.  It is just  that the state                                                               
does not current dictate what any  of those six semester must be,                                                               
she added.                                                                                                                      
Number 2474                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  shared that  he had received  e-mails from                                                               
the  school  districts he  represents.    The response  from  Sam                                                               
Stewart  of the  Kenai Peninsula  School District  indicated that                                                               
this change will mean that most  schools will not be offering any                                                               
social  studies electives.   He  said it  is interesting  to note                                                               
that in  districts that  offer Alaska history  the course  is not                                                               
taken very much  because other courses are considered  to be more                                                               
important by the students.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said the  other response he  received back                                                               
from Ron Keffler, principal of  Homer High School, indicated that                                                               
he would  prefer not to have  this be a requirement  at this time                                                               
because the school  is still suffering staff cuts.   The school's                                                               
ability to apply sufficient and  appropriate elective courses has                                                               
already been  diminished severely  and this would  exacerbate the                                                               
problem.   Another concern  is that  the social  studies teachers                                                               
that  would   have  to  teach   the  course  are   already  fully                                                               
subscribed.   Representative Seaton  asked Ms.  Menzi if  some of                                                               
the schools  social studies programs  would have to  drop courses                                                               
in order to offer this one.                                                                                                     
Number 2574                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI  replied that  most school  districts offer  or require                                                               
one  year of  American History,  one year  of World  History, and                                                               
some have  a requirement for  a semester  of government.   In the                                                               
Anchorage  School  District  four   credits  social  studies  are                                                               
required, rather than three.   Anchorage also requires a semester                                                               
of economics and  Alaska studies.  A survey was  done a number of                                                               
years  ago  which found  the  most  commonly offered  courses  in                                                               
social studies  were economics,  government, and  Alaska studies.                                                               
One of  the great things about  this program is that  it provides                                                               
for  teacher training.   Even  though all  teachers must  take an                                                               
Alaska  history  course  for  certification,  many  do  not  feel                                                               
comfortable  to teach  it.   The opportunity  for more  intensive                                                               
training is something the teachers welcome, she added.                                                                          
Number 2647                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON clarified that what  Ms. Menzi is saying is                                                               
if  a  school  district  has  a  six  semester  requirement,  and                                                               
required courses include  one year of American  history, one year                                                               
of world history,  one semester of economics and  one semester of                                                               
government; then one of these courses will have to be dropped.                                                                  
MS.  MENZI replied  that the  Alaska  history that  is being  put                                                               
forth has a government component.   Government is also covered in                                                               
American history as  well, she added.  She  emphasized her belief                                                               
that it  is important  for students  to know  the history  of the                                                               
state where they live.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  told the  committee that  he thinks  it is                                                               
great that  there is  a curriculum being  developed that  will be                                                               
available   to  the   districts,   but  explained   that  he   is                                                               
uncomfortable  dictating to  the  districts on  this  point.   He                                                               
noted that  it appears many  of the  rural districts do  not have                                                               
the options for as  many electives.  He said he  is not sure that                                                               
imposing this course on the other districts makes sense.                                                                        
MS. MENZI  commented that the  bulk of  the population is  in the                                                               
urban areas and is not being offered.   That is of course is with                                                               
the exception  of Anchorage which  has 43 percent of  the student                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  said that the nine  school districts that                                                               
do   not   require   Alaska   history   are   Chatham,   Chugach,                                                               
Delta/Greeley,  Denali  Borough,  Fairbanks North  Star  Borough,                                                               
Iditarod Area, Juneau,  Sitka, and Unalaska.   She commented that                                                               
she is the only member of  the committee who was required to take                                                               
an  Alaska  history  course.   Representative  Kapsner  said  she                                                               
graduated from  the Lower-Kuskokwim School District  and was very                                                               
surprised when she learned that  other schools do not require it.                                                               
She said she  is surprised when meeting other  Alaskans and finds                                                               
that they  do not know  that much about  the state in  which they                                                               
live.  Representative Kapsner added  that this topic has been the                                                               
subject  of   discussion  for  many   years.     Senator  Hensley                                                               
introduced  a resolution  in  the early  1980s  urging an  Alaska                                                               
history course.   Even  after the  resolution passed,  few school                                                               
districts heeded that resolution.                                                                                               
Number 2846                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA commented  that he  believes there  are many                                                               
