In the summer of 1985 I completed my Master’s degree in public school administration; and in September joined the Anchorage School District as an administrative intern. In that job I function much like an assistant principal in a junior high school of over one thousand students. The role may seem odd for one attracted to research in the area of home schooling, but my varied background suggests that it is a way of encompassing one more dimension of education.
Since I first began teaching in the sixties, I have been interested in alternatives and diversity in education for Americans. Believing that much of our nation’s strength is in its diversity, support of alternative learning seemed natural. After serving on a school board that forged the alternative schooling and community schools’ efforts in Anchorage, I became interested in education statewide; in Alaska, that inevitably meant learning about home schooling in the Last Frontier.
I served as a Governor’s assistant during budget and legislative reviews of Alaska’s Centralized Correspondence Program and therein gained familiarity with the operations and scope of home schooling as it is authorized in Alaska. As a part of my research in the Master’s in Education (Secondary School Administration), I undertook a profiling of home students in Alaska. In that project I became familiar with correspondence students from all corners and coves of Alaska. A summary of that study follows.
Although I am involved in a regular public school setting at this juncture, I have benefitted greatly from my exposure to home schooling and consider it a viable and valuable option for many families. I intend to continue reading and research in this and other alternatives in education. I particularly want to track home education in the Northwest.