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<v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>[music plays] The Molly Hootch case was the largest educational settlement in history. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>The state of Alaska has spent close to 150 million dollars <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>putting schools in these villages. [music plays] <v Molly Hootch Hymes>The way I understood is they had to have a name for the case and so <v Molly Hootch Hymes>they supposedly put some names in a hat and <v Molly Hootch Hymes>picked out happened to pick out my name. [music plays] <v Dr. Marshall Lind>The Molly Hootch case was filed in 1972 <v Dr. Marshall Lind>by the Alaska Legal Services. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>A class action suit against the state regarding the provision of secondary <v Dr. Marshall Lind>educational programs in rural Alaska. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>Prior to that time, the youngsters residing in the
<v Dr. Marshall Lind>rural areas of the state in many cases, in most cases did not have available to <v Dr. Marshall Lind>them a residential or a local rather high school program. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>[music plays] <v Host>Tobeluk versus Lind. <v Host>Most Alaskans know the lawsuit as the Molly Hootch case. <v Host>In its final settlement in 1976, the state agreed to provide a high school <v Host>in virtually every Alaskan community. <v Host>Rural students who previously had to travel hundreds or thousands of miles from home to <v Host>boarding schools could now attend high school in their own villages. <v Host>By 1984, 126 rural communities had new high schools <v Host>at a cost of nearly $150 million. <v Host>The schools are small, many with fewer than 20 students.
<v Host>Was it worth the cost? Can such small schools provide high quality education? <v Host>To find out, the University of Alaska Center for Cross-Cultural Studies <v Host>conducted a yearlong study of small village schools. <v Host>The result is a report by Judith Kleinfeld, Bill McDiarmid, and David Hagstrom <v Host>called Alaska's Small Rural High Schools: Are They Working? <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>Now that the schools are built, now that all the all the <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>uh physical uh items necessary for education are in place, <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>people have got their attention on the academic program and improving that program. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>What our study was designed to find out was what are the needs <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>of these schools? What are they like? <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>What are the strategies that can make them work? <v Host>Situated on Alaska's windswept southwestern coast, Newtok is one of the most <v Host>traditional of Eskimo villages. <v Host>About 175 people live here. <v Host>Hunting and fishing for their food, as they always have.
<v Host>Yupik is their primary language. <v Host>In the high school, all projects, even the school newspaper, are written in both <v Host>English and Yupik. <v Teacher>So swiftly, quickly, speedly. <v Student>[student speaks in Yupik] <v Terry McCarthy>Of course, everybody wants to blend the student into the American culture, if we <v Terry McCarthy>do have one. <v Terry McCarthy>I don't know, I think I'd rather uh have the student learn how to adjust to the culture <v Terry McCarthy>that's coming at them rather than for them to go in and blend into that culture. <v Terry McCarthy>And for them to um realize that uh they have something to offer. <v Host>Five hundred miles northwest of Newtok, Dot Lake is a tiny community <v Host>on the Alaska Highway, halfway between Fairbanks and the Canadian border. <v Host>About 70 people live here. <v Host>10 high schoolers attend Dot Lake School. <v Gary Leighty>There is more similarity between Dot Lake and a school in South Carolina than there'd be <v Gary Leighty>between Dot Lake and Newtok, in our particular instance. <v Gary Leighty>?And? we're over 50 percent Caucasian,
<v Gary Leighty>we have people who have come from all over the United States <v Gary Leighty>settling in an area like this. Very quickly, I can think. <v Gary Leighty>Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Michigan, <v Gary Leighty>New Jersey. No school functions unless it meets and serves the needs of a community. <v Host>Russian Mission on the banks of the lower Yukon River, about 175 <v Host>Yup'ik Eskimos make their home here, where the hills meet the flats of the Yukon <v Host>Kuskokwim Delta. <v Host>Yupik is still spoken in the village, though mostly by the elders. <v Host>Those under 30 understand Yupik, but converse in English. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>Phil and I were hired to come to Russian Mission and we were told that there would be 48 <v Pat Evenson-Brady>kids K through 12. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>And that there would be 3 other teachers besides us, a full time special ed teacher and 2 <v Pat Evenson-Brady>other teachers. Well, when we arrived in Russian Mission, we discovered that 3 out of <v Pat Evenson-Brady>the 4 other teachers, not counting me, that they were going to teach high school.