reasons this  bill is important.   A lot of flexibility  has been                                                               
taken  away  from schools  because  of  the standardized  testing                                                               
The committee took an at-ease from 11:53 a.m. to 11:54 a.m.                                                                     
Number 2879                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  pointed  out  that with  the  exception  of                                                               
Anchorage, the areas  where kids are not  learning Alaska history                                                               
are urban  areas.  He  added that these  are areas where  most of                                                               
the population  does not  grow up in  Alaska.   Without requiring                                                               
that Alaska  history be  taught most of  these children  will not                                                               
have the benefit of learning  about it.  Representative Gara said                                                               
he  believes these  kids are  the ones  who are  most in  need of                                                               
having pride  in where they are  from.  He told  the members that                                                               
there are 25 co-sponsors of this  bill, which he believes is more                                                               
than almost any other bill before the legislature this year.                                                                    
TAPE 04-18, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2955                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA acknowledged  Representative Seaton's concern                                                               
that there is  only so much class time, but  said he believes the                                                               
need  for it  rests  on its  merits.   He  corrected his  earlier                                                               
statement that  there are  25 co-sponsor,  there are  actually 29                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON noted  that there  could be  other reasons                                                               
why  schools do  not  teach  Alaska history.    For example,  she                                                               
shared that  when she  grew up  40 some years  ago in  Iowa, Iowa                                                               
studies was  a required  course.  She  commented that  she cannot                                                               
remember a  single thing  that she  learned in  that class.   The                                                               
advantage  Alaska has  is an  incredible  curriculum that  almost                                                               
anyone  could  teach.   Representative  Wilson  commented that  a                                                               
couple of years ago when this  issue came up many schools did not                                                               
want it because it was an  unfunded mandate.  Now the funding has                                                               
been  provided.   She  summarized  her  comments by  saying  that                                                               
legislators should be  doing all they can to ensure  that some of                                                               
Alaska's  kids come  back  to Alaska.   This  course  could be  a                                                               
Number 2850                                                                                                                     
CHAIR GATTO  asked Ms. Menzi if  Alaska history is taught  in 4th                                                               
grade,  U.S. history  in  5th  grade, and  world  history in  6th                                                               
Number 2832                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI replied yes, that is commonly  done.  It is taught in a                                                               
cursory  fashion because  the  students  are not  developmentally                                                               
able  to deal  with very  complex thought  processes in  terms of                                                               
issues such  as the permanent fund.   As high schoolers  they are                                                               
much  more mature  learners and  they have  the ability  to grasp                                                               
complex concepts, she added.                                                                                                    
CHAIR GATTO asked if Ms.  Menzi would suggest deleting the course                                                               
from the elementary curriculum.                                                                                                 
MS.  MENZI responded  absolutely not.   She  commented that  many                                                               
states  require their  state's  history be  taught  two or  three                                                               
times, elementary, middle school, and high school level.                                                                        
Number 2745                                                                                                                     
TIM STEELE, Member, Anchorage School  Board, testified in support                                                               
of HB 84 and answered questions  from the members.  The Anchorage                                                               
School  Board believes  that every  student graduating  from high                                                               
school should have a demonstrable  knowledge of Alaska's history,                                                               
he said.  He commented that there  is a reason why 47 states have                                                               
this requirement.   Alaska needs  it more than others  because we                                                               
have a  rich broad history.   He  said whenever traveling  to the                                                               
Lower  48 states  people are  very  intrigued with  Alaska.   Mr.                                                               
Steele  said he  believes  we  need to  be  good ambassadors  for                                                               
MR. STEELE  told the members  that the Anchorage  School District                                                               
is working  very closely with  the Alaska Humanities Forum.   The                                                               
requirement for completion of an  Alaska history course goes into                                                               
effect this year, he added.  He urged support of HB 84.                                                                         
Number 2670                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked  Mr. Steele to respond  to the question                                                               
concerning  the  effect  of requiring  this  course  which  would                                                               
remove an option for an additional elective course.                                                                             
Number 2647                                                                                                                     
MR. STEELE  responded that it  was a big issue,  particularly for                                                               
students who  are high achieving  students or  advanced placement                                                               
students that wanted to take extra  language or math courses.  He                                                               
said  that he  believes those  students will  take extra  classes                                                               
anyway.    The  school  board felt  that  it  was  overwhelmingly                                                               
obvious that students need to  have a common understanding of our                                                               
state.  So many come from somewhere else, he added.                                                                             
CHAIR GATTO asked  if this was a school board  decision and asked                                                               
what the vote was.                                                                                                              
