Alaska’s Centralized Correspondence Study Program (CCS) “…is a complete K-12 education program delivered to students at home through the mails” and is operated by the Alaska Department of Education (ADE) (ADE, 1986, p. 3). It is open to any Alaskan resident who has not completed high school and it is public education paid for by the people of the state.
During the 1984-85 school year, CCS served 1,294 students and expected to serve at least that number during the 1985-86 year. “Around 64% of our population live in urban areas but use CCS as an alternative to the regular school program. Sixteen percent live in isolated areas and can’t attend a local school. Nine percent are from families who are traveling for extended periods of time. The remainder are adults studying for the high school equivalency test” (ADE, 1986, p. 3).
A home teacher, usually a parent, teaches the student. The home teacher is under the supervision of an advisory, or certificated, teacher who is located in Juneau, Alaska. “CCS provides textbooks, materials and supplies to the student. Lesson plans, teacher guideline and supplementary materials are developed by CCS staff. Some high school courses are purchased from the University of Nebraska’s correspondence study program” (ADE, 1986, p. 3).
In Volume 1 Number 4 of the Home School Researcher, Sue Greene was presented and there also was an article entitled “Summary of home study in Alaska: A profile of K-12 students enrolled in Alaska Centralized Correspondence Study” by Sue Greene. Her study emphasized the development of a demographic profile of the students and only briefly mentioned achievement scores of CCS students. Since the time of her report (April 1984), more empirical information regarding CCS students has been collated.
Bob Falle (1986) reported on the administration and results of standardized tests for CCS students. In spring of 1984 the ADE administered the Scientific Research Associates (SRA) achievement battery, using both group on-site and at-home administration. As with previous testing using the California Achievement Test battery, “…the 1984 test results were positive; however, the results of the at-home students were significantly higher than that of the on-site group…” (Falle, 1986, p. 23). That is, the CCS students did better than the national norm, but the results were not consistent across test administration methods. “During the spring, 1985, test cycle, therefore, we focused our attention on standardized adminstration” (Falle, 1986, p. 23). The 198S test results varied between the three test administration methods, but in no consistent way. The ADE plans to continue improving reliability in test administration.
Falle (1986, p. 24) reported, referring to 198S test scores:
Our SRA results continue to be above national averages. K-S graders score at the 80th percentile or higher in reading and at the 78th percntile [sic] or higher in math. Middle school students (grades 6-8) score at or above the 78th percentile in reading and at the S8th percentile in math. High schoolers (grades 9-12) score at the 75th percentile or higher in reading and at or above the 58th percentile in math. The math scores grades 6 through high school are significantly lower than those scored by the same grades in the earlier test rounds. This “blip” may be partly accounted for by the recent introduction of the middle school concept and by the newly revised and renormed SRA test.
Other information, available from the ADE (198S), provides SRA scores in the subject areas of language for grades 2-11 and science for grades 4-11. In both of these areas, CCS students generally score several percentiles higher than the national norm. For example, in science the 7th grade CCS students were the lowest at the 68th percentile while the 5th graders were the highest at the 90th percentile.
More information about the CCS program can be obtained from:
CCS, Alaska Department of Education, Pouch GA, Juneau, Alaska,
99811. Personal communication with Bob Falle indicates that he
is interested in disseminating information about the successes of
Alaska Department of Education. (198S). SRA survey of basic skills and Alaska Statewide Assessment, Spring of 1985.
Unpublished manuscript, compiled by Bob Falle. Juneau, AK:
Alaska Department of Education.
Alaska Department of Education. (1986). Facts about Alaska’s Centralized Correspondence Study Program (CCS). Method:
Alaskan Perspectives, 7(1), 3.
Falle, Bob. (1986). Standardized tests for home study students:
Administration and results. Method: Alaskan Perspectives,