<v Host>Russian Mission's answer to this dilemma was innovative, if somewhat unorthodox. <v Host>Teachers were assigned both high school and elementary school classes. <v Host>A limited staff has obvious drawbacks, but there are advantages as well. <v Host>Teachers get to know their students better, spending time with them individually. <v Host>They also can develop a common theme for the subjects they teach. <v Terry McCarthy>When I was put into a situation out here where I had to do all those different preps, <v Terry McCarthy>it finally came to me how everything really tied together and the students see that <v Terry McCarthy>very easily here. They can see that what they're doing in a shop class um <v Terry McCarthy>sprang out of something that happened in their English class or that what we're doing in <v Terry McCarthy>English can help them in their science and social studies. <v Terry McCarthy>So that's that's a real advantage also. <v Host>200 miles up the Yukon River from Russian Mission is Nulato, an
<v Host>Athapasken Indian village. <v Host>The homes of the town's 350 people are divided between an old site on the river <v Host>shore and a new site atop a nearby ridge. <v Host>Even though Nulato is isolated from the state's road system, many villagers own <v Host>cars and students are bused to school. <v Host>Originally, Catholic, Nulato's school was taken over by the state some years <v Host>before the Molly Hootch lawsuit. <v Host>As in most bush villages, people still rely heavily upon subsistence hunting <v Host>and fishing for their living. <v Host>Students are taught practical vocational skills at school, but a strong emphasis <v Host>is also placed on college preparation and the students have been very successful <v Host>in academic subjects. <v Glenn Olson>Well, Nulato students as a whole are average to above average <v Glenn Olson>in all the all the categories. <v Glenn Olson>And that's somewhat unusual for a rural rural school, especially <v Glenn Olson>in English. <v Host>Nulato is unique in this.
<v Host>In most bush communities, standardized test scores are typically well below average. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>Test scores in rural schools are very low and they have been low for <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>many years. Only a quarter of rural kids <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>are attaining uh achievement test scores at the 40th percentile <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>level or above. Most of them are far, far below <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>um their grade point, their grade average. <v Interviewer>What do you think of standardized tests? <v Terry McCarthy>[laughs] We just finished giving them today. I think they stink. <v Terry McCarthy>On the tests they took today, if I were to show you the English results when I got them <v Terry McCarthy>back, I really don't think that they would um <v Terry McCarthy>meet approval of many people, if they would look <v Terry McCarthy>at those scores. But if I were to take out the newspaper that our students <v Terry McCarthy>do, uh, the one I gave you today and hand that <v Terry McCarthy>to somebody, I know I'd get oohs and ahs and how do you
<v Terry McCarthy>get your students to produce this? <v Terry McCarthy>This is quality work. And that's that's a better way of measuring the kids <v Terry McCarthy>than the standardized tests. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>Standardized tests come with all kinds of inherent biases for <v Pat Evenson-Brady>rural kids. For example, one that we always come up with on SRA <v Pat Evenson-Brady>tests in about the fourth or the fifth grade tests. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>Kids are asked to deal with the word curb. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>Well, that's totally foreign to any experience any of them have had. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>I don't think the city of Bethel, which is the only place that most of them have ever <v Pat Evenson-Brady>have ever been has a curb in it. Russian mission certainly doesn't have a curb in it. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>Now, if we wanted to, we could teach kids what a curb is. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>And that probably would raise their test scores. On the other hand, the other thing we <v Pat Evenson-Brady>can do is just ignore it. Our kids start out behind. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>Our kids don't come to us with the same kind of skills that entering kindergartners <v Pat Evenson-Brady>outside have. And so we do play catch up. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>And because of that, you know, we we show more than 100 percent of national growth <v Pat Evenson-Brady>um over the last 4 years in in almost
