David Boyle: Anchorage School Board wants to run the MatSu School Board?



Even though the Anchorage School Board doesn’t do a good job running its own schools, it seems to want to tell the MatSu School Board how to structure and run its meetings.

At the Anchorage School Board’s most recent meeting, student representative Joshua Pak said the MatSu School Board was reducing the visibility of its student representative by changing its policy.

Joshua stated that the MatSu School Board wants to reduce its student representative to provide only a short report. He found it “shocking” that the MatSu Board did this. 

The only change to the MatSu Board Policy 9110 is to remove the student representative from the board dais, not to remove the student representative’s voice. The vote was 5-2 in favor of the change.

As a result, Joshua is planning to write a resolution to “condemn” the actions of the MatSu Board. He is rounding up all the state’s school board student representatives to work on the resolution condemning the MatSu Board.

Maybe he should stay in his own lane and “condemn” the actions of the Anchorage School Board and Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt for removing the charter of the Family Partnership Charter School earlier this year, which drove many students out of the district altogether.

Board member Andy Holleman also voiced his disagreement with the MatSu Board saying that it was a “gift” or “accommodation” to have a student representative on the board. 

It’s interesting that Holleman pays so much attention to the MatSu Board’s meetings and seems to have coordinated beforehand with Joshua in the condemnation of the MatSu Board.

Holleman also seems very concerned that students should have a voice greater than the parents or other Anchorage taxpayers. He said, “There are not a lot of venues for students to speak except for the three minutes to speak at a board meeting.”

Holleman should know that parents also only get three minutes of democracy to voice their concerns to the board. Why should a student get more time than parents to speak?

While Margo Bellamy was board president, the Anchorage School Board put students first in line to testify, even before parents, in the public testimony period. 

Because there is only one hour allotted for early public testimony parents are pushed to the back of the line for their testimony — maybe even to the end of the meeting, which can come several hours later. 

Holleman believes that it is very important the student representative has the opportunity to ask questions.  

“Having a place where you can ask questions as things are presented to us…makes this a better board,” he said. 

Parents can ask questions at board meetings but the board is directed to not respond to those questions. Holleman believes students should be heard but parents should not be able to question the board and get answers.

Holleman said he was very disappointed in how the MatSu Board treated its student representative. 

“It was terrible how they treated the student representative,” he said. 

Holleman further stated that students were the clientele of the district and should have a seat at the table. It appears hearing the students is more important to the board.  Holleman believes unless a student representative is sitting at the dais with the board, that voice is not heard. 

The fact that the student representative on another school board isn’t at the dais seems to be the major issue for him.

Maybe member Holleman should concentrate more on student attendance, graduation rates and other metrics showing student progress in Anchorage, which are historically low.

Attendance in grades 9-12 in May of 2023 was just 51.6%.

Students in grades 9-12 on track for graduation in June 2023 was a dismal 70.4%

The four-year graduation rate in Spring 2023 was an unimpressive 81%.

Here is the chart presented to the board at the Sept. 5 meeting:

Board member Holleman and Student Representative Pak should stay in their own lane and improve education outcomes for all Anchorage students. 


  1. Holleman is as worthless as too many ttees Bryantt. Students concerns are far more important than the dr so lets listen to the students instead of the dr. ASD will likely become more valuable that way.

  2. The ever-present “conflict of interest” with both Bellamy and Holleman is their role on the board for the Association of Alaska School Boards — a group that has decided they are going to run (and sometimes ruin) school boards throughout the state. They had a big role in the destruction of the board and charter at Family Partnership Charter School even though it was not disclosed in any public way beforehand or since. Then they both lied repeatedly during the deliberations about Family Partnership; it’s recorded for everyone to see for themselves. By their own definition of and aggressive use of the term “conflict of interest,” both Bellamy and Holleman should be summarily dismissed from service for current and future service on School Boards or AASB. I watched them fight to dismiss a board member over an alleged conflict of interest and then they conspired to bring in a lawyer to create a smokescreen for their actions. These comments about MatSu smack of the same conflicted overreach. Shame on them both. There is little hope the profoundly corrupt ASD School Board will police this kind of arrogant overstep. May the voters remove these jokers from service at the next opportunity. Replace the ASD School Board as soon as possible!

