Academic Achievement

Student performance in Alaska is below average. Only 27% of 4th graders are rated proficient or above on the NAEP reading exam. The national average is 34%.

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

Alaska earns a mediocre grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Just 15% of low-income 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading exam.

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Alaska is very low relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Alaska posts below average marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Alaska earns a failing grade preparing its students for college and careers, with only 15 students out of 100 passing an AP exam. 

21st Century Teacher Force

Alaska does a weak job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The Last Frontier State does not effectively train new teachers or provide alternative routes for teacher certification.

Parental Options

Alaska does a poor job providing parents with strong school choice options. The state has a favorable environment for online learning, but it has a weak charter school law and choice options are limited to within a school district. 

Data Quality

Alaska earns a good grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. In addition to creating progress reports for student and school achievement, the state provides funding for a longitudinal data system.  


Alaska receives a poor grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. The state does not provide a variety of digital choices for students. 

International Competitiveness

Alaska earns a below average grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy. Thirty percent of students are proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard, but only 1 student out of 100 passes an AP foreign language exam.

Fiscal Responsibility

Alaska receives low marks on fiscal responsibility, with only 55% of the state’s pension obligations currently funded.