<v Pat Evenson-Brady>all grade levels and almost all subject areas. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>So I feel like if we're if we're showing that kind of growth um that we're <v Pat Evenson-Brady>doing the kind of job that we need to be doing. <v Host>Some are concerned that rural students are not prepared socially for urban life. <v Katie Trotzke>There is no social life here. <v Katie Trotzke>There's there's nothing to do here at all. <v Katie Trotzke>There's. <v Katie Trotzke>You just end up going home all the time. <v Sam Trotzke>Miss a lot of the sports in a small school. <v Sam Trotzke>Well, we go every year. We go on a field trip. <v Sam Trotzke>And we go we play basketball tournaments in um <v Sam Trotzke>relatively close areas and we go skiing cross-country. <v Ruth Charles>I've heard people say, well, they miss out on the social life. <v Ruth Charles>But what is the social life? <v Ruth Charles>Drugs, alcohol, all of the things that go with it that you can pick up in a big
<v Ruth Charles>city that you don't get in a small village or in a small rural school. <v Ruth Charles>And here they have a lot of things. They have gyms where they can go and they can weight <v Ruth Charles>lift. They play basketball, all the different games. <v Ruth Charles>They have a community hall here with the videotapes and the movies and things. <v Ruth Charles>And this is enough for kids when they are going to school and they're going there to get <v Ruth Charles>an education, not to become social butterflies. <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>The kids have a very limited experience of the world. <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>They grow up in a in a uh small community. <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>Most of them. And then they go to a school and they interact with the same people <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>uh throughout their uh childhood and adolescence. <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>And they get very little experience of the world beyond that setting. <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>I'm from Sand Point and our high school back home <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>was real small. My graduating class was 8. <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>It the school itself was pretty close.
<v Jocelyn Bjornstad>All the students were a close group. <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>Um, in terms of preparing me, I was really lacking <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>in certain areas when I got here and I had a real hard time <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>adjusting academically. <v Alvin Williams>I'm from ?Ambler?, ?Ambler?, that's in the ?Nana? <v Alvin Williams>Region. <v Alvin Williams>Um, our school we didn't do, we didn't have any homework in all 4 of my high school <v Alvin Williams>years. <v Alvin Williams>Didn't have any skills that note taking in <v Alvin Williams>anything for preparating preparation for college. <v Alvin Williams>We just weren't taught anything that would help us in <v Alvin Williams>surviving in college life. <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>I just think it's real important for schools to have some sort of a counselor
<v Jocelyn Bjornstad>that really starts to <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>that'll start to motivate students and talk to them seriously about <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>plans after high school. <v Jocelyn Bjornstad>So that they know what's going on out there and that there are are more options. <v Glenn Olson>The studies we have done as far as kids succeeding from rural schools <v Glenn Olson>are not succeeding. Coming from a rural school to college have seemed to have shown that <v Glenn Olson>it's uh reasons that they haven't made it weren't necessarily academic <v Glenn Olson>preparation. The students we have interviewed and asked was it was more <v Glenn Olson>of a lack of urban survival skills and the and the the <v Glenn Olson>loneliness that they felt. <v Glenn Olson>Um, our district is, Yukon-?Koyukuk? <v Glenn Olson>district has acted to correct this. <v Glenn Olson>And that we have a man employed just to help these students with these problems. <v Glenn Olson>We have in our curriculum now urban, we're teaching urban survival skills. <v Interviewer>What do you what do you think of that? About leaving, leaving ?inaudible? and leaving to go to college?
<v Jimmy Charles>I think I don't know. I think I'll be glad to leave in this place. <v Jimmy Charles>Um, after living here for 18 years, it really gets to be boring. <v Terry McCarthy>Any time students travel, they the parents usually <v Terry McCarthy>refer to the old traditional saying if a student goes away from home, <v Terry McCarthy>two things will happen. They will either be hurt in an injury <v Terry McCarthy>or something like that, or they'll come back changed with bad habits <v Terry McCarthy>and a bad habit would be anything that's done differently than what is normally done <v Terry McCarthy>here. <v Speaker>We'd spent some time last year talking with the parents about their kids going out to <v Speaker>college because again, it was a big group of kids and it was the first time any of them <v Speaker>would have gone to Fairbanks. And everyone knows what a wicked and terrible city <v Speaker>Fairbanks is and so parents were concerned, trying to explain <v Speaker>to parents how it was going to be when the kids were in college. <v Sandra Kozenikoff>Boy, I had this feeling that I was losing my boy. <v Sandra Kozenikoff>I was losing my son.
