Sen. Murkowski's Education Newsletter for the week of April 2, 2010

The latest Education News you can use in one place.

Deadline Looming to Comment on Draft Common Core Standards

If you intend to comment on the Draft Common Core Standards, you need to do so by Friday, April 2nd.  You can review the Draft Common Core Standards and comment on them via a 10-minute survey at www.corestandards.org.  The Common Core effort is the result of a partnership between the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  The U.S. Department of Education has leveraged this effort by tying stimulus funding to adoption of the Common Core Standards.  Secretary Duncan has also heavily referenced the Common Core Standards in the Department's Blueprint for Reform: Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  

On a related note, if you haven't already seen it, you might be interested in reviewing a report that was recently prepared by DEED and presented to the State Board entitled, "Report on the Alignment of the February Draft of the Common Core Standards and the Alaska Grade Level Expectations".  The title might sound a little intimidating, but pages 5-8 will give you a good overview of the work done to compare these draft Common Core Standards with the state standards Alaska already has.  Those who want to get into the details certainly can by reading the entire 45-page report.  The report is available at http://www.eed.state.ak.us/State_Board/pdf/10March_Packet.pdf beginning on page 349 on the packet. 

I encourage all those who are interested in K-12 education standards and education policy in general to review these materials and submit your comments to the Common Core group.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will each receive two grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

UAF will receive $7,425,000 in Research Facilities Construction Grants for Enhancing Translational Biomedical Research in Alaska.  The campus will also receive $435,300 from the Academic Research Enhancement Awards program to conduct research on Restricted diet and adenosine receptor activation: Therapy for brain ischemia.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will receive $1,089,363 in continued funding from the Ryan White Title II Formula Grants Program for HIV Care and $50,000 in Chronic Disease Self-Management Program stimulus funding for the Alaska Chronic Disease Self-Management Program project.  This program assists people with chronic illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions to more effectively manage their condition and improve their lives.