  3. And for the love of everything American, shut down the AASB and stop wasting tax dollars on this destructive organization that wants to prevent the public from exercising our 1st Amendment right to petition government leaders. That alone would go a long way toward stopping this nonsense from Holleman.

  4. ASD board is worse than not having a school board. They hired an unqualified guy to do the superintendent job and his lack of ability is obvious as hell. Matsu is doing a great job for it’s kids.

  5. “It was terrible how they treated the student representative,” he said.

    Well perhaps the gentle student rep got his feelers hurt but it is indisputable that Matsu students are treated better than ASD students.

  6. The ASD School Board harms children. They have never met a woke cause they wouldn’t champion. What a worthless lot. Lucky for them, today’s parents don’t care much about quality education or poor leadership. No sense electing effective leaders or recalling the union backed cronies. The weakest generation.

  7. Boomers, GenX, and Millennials, we have problem micromanaging that’s telling others how they need to or should be doing the work. This another example of Micromanagement ASD board telling Matsu board how it should be. Two reasons we fall into micromanagement dysfunction I think one either the person doesn’t work enough to tire themselves out so they have the time to critique all around them, two the person or people are judgmental, critical, over achiever, and perfectionist putting their demands upon all around. The ASD leaders are setting a not good leadership example for the Matsu youth representative who doesn’t know any better about respect, cooperation, appropriate management and professional communication, and understanding since he is under training to be a leader himself one day. Something’s don’t need to be aired out on the line for public viewing. This is one thing to be talked about between Youth Rep and Matsu board off the record.

  8. Come on Eagle exit!! How nice it would be to have a reasonable neighboring borough between the MatSu and anchorage!

  9. Is this a trick question? Of course they do. Show me any leftist organization which doesn’t eat power like Hunter does blow.

  10. If I lived in Anchorage and still had school aged children they would be homeschooled or in private school. The district there is a mess and the board seems to be a catalyst for destruction rather than a board focused on education. How dare any of them think they can criticize or try to manipulate the MSB school board. The Anchorage board should be hiring the MSB board for consultation on how to run a school district. It is laughable. And the students are not the consumers, the taxpayers/parents are. The students are benefactors of hopefully a decent education provided by common sense decisions, of which are sorely lacking in Anchorage.
    Lastly, the student rep position is a privilege, not a right and should not have the same responsibilities as the elected board members.

  11. Joshua Pak is a child. Like many children, he thinks he knows more than he actually doe’s. He should be happy with his three minutes of drivel, they cost him nothing. Mine cost about $ 3,500 per year. Year after year. Mrs. Underwood, I shall be calling you about this, it may cost you a vote. The rest of you may do as you wish. Which is usually nothing.

  12. Except for Dave Donley, this group is particularly bad. Fueled by support from the teacher’s union, they make bad decision after bad decision. Student achievement, as objectively measured, drops and drops and drops. Enrollment is also dropping as some families flee for the Valley and others to private education. To top things off, the Board has retained an experienced foreigner as a superintendent. He will be gone to create a new disaster somewhere else as soon as sufficient resume padding has occurred.

    Absent a change, the death spiral will increase. It would be nice if the next round of Board elections could feature a single conservative to oppose the incumbents. That might involve a discussion of electability rather than a focus on ideological rigidity.

  13. What a freaking joke! How does Anchorage even have any say as to what Mat-Su does? Anchorage, shove your concerns where the sun don’t shine. Mat-Su, do not comply with these idiots who are destroying our children’s lives and our futures!

  14. It appears young Mr. Pak, being young and therefore all-knowing, has aspirations of being a “community organizer”. Another potentially productive soul lost to the siren song of power. What should concern this young person much more is the board’s plan to increase attendance and GPA in 5 years time. No “by June of 2024 the graduation rate/attendance/GPA will have improve to X”. Sounds very much like the “clean slate club” the assembly is so fond of. In essence it appears to write off the current 9-12 graders and focus on the next batch still in middle school. Sadly as with the assembly no accountability for the current situation is required and students and parents are callously left in the dust to deal with a young person’s educational status, that leaves much to be desired.

  15. Joshua should apply now to be an apprentice with Sean Penn and Bono so he can learn how to “self aggrandize” from the best.

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