27th Alaska State Legislature, House & Senate Leadership, Chairmen, Finance Committee Members

House Leadership
Speaker: Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski
Majority Leader: Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak
Majority Whip: Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell
Bush Caucus: Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue
Minority Leader: Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau
Minority Whip: Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage
Minority Floor Leader: Max Gruenberg, D-Anchorage

House Standing Committees
Community & Regional Affairs: Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau
Education: Alan Dick, R-Stony River


Upcoming Legislative Hearings

Monday, October 4
Advisory Task Force on Higher Education & Career Readiness (
Location: Nome, Pioneer Hall - 110 Front Street
8:30 - 9:40 a.m. - Dr. Lee Haugen, director, UAF Northwest Campus (
9:50 - 10:50 a.m. - Jon Wedhe, superintendent, Nome Public Schools (


Worth Their Weight in Gold

One of this year's newly announced MacArthur Foundation winners is economist Emmanuel Saez, who helped calculate the worth of outstanding kindergarten teachers.

A link to Mr. Saez's homepage:

A New York Times article on this year's awardees:


Trial Subscriptions, Alaska Education Update

I am offering trial subscriptions to the Alaska Education Update for the remainder of the legislative interim (until January 17, 2011) to increase the visibility of the Alaska Education Update, and hopefully garner some new subscriptions for next session. I am looking at lowering subscription rates for the smallest school districts and organizations, so that the information is more widely accessible. Increasing the number of overall subscriptions will help in that regard.


NYTimes Article: Can Exercise Make Kids Smarter?

"...researchers sorted the children, based on their treadmill runs, into highest-, lowest- and median-fit categories. Only the most- and least-fit groups continued in the study (to provide the greatest contrast). Both groups completed a series of cognitive challenges involving watching directional arrows on a computer screen and pushing certain keys in order to test how well the children filter out unnecessary information and attend to relevant cues.


Upcoming Hearings

Friday, September 17

Joint Legislative Higher Education Scholarship Funding Task Force
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Anchorage LIO, Room 220
Agenda: Merit-based scholarship component

Monday & Tuesday, October 4-5
Advisory Task Force on Higher Education & Career Readiness
Nome (agenda, exact location & time to be announced)