Deena Bishop chosen as new commissioner of Education

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Former Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop was named the new commissioner for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development on Wednesday.

The Board of Education, which makes the decision for the post, last year appointed Heidi Teschner as the interim commissioner while looking to replace former Commissioner Michael Johnson, who left in June, 2022 for another position. The appointment came near the end of the regular quarterly meeting of the board.

Bishop served on the University of Alaska Board of Regents and has been an educator in Alaska since 1991. She served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and the superintendent of the Mat-Su Borough School District. Recently, she has been a top education adviser to Gov. Mike Dunleavy. In 2021, she was a finalist for chancellor of University of Alaska Anchorage.

Bishop holds a bachelor of science degree in education with a specialization in bilingual education, a master of education degree in administration, and a doctor of education degree in learning assessment and system performance. She is a graduate of the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendents Certification two-year program.

41 COMMENTS

    • Guaranteed she will, from my viewpoint.

      The state board is signaling their interest in woke, and DEI.

      I’m glad my kids are done with public education.

  1. What happened to spending more time with her new and only grandchild, in her exit remember that’s what this woman told the public why she is retiring from ASD.

    • The ‘agenda’ never retires. It stops, adjusts, and pivots. Oh. Look. Here it is. Again. Yawn…

  2. She’s been an educator in Alaska since 1991. Our quality of education has gone steadily down in that period.

    Should have gone somewhere they actually educate kids for this choice.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

    • MA: Excellent example of a formal logical fallacy where the implied conclusion does not follow the premises. I’ll use this in class tomorrow.

    • Even back when she first started with Mat-Su School District, I could tell she was a ladder climber. Placed there on purpose to help bring down our system maybe?

  3. Wow….
    Can’t wait for the school boards to adopt a new, even gayer, approach to education while blaming the new commissioner for last year’s test scores and belly slap for more funding.

  4. NOPE!!! 🙄 This could be the nail in the coffin for our school district as if isn’t bad enough already!

  5. For all you folks who are making snarky comments about Ms. Bishop, she was very well thought of out here in the Valley. Remember, Los Anchorage schools were trash (any one remember Queen Carol?) before she got there due to the leftist school board. Now you have some young Outside dude who “checked the boxes”. I’m sure he will set things strait after maybe he gets some classroom experience. Congrats to Ms. Bishop and good luck on her new post.

    • Well her record stands on its own merit. We have the second lowest scores in America. She is really just what we need. I bet she lobby’s for more money to get better results. I cannot be leave that all the advanced education and supposedly smart people cannot figure out what to do about the lousy education our kids are getting. I would not want people to know I am a teacher.

      • Someone who thinks “be leave” is the correct spelling for “believe” is lecturing the public on the quality of our education system.

    • OVT I totally agree. I am ambivalent about this appointment. Mrs. Bishop did a good job in the valley and I heard many good things. I had hoped she would bring some much needed sanity to the ASD. Unfortunately she turned out to be somewhat spaghetti-spined, in my opinion. She steadfastly represented the position of the school board without any dissension. I supposed we will see how she handles this post.

  6. I could care a less about all her fancy credentials. The question is, will she end the onslaught of wokeness from our schools? Will she stop the brainwashing of children to question their gender? Will she stop the unconstitutional insertion of DEI in the classroom? Can we get back to actually educating our next generation to excel in life and not be mindless zombies for globalism?

    • Most of the things you want her to do are the responsibility of the people who produced the child.

      If people didn’t send their children off to day care…errr school, and instead they taught them, or heaven forbid in the morning and evening parents actually cared for and taught their offspring then none of your questions would need be asked. Instead we have people who demand someone else raise and care for their children and then demand they do so to their expectations.

      If you want your kids to be raised correctly, then do your job as a parent and raise them correctly. If not then you end up with the mess we see before us.

      • Agreed, Steve-O, which is why I argue for less funding, fewer free meals, fewer programs, that make it easier for parents to be less engaged in the rearing and educating of their children.
        I wish her good luck.

    • Depending on your perspective, I suppose. She presided over the inclusion of gay porn in the elementary school libraries, the equity move, DEI / CRT, and a full-throated embrace of the trans craze, all while ASD lied about it to concerned parents every step of the way. Great nomination, that (/sarc). Cheers –

  7. This woman is a huge mistake. All she did working at ASD was further rape the taxpayers, while improving student educational outcomes not one bit. This is a HUGE mistake and will definitely accelerate the elimination of the PFD and build the cry for an income tax in Juneau. The woman has made millions personally by spending billions on ineffective management. Just say NO. Dunleavy is not properly vetting these people he is putting in key positions. Just because a person has failed uphill regularly for decades is NOT a positive reason to continue their failure on the public dime.