MR. STEELE responded that the vote  was 7-0 in favor of requiring                                                               
the course.                                                                                                                     
Number 2601                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  Mr. Steele  if he  believes if  the                                                               
state had made  the decision and dictated the  requirement of the                                                               
course if it  would have created a different  reaction within the                                                               
MR. STEELE acknowledged that it  probably would have been a "burr                                                               
under  our saddle"  to be  told  to do  it.   When examining  the                                                               
rationale, it is found to be a  good rationale, he said.  He said                                                               
he believes  it is important  to have common  standards thoughout                                                               
the  state.   The materials  that are  being developed  will make                                                               
this a huge resource to the schools.                                                                                            
Number 2531                                                                                                                     
STEVE HAYCOX, Ph.D.  testified in support of HB 84.   He told the                                                               
committee he is  a former history professor at  the University of                                                               
Alaska,  and  has  been published  by  University  of  Washington                                                               
Press,  and was  the Chair  of the  Alaska Humanities  Forum when                                                               
this initiative  was adopted  to work for  this requirement.   He                                                               
commented  that his  wife teaches  honors world  history in  West                                                               
High School and  is one of ten teachers last  year who taught the                                                               
Alaska studies pilot  course at West High School.   She currently                                                               
is currently  in Kotlik with  four West High School  students who                                                               
will be spending the week going to school there.                                                                                
Number 2456                                                                                                                     
DR. HAYCOX  pointed out that  a certain number of  language arts,                                                               
math, and  science credits  are mandated statewide.   He  said he                                                               
believes it is important to  be comfortable with mandating Alaska                                                               
history  in understanding  where  and  who we  are.   Dr.  Haycox                                                               
shared that the  developmental issue is important.   One question                                                               
that needs to be answered by the  students is "so what".  What is                                                               
important  about  Alaska history.    For  example, he  said  that                                                               
Ernest  Gruening was  governor of  Alaska.   It is  important for                                                               
students  to know  that he  dedicated himself  to getting  Alaska                                                               
admitted in the union as a state.   He agreed with Ms. Menzi that                                                               
the  developmental   track  is  significant  and   repetition  is                                                               
important, but not  just repetition, it is taking it  to a deeper                                                               
understanding each time the student is exposed to it.                                                                           
DR.  HAYCOX  commented  on  Representative  Seaton's  concern  by                                                               
saying  that in  the  Anchorage School  Districts students  still                                                               
have  a   free  elective  even   with  the  new   Alaska  history                                                               
requirement.  He emphasized that  the school board looked closely                                                               
at this issue and satisfied  those concerns that the course could                                                               
be required and still ensure a free elective.                                                                                   
DR.  HAYCOCK agreed  with  Representative Gara  that  this is  an                                                               
essential  course.   For  example,  kids  going to  Service  High                                                               
School have  no idea  who Robert  Service was,  or kids  going to                                                               
Bartlett High School have no idea who Bob Bartlett was.                                                                         
Number 2152                                                                                                                     
MR. PERMAN added an observation  that his daughter graduated from                                                               
West High School  without taking the Alaska studies  course.  She                                                               
did  have the  opportunity  spend  time in  Rural  Alaska and  at                                                               
culture camps.   He explained that when applying  for college the                                                               
transcripts were sent  that told how many  advance placement (AP)                                                               
courses  were  taken.   He  asked  if  it will  disadvantage  his                                                               
daughter if  she has less AP  courses than another student.   The                                                               
answer is  no.  What the  colleges look for is  that the students                                                               
took  as many  as possible  to take.   So  a student  in a  rural                                                               
school  district that  does  not  offer AP  courses  is rated  as                                                               
highly  as  a  student  with  five AP  courses.    She  used  the                                                               
opportunity  of her  essay to  write  about Alaska  and what  she                                                               
learned  about  the  two  or  three  weeks  she  spent  in  small                                                               
community.  That  was the one thing in her  application that made                                                               
it possible for  her to get into  a very fine school.   By having                                                               
that understanding  of what it means  to be an Alaskan,  she is a                                                               
little unique  and grounded.  He  believes she will come  back to                                                               
Alaska, contribute to the state, and  not just wander off to some                                                               
other state.                                                                                                                    
Number 1932                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON commented that  of the six school districts                                                               
she  represents  four  already   have  Alaska  history  in  their                                                               
curriculum, and  of the  school districts  that do  not currently                                                               
teach it,  none of  them responded  negatively to  including this                                                               
CHAIR  GATTO  commented  that  the  question  that  needs  to  be                                                               