<v Sandra Kozenikoff>He confuses my mind so much. <v Sandra Kozenikoff>He gets really homesick to come home. <v Sandra Kozenikoff>And then once he's here, he's saying, gee, I wonder what my friends are doing up at <v Sandra Kozenikoff>Fairbanks. <v Sandra Kozenikoff>Sandra Kozenikoff's son left the university before he completed his first <v Sandra Kozenikoff>year. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>The dropout rate at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks for rural kids <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>is roughly 60 percent after the first year. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>Uh, 60 percent of the kids from the small village high schools drop out. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>60 percent of the kids from other rural high schools drop out. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>60 percent of the kids from boarding schools dropout. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>The village high school kids aren't doing appreciably better or worse than <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>kids from other uh kinds of high schools. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>On the other hand, you have to look at things in perspective. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>If you go to Canada, they are amazed that we have a college dropout <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>problem. They can't get their Eskimo and Indian kids through high school. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>So sometimes you should be grateful for the problems you have.
<v Teacher>OK, what do we do at this point? <v Student>Cooler. <v Teacher>Cooler, OK. <v Teacher>Hung on to the sled. <v Teacher>There was one other thing. What else happened? <v Student>I got one. ?Conclusion? <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>We saw solid academic education going on and we saw schools <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>that would rival, some of the private progressive schools in Boston. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>At the same time, we saw some examples of horrid education. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>We saw village high schools that amounted to no more than a succession of worksheets <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>marching across the students' desks. <v Host>A small rural school's success depends in large part on its relationship with the <v Host>community. In schools that haven't worked well, there is little interaction between <v Host>the teachers and community members. <v Host>But in successful schools, teachers are involved in village life and welcome <v Host>direction from parents. <v Terry McCarthy>My basic philosophy is that um I'm the teacher. <v Terry McCarthy>I will teach the children what the parents want them to learn as <v Terry McCarthy>best that they can communicate that to me. <v Terry McCarthy>And if I can't do that, then I shouldn't be here.
<v Larry Charles>?inaudible? The parents should have more say so in <v Larry Charles>what their kids are learning in high school. <v Larry Charles>And they have uh a better understanding of uh the high schools <v Larry Charles>and high schoolers ?bill?. <v Larry Charles>And uh what they have to go through, what they're looking at right here <v Larry Charles>in the village. [kids playing] <v Ruth Charles>A few things that some of the parents say, uh we have a lot of deeply <v Ruth Charles>religious people in the area. <v Ruth Charles>And there's some things that they don't especially want, like evolution and things taught <v Ruth Charles>to the children. So the teachers do it very nicely. <v Ruth Charles>And there's no problem. There's no quarrel. <v Ruth Charles>With the parents or the teachers in the end, in this way, they all work together is what <v Ruth Charles>I'm trying to say. <v Paul Trotzke>Well, the basic curriculum, of course, is is put together by the professionals. <v Paul Trotzke>But if we have a real real problem with some parts of the content <v Paul Trotzke>uh we do, we we do uh contact uh or talk with uh the teachers
<v Paul Trotzke>about it. And they've been very flexible, accommodating. <v Paul Trotzke>We haven't had a teacher yet, they would say, well, I want to teach it whether you like <v Paul Trotzke>it or not, really, and stay by that. <v Gary Leighty>We don't intend to skew the offering <v Gary Leighty>away from mainstream America. <v Gary Leighty>If we teach biology, we simply are going to have to teach <v Gary Leighty>uh an entire course in biology. And that causes us to move forward <v Gary Leighty>and look at evolution as biological change <v Gary Leighty>and to give some consideration to Darwin and his theories. <v Gary Leighty>Again, no effort is being made to push a set of beliefs <v Gary Leighty>or scientific tenants forward as the last word. <v Gary Leighty>But in fairness to the children and to the parents, it's only right <v Gary Leighty>that we present the current status in a particular course.