  8. How in the world is someone who has benefited her entire career from the hopelessly broken public education system going to positively change that system? Ain’t gonna happen!

  9. I see the “fail upward…” approach to education is (still) alive and well in this state…!!! LMAO!!!

  10. If she truly cared about our children she would have remained in her superintendent position and protected the children form her replacement.
    He is an absolute substandard unqualified replacement. At least Deena was local and has some skin in the game unlike our expensive import has absolutely none and will be gone before the ball hits the floor.

  11. Bummer. Why not look out of State for a Conservative that wouldn’t play politics with the public over closing six schools and only closing one? Seems she didn’t do much for hiring teachers that teach 1,2,3-A,B, C and reading by the third. Anchorage barely beats the Bush in proficiency testing.

    This woman is a walking red flag including her ability to manage the District money.

    I bet she supports HB 106, which is a giant lawsuit fixing to happen if it passes the legislature this year.

  12. Commissioner Bishop’s picture says it all.
    .
    “I (heart) ASD”.
    .
    Not something like I (heart) children, families, Alaska, America, classical education, not even I (heart) dollar signs which would prove once and for all where true love actually lies.
    .
    Could have been something memorable like: “I (heart) an enormous union owned and operated education industry nationally recognized for its overpriced underperformance, locally recognized for its corruption and perversion, accountable to nobody.”
    .
    To our cynical Photoshop experts, (please) don’t even think about it.

  13. All the games of musical chairs… All the bureaucracy… All the cash spent on nothing….

    Why have any of this? What a waste.

  14. Perhaps she can explain but I remember her doing and saying some stupid stuff during the Covid crisis and particularly during the BLM nonsense. Maybe someone should ask some questions during the Legislative confirmation process.

  15. Based on the past 25-years, our Tax Dollars have only been wasted on this current approach to education, and the test scores prove it. Hopefully, with new leadership, we can minimize costs and maximize learning. Here’s a few ideas, thinking outside the box, that hopefully gain traction and consideration:
    – Replace all of the teachers with distant learning classes and/or AI Bots via the internet. You, as the parent, can select the appropriate classes // programs for your child so they have the best opportunity to be maximize their potential, to be productive citizens within our communities.
    – Sell off all of the School Buildings and/or demolish them (sell the property).
    – Reinstitute ‘corporal punishment’ so as to allow for appropriate discipline. If it works on your Dog, it will definitely work on your Kid (if administered forcefully). And, we all survived it just fine!
    – Accelerate the learning cycle, mandating ‘year-round’ school, from 8am to 5pm. Just like a regular job that the Tax Payers work.
    – Increase the standards, holding the dumb ones back, advancing the smart ones.
    – Restructure the education system so that by age 16, the child decides one of three paths … Military Service, Trade School (apprenticeship), or College // University.
    I’m sure these ideas will sound draconian, mean, and harsh. But, as Ronald Reagan once said … “Are you better off today than you were before?” If not, then it’s time for significant and meaningful change!!!

  16. Schools should educate children.

    Parents should raise children.

    If you want public schools to raise your children, then you shouldn’t have had children.

    If more parents were involved in raising their children we wouldn’t be asking why our schools are raising our children now.

  17. I wish Mrs. Bishop the best. She survived the crazy left ASD School Board and she’s well versed in the size and influence of that district on all things Alaska-education. As a rural School Board member, I just hope that she takes her new job seriously and does what she can to encourage all Alaskan districts to get back to the basics. Mr. Johnson was a wonderful person, but he and his staff pushed WAY too hard for digital learning. Our kids really need the basics: reading, writing, and math. Make it fun, make it hands-on, collaborate with local businesses and organizations, bring back competency-based assessments. If PEAKS testing in the spring doesn’t get summarized and released until the following November, it’s a complete waste. Our students need to learn penmanship, resiliency and creativity. Our Alaskan parents really have to step it up – send your kids to school fed, well-rested and with the basics of respect for others. Too many parents aren’t doing their part to prep their kids for learning. We have hundreds of amazing educators in our state; too many quit education because they didn’t go to college to be babysitters to over-privileged brats. Let’s set the bar high and work together to get there.

  18. But, but … the ASD school board said she was “retiring”. If she is still working, then that proves the school board lied to us. The truth is she left a fiscal nightmare and cut and ran from ASD. She is a do-nothing bimbo bureaucrat.

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