answered is  if most  of the districts  already have  the course,                                                               
should  the requirement  be imposed  upon those  school districts                                                               
that do not.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  replied  that  if this  was  an  unfunded                                                               
mandate she probably  would not support it, but  because there is                                                               
no  cost to  the  schools, she  believes  it is  a  good for  the                                                               
students to learn Alaska history.                                                                                               
CHAIR  GATTO  pointed out  that  the  program will  be  available                                                               
anyway.   It simply means  that it will be  up to the  schools to                                                               
adopt the  course of study  or not.   He said he  doesn't believe                                                               
anyone  objects to  teaching Alaska  history,  but he  questioned                                                               
whether the local  school districts should decide what  is in the                                                               
best interest of their students, rather than the legislature.                                                                   
Number 1820                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA acknowledged  that  the  state does  mandate                                                               
courses that  will be  taken.   There is  a compelling  case that                                                               
Alaska  history should  be  part  of the  fabric  that forms  the                                                               
educational system.   Just  the fact  that most  school districts                                                               
have  adopted   Alaska  history  courses  shows   that  they  are                                                               
sensitive to its importance, he added.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE GARA shared that he grew  up in New York where its                                                               
history was really  colonial history that was not  unlike that of                                                               
Vermont,  New  Jersey  and Massachusetts  because  they  are  all                                                               
connected.  He  pointed out that Alaska has  a uniquely different                                                               
history than any  other state.  There are cultures  in this state                                                               
that have  been here for thousands  of years.  He  commented that                                                               
there  is  a  huge  transient  population in  Alaska  and  it  is                                                               
important  for those  students to  know  about their  state.   He                                                               
shared that he  just complete a book entitle Edge  of No Where by                                                             
Jimmy  Huntington  which  talked about  the  Huntington  family's                                                               
experience  in  Alaska at  the  turn  of  the  century.   It  was                                                               
fascinating,  he  said.     Representative  Gara  reiterated  the                                                               
course's importance and urged the members to pass HB 84.                                                                        
Number 1540                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  told the  members  that  he is  fully  in                                                               
support of the  development of this curriculum.   He has concerns                                                               
as were expressed by the  Kenai Peninsula School District and the                                                               
Homer  High School  as  to what  will have  to  be eliminated  to                                                               
accomplish this  mandate.   He pointed out  that he  believes the                                                               
Anchorage School District's local  decision-making process was an                                                               
important element in requiring Alaska  history in its curriculum.                                                               
There  is  a  very  big   difference  between  what  happened  in                                                               
Anchorage and a  state mandate to local communities  who have not                                                               
bought into  this proposal.   He emphasized that a  local process                                                               
in  adopting this  course is  essential.   Representative  Seaton                                                               
told the  members that  he supports  the bill  but would  like to                                                               
offer an amendment.                                                                                                             
CHAIR  GATTO   asked  for  Representative  Seaton   to  hold  his                                                               
amendment until the members conclude their discussions.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  he  believes that  this  is a  great                                                               
curriculum.   Once  it is  offered  to districts,  there will  be                                                               
discussions  and he  believes there  will buy-in  to the  idea of                                                               
including  Alaska history  in their  curriculums.   He summarized                                                               
that he  is only uncomfortable  with the mandated portion  of the                                                               
CHAIR GATTO  commented that Representative Gara  pointed out that                                                               
there  are 29  co-sponsors of  HB  84.   He asked  Representative                                                               
Kapsner  if she  believes  if  a majority  of  the members  wants                                                               
something then it should be forced upon the minority.                                                                           
Number 1377                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER responded  that  is  an unfair  question.                                                               
She said that  if there is majority support for  a bill it should                                                               
go to the floor for a vote.  That is done every day, she added.                                                                 
CHAIR GATTO  agreed that the bill  will go to the  floor, but his                                                               
question is  really about  districts which  Representative Seaton                                                               
represents  that do  not want  the bill.   He  commented that  he                                                               
finds it  ironic.   There is  a fairness  question as  to whether                                                               
districts who do  not want to include this course  will be forced                                                               
to do it.                                                                                                                       
Number 1320                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER said she sees  that in many state statutes                                                               
now.   Not just in  education but in  many other aspects  of law.                                                               
The legislature  comes together to  decide what is in  the common                                                               
good's  interest, and  although it  might not  be convenient  for                                                               
everyone,  there  is agreement  that  something  is in  the  best                                                               
interest of our state or community.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA commented  that he  recently support  a very                                                               
