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New Alaska Official to Focus on Rural and Native Issues

From Guest Blogger Sean Cavanagh

The state of Alaska has announced it will hire a new director of rural education, who will also be assigned to work with the state's native population, known as Alaska Natives. Those students make up more than 23 percent of the state's 128,000 students. Alaska faces major challenges in serving those students, partly because of the vast distances and rugged landscape that separates its schools. See Curriculum Matters for more.

One of new rural director's jobs will be to travel to its far-flung villages and build ties with native communities. Another task will be to oversee the implementation of the state's cultural standards, first adopted in 1998, which promote students' understanding of Alaska Native history and tradition. Students in the state's predominantly Alaska Native villages speak a number of languages, which vary by region of the state.

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