<v Student>4 C squared XP. <v Teacher>OK. <v Host>Teacher turnover is a real problem in rural Alaska, only 45 percent <v Host>of rural teachers remain at any one school for 2 years or more. <v Host>At the end of the 1984 school year, all the teachers at Dot Lake left, <v Host>all the present staff started new the next fall. <v Host>In the months since work began on this program, Terry McCarthy left Newtok <v Host>and Pat Evensen-Brady, Russian Mission. <v Host>Ray and Yenti verg-in have left Russian Mission also. <v Host>Now they teach at Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. <v Ray Verg-in>Basically, we felt that it was a chance to move ahead professionally <v Ray Verg-in>because actually income-wise we make less money than what we did out in the village <v Ray Verg-in>and we liked the village, it was home. <v Ray Verg-in>But uh we'd been there long enough that we are a long ways from your peer group <v Ray Verg-in>and we just felt that professionally it would be to our advantage and move ahead, <v Ray Verg-in>you know, in our field to move down here to Edgecumbe.
<v Host>In the 1960s and 70s, Mount Edgecumbe was a boarding school for native Alaskans <v Host>run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. <v Host>The federal government closed the school in 1983. <v Host>In the fall of 85, the state of Alaska reopened it as a boarding option <v Host>for students from across the state. <v Host>Priority goes to students without access to a local school. <v Host>For the 175 who are accepted, the state provides room and board <v Host>and pays for transportation to Sitka in the fall and home in the spring. <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>I think it's important to view Edgecumbe as an experiment in a way. <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>Nobody's ever tried to do this before. <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>When Edgecumbe was a BIA boarding school, it was a very different school than what it is <v Dr. Williamson McDiarmid>now. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>Mount Edgecumbe has had enormous effects in creating a strong and competent Native <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>leadership. The problem that the school faces now <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>is they are not enrolling the same kinds of kids. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>They have a very diverse student body. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>They take some kids who have family problems.
<v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>Some kids who are social referrals. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>Some kids who are academically talented. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>About a third of their enroll- enrollment is actually from urban areas rather than rural <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>areas. It's going to be a very difficult task to <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>meld that diverse student body into a school with a common <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>purpose and a sound educational program. <v Teacher>So tell me, ?Muska?, and you would say ?hi? <v Teacher>[speaking Japanese] I always eat! <v Host>One way Mount Edgecumbe is working to give students a common purpose is by structuring <v Host>classes around a common theme. <v Host>Pacific Rim Studies. <v Host>All students who start as freshmen must take at least one year of Japanese. <v Host>Chinese is also offered. <v Host>Science classes include Ocean Science and Physics of the Ocean. <v Bill Denkinger>The Pacific Rim is very important to us as it is to the state of Alaska, and <v Bill Denkinger>that's why it's an important part of our curriculum here.
<v Bill Denkinger>We are gearing our classes to the future of Alaska <v Bill Denkinger>and where we think we're going to be 10, 15 years from now and where these students will <v Bill Denkinger>be in those kind of skills that they will need. <v Bill Denkinger>[music plays] <v Host>Although they are closely supervised, dormitories are seldom a perfect substitute <v Host>for home. Still, students think it is worth it for the academic advantages <v Host>Mount Edgecumbe offers. <v Groovy Weaver>My name is Groovy Weaver and I'm from Pilot Station and I came to Mount Edgecumbe <v Groovy Weaver>because mainly for its educational benefits, because back home <v Groovy Weaver>we didn't have that many good classes to have, you know, like around here. <v Groovy Weaver>We didn't have much to choose from. <v Bob Thompson>This is a major step for me because I've been in a small village all my life. <v Berdi Outwater>Mount Edgecumbe offers a lot, not only academically, but, you know, socially, <v Berdi Outwater>too. And we become more independent and more responsible.