good bill by Chair Gatto  that required carbon monoxide detectors                                                               
in homes.  There was a minority  of people that did not want that                                                               
to be a mandate and it  was decided the benefits far out weighted                                                               
the detriments.   He said he  thinks HB 84 is  another example of                                                               
the benefits far out weighing the detriments.                                                                                   
Number 1194                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to adopt  Amendment 1, which reads as                                                               
     Page 2, line 7                                                                                                             
     Delete "shall"                                                                                                             
     Insert "may"                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER objected.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON told  the  committee  that this  amendment                                                               
retains the provision that the  Department of Education and Early                                                               
Development  shall  develop  a standard  based  Alaska  [history]                                                               
curriculum and each school board  may implement the curriculum in                                                               
their classrooms.   He  summarized that the  only change  is that                                                               
the  school districts  will make  the determination  within their                                                               
own districts as to whether it implements this course.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON asked  where the  Department of  Education                                                               
and Early Development stands on this bill.                                                                                      
Number 1096                                                                                                                     
KEVIN SWEENEY,  Legislative Liaison, Office of  the Commissioner,                                                               
Department of  Education and Early  Development, testified  on HB
84  and answered  questions  from  the committee.    He told  the                                                               
members  that this  issue has  been before  the current  Board of                                                               
Education three times in the last  year.  This bill would require                                                               
the board to do an activity  that the board already has the power                                                               
to do.  If the board wanted  to mandate Alaska history as part of                                                               
the required curriculum,  the board could do that  without HB 84.                                                               
The  board  received  the  same   presentation  from  the  Alaska                                                               
Humanities Forum  in March.   The  board is  taking some  time to                                                               
consider  whether this  is something  it wishes  to mandate  as a                                                               
graduation requirement.   Mr. Sweeney  summarized that  the board                                                               
has not taken  an official position on this issue  yet.  He added                                                               
that the  presentation was  well received, but  it has  not taken                                                               
action yet.   Mr. Sweeney commented that he did  not know if this                                                               
issue would be taken up at the June board meeting.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  said that  it was her  understanding that                                                               
this issue would be taken up at the September board meeting.                                                                    
MR. SWEENEY  replied that  he is  not sure if  the board  will be                                                               
addressing  this  in  September.    The board  has  not  taken  a                                                               
position  against  the bill  whatsoever,  it  is looking  at  the                                                               
issue, he said.   Mr. Sweeney clarified that it  would be odd for                                                               
the  board to  support a  bill that  has the  legislature telling                                                               
them to do what it already has the power to do.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked if the amendment  would restrict the                                                               
Board  of  Education's  ability  to   mandate  the  course  as  a                                                               
requirement for graduation.                                                                                                     
MR. SWEENEY said if the amendment  passed he is not sure what the                                                               
effect of the bill would be.   He reiterated that the board would                                                               
still have the  power to mandate Alaska history  as a requirement                                                               
of graduation.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  asked if Mr.  Sweeney knows  what percentage                                                               
of teachers move to Alaska from out of state.                                                                                   
Number 0796                                                                                                                     
MR. SWEENEY replied that most teachers are not from Alaska.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  asked Mr.  Sweeney if  he believes  it would                                                               
serve  Alaskan students  well  to have  their  teachers know  and                                                               
understand Alaska history.                                                                                                      
MR. SWEENEY  commented that he is  not an educator and  asked for                                                               
Barbara Thompson to respond to that questions.                                                                                  
CHAIR  GATTO asked  for  clarification  of Representative  Gara's                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said  he is wondering if  by mandating Alaska                                                               
history if a side benefit of  the bill would be that the teachers                                                               
would also understand Alaska's history.                                                                                         
CHAIR GATTO  commented that he  wonders if a teacher  could teach                                                               
Alaska history  without ever  taking a  class in  Alaska history.                                                               
He  asked Ms.  Thompson how  many teachers  come from  outside of                                                               
Alaska to teach.                                                                                                                
Number 0564                                                                                                                     
BARBARA  THOMPSON,  Director,   Teaching  and  Learning  Support,                                                               
Department of  Education and Early  Development, testified  on HB
84 and answered questions from  the committee.  Ms. Thompson said                                                               
that her best  guess is that 70 percent of  the teachers hired in                                                               
Alaska  come from  out of  state.   The  current institutions  in                                                               
state do not have the capacity to educate enough teachers.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked  if teachers are required  to take an                                                               
