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The 10 Worst Schools In Alaska Today

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The 10 Worst Schools In Alaska Today

There’s no doubt Alaska is a unique place to live and receive an education. Across the state, there are about 500 public schools in 54 school districts. However, not all of the schools in Alaska are highly rated and some of the worst schools in Alaska have students who are falling behind. There are many high-performing schools in Alaska, but the schools on this list are considered lower than average based on their state test scores and graduation rates. 

Even though there are many excellent schools in Alaska, the state overall has some of the lowest test scores in the country. Keep reading to find out about the worst schools in Alaska and what they may lack compared to other schools.

Stressed male student can't cope anymore during class
Once a student is falling behind, it can be difficult for them to catch up before moving to the next grade.


June Nelson Elementary School

744 Third Ave, Kotzebue, AK 99752

June Nelson Elementary School is a public elementary school located in Kotzebue, Alaska. There are around 250 students enrolled and a total of 18 teachers on staff. However, the students at June Nelson Elementary School have lower test scores and rates of proficiency than other schools in the state.

The students at June Nelson Elementary School have an 8.57% math proficiency and 9.22% Language Arts proficiency. Their overall test scores are below average and compared to other students in Alaska, they’re falling behind with little progress from one grade to the next.

Nome Elementary School

1057 E 5th Ave, Nome, AK 99762

Nome Elementary School is a public school located in Nome, Alaska. They serve about 374 students in grades K-6. The current location of Nome Elementary School was started in 1988 after moving from a nearby facility.

To support students at Nome Elementary, they have two reading specialists on staff as well as a paraprofessional to support students in literacy. However, the test scores and academic progress at Nome Elementary are below average. Compared to other schools in the state, students at Nome Elementary are making fair fewer gains from year to year.

Gladys Jung Elementary School

1007 Ron Edwards Memorial Dr, Bethel, AK 99559

Gladys Jung Elementary School is a public school in the Lower Kuskokwim School District. The mission of this elementary school is to promote excellence in education by partnering with the parents, school, and community. They serve about 345 students in grades 3-6.

The test scores of students at Gladys Jung Elementary School fall significantly below average, with the highest proficiency in science and the lowest in math. The equity rating of Gladys Jung Elementary also shows that there are large achievement gaps in the student population.

Tetlin School

100 Main St Tetlin, AK 99779

The Tetlin School is a public school in Tetlin, Alaska that serves students in PK-12th grade. Part of the mission of the Tetlin School is to provide a personalized learning experience for all students to reach their highest potential. The staff at this school aims to engage with parents through strong communication, volunteering, and collaboration with the community.

Although there are less than 50 students served at the Tetlin School, the student population is far below the state average when it comes to college and career readiness. There is a low level of participation in advanced courses as well. The pass rate for Alegra 1 is 100%, however, only 25% of students participate in this honors course.

Kuskokwim Learning Academy

PO Box 1949, Bethel, AK 99559

Kuskokwim Learning Academy is a public school in Bethel, Alaska with 60 students in grades 8-12. The mission of this school is to increase the graduation rate for students and increase community involvement. They aim to accomplish this through access to employment and other technical skills.

At Kuskokwim Learning Academy, they also have a vision that every graduate will leave with a diploma, employment, and at least 20 hours of community service. However, the 4-year graduation rate at Kuskokwim Learning Academy is just 26%. Additionally, they only have a 10% proficiency rate in math and reading.

Eben Hopson Middle School

6501 Transit St, Utqiagvik, AK 99723

Eben Hopson Middle School is a public middle school in Alaska that’s part of the North Slope Borough School District. This school serves 273 students and has a motto of learning today, leading tomorrow.

Compared to the state average scores, students are scoring far below the state average at Eben Hopson Middle School. Only 14% of students are proficient in reading and 10% are proficient in math. Additionally, only 13% of students take Algebra 1, and out of the students who do, only 17% pass.

Clark Middle School

150 Bragaw Street, Anchorage, AK, 99508

Clark Middle School in Anchorage, Alaska is a public school that serves over 800 middle school students. Part of the motto at Clark Middle School is a school committed to excellence in academics, attendance, and attitude.

Despite their strong mission, the test scores and proficiency at Clark Middle School are scoring below average. Less than 25% of the students at this school are proficient in reading and only 12% of the students are proficient in math. However, it does have a diverse community and was ranked as the 6th most diverse public middle school in Alaska.

Graduation Caps Thrown in the Air
Graduation rates can say a lot about the quality of a school and how well they help students succeed.

©Anel Alijagic/Shutterstock.com

Akiachak School

PO Box 51189, Akiachak, AK 99551

The Akiachak School is a public school located in Akiachak, Alaska. The vision of this school is to empower students to be successful in their chosen way of life and to be a community hub in Akiachak.

At the Akiachak School, they have around 200 students in grades K-12, but only about 5% are proficient in math and reading. They also have a 47% graduation rate, but only 5% of students participate in AP courses. This leads to students falling below the state average for college and career readiness.

Nelson Island Area School

101 Sunny St, Toksook Bay, AK 99637

The Nelson Island Area School is a public school in Toksook Bay, Alaska that serves 173 students. This school has 18 teachers and is located on Nelson Island. The Nelson Island Area School is known for its strong athletic teams.

According to state test scores, only 5% of the students at Nelson Island Area School are proficient in math and reading. This puts students well below the state average and means students in PK-12th grade have large achievement gaps.

Chaputnguak School

PO Box 50, Chefornak, AK 99561

The Chaputnguak School serves about 149 students in grades PK-12 in Chefornak, Alaska. The mission of this school is to provide a safe learning environment where students can become lifelong learners and thrive in an academic setting. They also aim to preserve the cultural and bilingual heritage of all enrolled students.

According to the test scores provided by the state, only 5% of students at the Chaputnguak School are proficient in math and reading. Their 4-year graduation rate is around 63%, which is lower than the state average of 80%.

University of Alaska Anchorage

3211 Providence Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508

The University of Alaska Anchorage is a public university that has a total of four campuses across the state. 90% of students who attend this university are Alaska residents and they offer over 100 programs for students to choose from.

However, there are many areas where the University of Alaska Anchorage falls short. The graduation rate for this university is only 31%. Additionally, the cost to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage is around $30,880 including room & board and books. The cost of tuition at the University of Alaska Anchorage ranks it as the 4th most expensive 4-year college in the state.

University of Alaska Anchorage in the News!

Alaskan College is certainly an interesting education. Native and non-native Alaskans alike are faced with interesting challenges. At the time of writing, these are some of the reasons this specific university was making headlines.

The University of Alaska Anchorage partners with the Department of the Interior to boost STEM employment post-graduation.

The University of Alaska Anchorage Robotics is the sole Alaska team to go to World Championship.

Final Thoughts

Alaska is home to over 50 school districts, and each district has a number of diverse schools. Despite there being many highly-rated schools in Alaska, there are also many schools that fall below the state average when it comes to test scores and graduation rates.

Many of the students in these schools face numerous obstacles that staff help them to overcome, but there are still severe achievement gaps in the worst schools in Alaska. When it comes to choosing a school for your child, test scores and college or career readiness are something to consider. Students from all areas deserve to have access to an excellent education that helps to prepare them for the future.

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