<v Larrae Rocheleau>Juneau has an alternative high school. <v Larrae Rocheleau>I believe Anchorage has 4 or 5 alternative high schools. <v Larrae Rocheleau>Fairbanks has a couple. Um, Ketchikan has one. <v Larrae Rocheleau>So you have alternative high schools for urban students. <v Larrae Rocheleau>Why shouldn't there be an alternative high school for rural students? <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>Our research showed that most of the parents and the principals we <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>interviewed wanted some type of boarding school option. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>They said that village high schools weren't the best place for everyone. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>The disagreement centered on what the boarding option should be. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>A small village high school simply cannot provide all <v Pat Evenson-Brady>of the options for kids. We can only offer 8 or 9 classes a year. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>The problem is, and and of course we're talking about Edgecumbe. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>Edgecomb is so unholy expensive and and <v Pat Evenson-Brady>there's only a limited amount of money. <v Pat Evenson-Brady>If Edgecumbe eats up a bunch of education dollars <v Pat Evenson-Brady>and if Edgecumbe in addition drains off my brightest students from Russian Mission,
<v Pat Evenson-Brady>no, it's not going to have done the rest of my kids a real service <v Pat Evenson-Brady>in any sense. <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>?That at? Mount Edgecumbe will never take money away. <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>Nobody can make that statement. You could always say that the 3 and a half or 4 million <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>dollars at Mount Edgecumbe would cost on an annual basis for the next several years <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>could have been added for distribution throughout the state. <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>So the argument is a reasonable argument that it may, <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>in fact, take money away. It has not, in fact, yet. <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>Second, will it take students away? <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>It will only take students away if the parent and the school district <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>both believe that there is some advantage for those students <v Dr. Harold Raynolds, Jr.>to go to a place like Mount Edgecumbe. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>I hope that as it is now, organized and operated. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>I hope that they will be successful. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>I hope that the students who go there will obtain a first rate <v Dr. Marshall Lind>education. It certainly is at a first rate cost.
<v Host>Marshall Lind was Alaska's Commissioner of Education when the Molly Hootch case was <v Host>settled in 1976. <v Host>Oil revenues were high. The state's economy was booming. <v Host>Today, with revenues declining, many are worried that rural schools could be cut. <v Host>Were this to happen, villages would lose more than just a high school. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>When you spend money for high school in rural Alaska, you're also buying a community <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>center. These small high schools uh provide entertainment for the village's <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>basketball games, football games, choir. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>Many of the schools are running businesses. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>They're providing restaurants, showers, greenhouses, equipment, shops. <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>It's uh more reasonable to look at them as a community center, not just <v Dr. Judith S. Kleinfeld>as a high school. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>We may only have a 9 and 10 year program. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>9th and 10th grade, 11th and 12th will have to be taken in some residential <v Dr. Marshall Lind>program, either in a boarding home program or something very similar to that. <v Dr. Marshall Lind>I'm sure that that's gonna- have to be one of the the options we'll have to look at.
A Right to Learn
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KUAC-TV (Television station : Fairbanks, Alaska)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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"Ten years ago, when oil revenues were high and Alaska's economy was booming, the state agreed to put high schools in virtually all of its rural villages. These small schools, many with fewer than twenty students, cost hundreds of millions of dollars; but for the first time, villagers can attend high school without traveling hundreds or thousands of miles from home. "To find out how they are working, the University of Alaska's Center for Cross Cultural Studies spent a year studying these small schools. Their findings are important to all Alaskans. However, for the most part, only a few education officials will ever make use of the written report. "A Right to Learn retraces the steps of the Center's study, visiting rural high schools across the state. Traveling to Eskimo villages in southwestern Alaska, an Indian community on the Yukon River, and a mostly white settlement on the Alaska Highway, the program looks at how such small, diverse schools can provide high quality education, and whether they are worth the tremendous cost. "Today, with revenues rapidly declining, all state programs are being closely examined for possible cuts. A Right to Learn is a 'meritorious public service' in that it makes the Center for Cross Cultural Studies' original report broadly accessible at a time when all Alaskans must be involved in setting the future direction of education in the state."--1986 Peabody Awards entry form. The program discusses the consequences of the Molly Hootch case in Alaska. Interviews with researchers, teachers, and even students are done to gain all perspectives for the effectiveness and benefits of rural Alaskan high schools.
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Producing Organization: KUAC-TV (Television station : Fairbanks, Alaska)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Chicago: “A Right to Learn,” 1986-09-17, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “A Right to Learn.” 1986-09-17. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: A Right to Learn. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from