Alaska history class before being certified.                                                                                    
MS.  THOMPSON agreed  with Representative  Wilson.   Teachers are                                                               
required to take  two courses, Alaska history  or Alaska studies,                                                               
and multi-cultural education.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER clarified  that it  is her  understanding                                                               
that new  teachers to the  state have up  to three years  to take                                                               
those  courses,  so  a  teacher could  be  teaching  three  years                                                               
without taking those courses.                                                                                                   
MS.  THOMPSON  responded  that  it   depends  upon  the  type  of                                                               
certificate  a  teacher is  working  under.   New  teachers  have                                                               
probably  already taken  those courses  right out  of preparation                                                               
programs.   If a teacher comes  from out of state  with a limited                                                               
certificate there is a one to  two year time period to take those                                                               
courses and receive a regular type A teaching certificate.                                                                      
Number 0507                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  GATTO  asked  if  these courses  are  part  of  continuing                                                               
education courses required to retain a teaching certificate.                                                                    
MS. THOMPSON replied yes.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked  if  those  two  classes  would  be                                                               
adequate training to  teach the Alaska history  or Alaska studies                                                               
MS.  THOMPSON  responded that  there  is  really only  one  class                                                               
related to  Alaska studies  or Alaska  history that  teachers are                                                               
required to  take.  The  other class is a  multi-cultural studies                                                               
course.   She commented  that after taking  one course  in Alaska                                                               
studies  that  a  teacher  would  be  prepared  to  teach  Alaska                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON questioned  if  this is  implemented as  a                                                               
mandated  part of  the curriculum  would the  teachers who  teach                                                               
this course be required to obtain additional education.                                                                         
Number 0400                                                                                                                     
MS.  THOMPSON   replied  that  would   depend  on   the  teacher.                                                               
Additional teaching strategies may be needed by some teachers.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON rephrased his question  by asking if the 70                                                               
percent of  teachers who come  to Alaska take the  Alaska history                                                               
or Alaska  studies course and  the multi-cultural  studies course                                                               
have enough preparation to teach the course in Alaska history.                                                                  
MS.  THOMPSON replied  it would  depend  upon the  teacher.   She                                                               
reminded the  members that the  current No Child Left  Behind Act                                                               
(NCLB) requires that teachers be  highly qualified in the subject                                                               
with which  they teach.   So a history  teacher would have  to be                                                               
highly qualified.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked if a  teacher who is highly qualified                                                               
to  teach  world  history  or American  history  also  be  highly                                                               
qualified to teach this course.                                                                                                 
Number 0278                                                                                                                     
MR. SWEENEY responded  that NCLB would only require  a teacher to                                                               
be highly qualified  in social studies.  It would  not even be so                                                               
in depth  as to  require a  teacher be  highly qualified  in just                                                               
history.   He  added that  the funding  for teacher  education is                                                               
included.   Right  now  a pilot  program is  being  done with  30                                                               
teachers, and  next year it will  be done with 300  teachers.  He                                                               
commented that there is the  recognition that there will be extra                                                               
training  required,  which  is  built into  the  concept  of  the                                                               
Number 0224                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF  said he graduated  from the  Kenai Peninsula                                                               
School District  25 years  ago.   At that  time Alaska  and local                                                               
history  was taught.    A great  deal of  it  was shared  through                                                               
storytelling and mentorship from local community members.                                                                       
CHAIR  GATTO asked  if  Representative Wolf  is  saying he  would                                                               
prefer to have a local  history course taught rather than history                                                               
of the entire state.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF said his primary  concern lies with mandating                                                               
the course so he will be supporting Amendment 1.                                                                                
TAPE 04-19, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0050                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  told the  members that Amendment  1 would                                                               
gut HB  84.   She asked Ms.  Menzi to speak  to local  input with                                                               
respect to the course.                                                                                                          
MS. MENZI told the members that a  survey was done in the fall of                                                               
all  of the  school  districts  and asked  them  to identify  the                                                               
materials  developed   locally  and  regionally  that   might  be                                                               
incorporated into  the course.   When the  design for  the course                                                               
was  done there  was an  icon for  regional history,  so students                                                               
will be  able to  access information on  specific regions  of the                                                               
state, she explained.   She said that there was  a fair response,                                                               
but  hopes as  time goes  on more  and more  information will  be                                                               
added.   Since the  course is on  CD it will  be possible  to add                                                               
