Results of the new Alaska Measures of Progress standardization tests were made public Monday in Anchorage.Download AudioAlaska education commissioner Mike Hanley discusses the AMP results in Anchorage. Photo: Ellen Lockyer/KSKA.Alaska education commissioner Mike Hanley says he is excited about the data gained from the first implementation of the AMP. Hanley says results of the spring 2015 tests are to become the baseline data for assessing the results of tougher state education standards.“This is the new era, a new baseline, a new test. It is significantly different, the expectations are significantly different,” Hanley says.General statewide results show that less than half the students tested meet proficiency standards in English Language Arts, and between 21 and 41 percent achieve proficiency in mathematics.The Commissioner said that in some school districts, 60 percent of students met the higher level results.Hanley stated that although the results show room for improvement, they also show that the education department has raised the bar to make the tests more difficult.“If you look at Level 2, it says students may have gaps in knowledge,and skills, but still are capable of most grade level content. We felt that these terms of meeting standards and partially meeting standards really accurately reflected where students were. Previously we used terms like ‘proficient’ and ‘not proficient.’ Well, if you are not proficient, it seems like you didn’t get over this bar, you were not close, you didn’t make it. This recognizes that students are operating at grade level, have most of the standards under their belt, but may have some gaps they need to address.”The AMP tests are given to grades 3 through 10. Students score in four levels, from low to high. Students scoring in Level 3 and 4 are meeting the new standards, while students scoring in the first two levels only partially meet them.Hanley says the new AMP scores are not comparable to the old standards, because the new tests are more difficult and use a different type of scoring.A breakdown of scores by grade and by school district is available on the department of education webpage.Parents can expect student-level reports later this month.
Travellers Choice thanks “true partners”Travellers Choice thanks “true partners” for key role in 40-year journeyTravellers Choice marked its 40th anniversary last night by throwing a stylish party in Sydney for the industry partners that have helped it grow from a small WA-based cooperative to Australia’s leading national network for independent agents.Managing Director Christian Hunter told more than 75 guests at the Museum of Contemporary Art that since being formed by a handful of agencies in 1977, Travellers Choice had “come a long way”.He said the group’s unique culture, its support services and its focus on returning all profits to its member shareholders were essential to its success, but just as vital were the “true partnerships” forged over four decades with its broad stable of preferred partners.“In the early days, when we were very small, some of the companies here tonight took a punt on us,” Hunter told the gathering.“Across the decades, as we grew, others came on board. And throughout our 40 years we have developed long-standing and highly-valued relationships with all of the businesses represented here tonight.“We know we cannot do what we do, as successfully as we do it, if it wasn’t for your unwavering commitment and enduring support. So please, on behalf of all Travellers Choice members, accept our thanks for your past, present and future efforts.”Travellers Choice members from across Australia will come together in Perth in November for their own 40th birthday party.The celebrations will be a highlight of the group’s Annual Shareholders’ Conference, which takes place this year at the six-star Crown Towers, Australia’s newest luxury property.For further information on Travellers Choice please visit www.travellerschoice.com.au