more information as it becomes available.                                                                                       
CHAIR  GATTO  asked  if  there  are experiences  with  CDs  as  a                                                               
learning tool.                                                                                                                  
Number 0187                                                                                                                     
MS. MENZI responded  that there is experience in this  area.  For                                                               
example, she  said she  was involved  in the CD  that was  on the                                                               
retracing of the  Harriman Expedition in 2001.  That  CD was made                                                               
available  to every  school district  in the  state.   It provide                                                               
historical  information   on  the   voyage  100  years   ago  and                                                               
information on some of the contemporary voyage.                                                                                 
CHAIR GATTO  asked if there  is experience  in using CDs  the way                                                               
this CD is intended to be used.                                                                                                 
MS. MENZI  responded that is  a new concept.   Distance delivered                                                               
education has  been going on for  some time, but the  idea of CDs                                                               
as the base curriculum is cutting  edge, she said.  She said that                                                               
it is  beginning to be  done nationwide because textbooks  are so                                                               
expensive.   Ms. Menzi acknowledged  that this is  an experiment.                                                               
Nothing like this has been done in Alaska before.                                                                               
CHAIR GATTO commented  that he wishes that there  was some record                                                               
of this being  successful.  He said that he  foresees a time when                                                               
it may  be necessary to  use distance  delivery to have  a highly                                                               
qualified teacher somewhere with everyone connecting.                                                                           
MS.  MENZI replied  that  she  would be  happy  to research  that                                                               
subject and  provide her  findings to  the members.   One  of the                                                               
models  used for  this website  is Nebraska's  studies which  has                                                               
been doing  some of there  social studies education  through this                                                               
Number 0438                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA asked  if other  states'  teachers have  had                                                               
difficulty teaching the classes.                                                                                                
MS. MENZI responded that a  social studies teacher would not have                                                               
difficulty because  they have had  a lot of exposure  to history.                                                               
Most  of the  social  studies endorsed  teachers  in Alaska  have                                                               
majored  in  history, rather  than  geography  or economics,  she                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked  if there will be  source materials for                                                               
the teachers.                                                                                                                   
MS. MENZI  said there will be  a teacher's guide which  will have                                                               
the resource  materials referenced.   It will  be provided  on CD                                                               
and in print.                                                                                                                   
Number 0572                                                                                                                     
CHAIR GATTO commented  that he would suspect that  in Kansas, for                                                               
example,  most of  their teachers  are hired  from within  state.                                                               
Alaska simply cannot produce the number of teachers needed.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reiterated  that Amendment  1 would  solve                                                               
the two problems  he sees with the bill.   It removes the mandate                                                               
for  the districts  who  have  not adopted  Alaska  history as  a                                                               
required subject.   He said he also has  problems with overriding                                                               
the Alaska State  Board of Education and this  would also address                                                               
A  roll call  vote  was taken.    Representatives Gatto,  Wilson,                                                               
Wolf, and Seaton voted in  favor of Amendment 1.  Representatives                                                               
Kapsner and  Gara voted against  it.  Therefore, Amendment  1 was                                                               
adopted by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  told the committee that  she believes this                                                               
is a very worthwhile course  requirement; however, this is a very                                                               
difficult decision because she does not like mandates.                                                                          
CHAIR GATTO  told the members  that he  intends to move  the bill                                                               
out of committee today.                                                                                                         
Number 0850                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  reminded Representative Wilson  that this                                                               
bill  will  be  heard  in  House  Health,  Education  and  Social                                                               
Services Standing Committee next and  could be amended there.  It                                                               
has a long way to go  before reaching the Department of Education                                                               
and Early Development.                                                                                                          
Number 0972                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved Amendment 2 as follows:                                                                             
     On page 2, line 16                                                                                                         
     Delete "2003"                                                                                                              
     Insert "2004"                                                                                                              
There being no objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                              
Number 1015                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER moved to report  HB 84 out of committee as                                                               
amended  with  individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.    There  being no  objection,  CSHB  84(EDU)  was                                                               
reported out of the House Special Committee on Education.                                                                       
Number 1045                                                                                                                     
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Education meeting was adjourned at 12:50                                                                   

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