White House Initiative American Indian and Alaska Native Education School Environment Listening Sessions Report

Here. An excerpt from the Executive Summary:

To improve education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students, tribal leaders, educators, and Native youth called upon WHIAIANE to collect information on school environment experiences — from teachers, parents, community members, and the students themselves. Tribal leaders and tribal communities wanted members of the initiative to hear about the challenges these students face in gaining high-quality education, with a focus on the quality of their school environments.

To meet this need, WHIAIANE, in collaboration with OCR, worked with tribal leaders and communities to design and execute a series of nationwide listening sessions regarding the school environments of AI/AN students. In October and November 2014, nine gatherings were held in seven states from New York to California to Alaska.

These sessions drew over 1,000 attendees in total and allowed WHIAIANE and OCR to gather information from all stakeholders in AI/AN education. WHIAIANE acted as a listener, allowing students and others to speak openly about their school environments.

“You just have to be you, and you just have to be real. The only way to change things is to hear from real people,” said Valerie Davidson, trustee of the First Alaskans Institute, who served as the moderator for the listening session in Anchorage, Alaska. WHIAIANE imparted similar instructions at each session in an effort to encourage a safe environment for participants to share their stories.

Throughout the sessions, the initiative collected information about the challenges related to school climate, including bullying, student discipline, potentially harmful Native imagery and symbolism, and the implications of all of these school climate issues. With regard to Native school mascots and symbols, the initiative is aware that some people strongly favor retaining their school mascots. During the listening sessions, however, initiative staff members did not hear this viewpoint; thus it is not reflected in this report.

WHIAIANE found feedback from these sessions invaluable in forming its recommended next steps. The initiative further expects that information from these sessions will guide its future work and goals — to address the unique and culturally related academic needs of AI/AN students and to ensure that they receive an excellent education.


2015 Forum and Workshop Materials

Here are TEDNA’s 2015 forum and workshop materials.  They will also be stored in the Resources section.

TEDNA Annual Meeting and Forum:

2015-10-14 Rosebud Sioux Tribe TEDNA Presentation
2015-10-14 Bowman PhD.Oral Defense TEDNA Presentation
2015-10-14 Sam Morseau TEDNA Presentation
2015-10-14 NARF, Melody MCCOY Tribal Education Codes

TEDNA Workshop: Collaborating with Public Schools:

STEP NIEA Workshop

TEDNA Executive Director and VP at the NYCP Project Directors Meeting in Washington DC

Under the new Native Youth Community Projects (NYCP) program, the Department is making grants to a dozen recipients in nine states that will impact more than thirty tribes and involve more than 48 schools. These awards are a demonstration of President Obama’s strong commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native children and a key element of his Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative to help Native American youth.

TEDNA was one of the grantees.


Joyce Silverthorne, Director of Office of Indian Education, Gloria Sly, TEDNA President, Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education , Quinton RomanNose, TEDNA

White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education Stakeholder Call

U.S. Department of Education

On October 15, White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education (WHIAIANE) released a school environment report called the School Environment Listening Sessions Final Report. The report was released and announced by William Mendoza, Executive Director of WHIAIANE at the National Indian Education Association’s Convention in Portland, Oregon.

As part of the school environment listening sessions WHIAIANE heard from Native youth, schools and communities on ways to better meet the unique educational and culturally-related academic needs of Native American students.

Throughout the sessions, WHIAIANE collected information about the challenges related to school environment including bullying, student discipline, potentially harmful Native American imagery and symbolism, and the implications of all of these school environment issues.

The School Environment Listening Sessions Final Report is a summary of the findings from the October and November 2014 listening sessions. It identifies common issues and suggests recommendations to address the concerns shared by teachers, parents, community members, and students.

Please join us for a brief conference call about the contents of this report. The Department of Education press release is available on the ed.gov website. The School Environment Listening Sessions Final Report on the WHIAIANE website under the Native Youth Environment Initiative tab.

October 29, 2015
1:00pm – 2:00pm EST
Number: 1-888-946-3504
Participant Passcode: 6958855

For more information, click here.

Via EdWeek.org: Schools, Government Agencies Move to Share Student Data

An excerpt:

The struggle to protect students’ privacy while making use of the data collected on them in school has for years been focused on the role of outside companies.

But while that debate has raged in Congress and statehouses across the country, K-12 school systems in more than a dozen cities and counties have quietly begun linking children’s educational records with data from other government agencies, covering everything from children’s mental-health status to their history of child-welfare placements and their involvement in the juvenile-justice system.

Proponents say that such intergovernmental “integrated data systems” can yield powerful insights that promote a more holistic understanding of children’s experiences. They point to an emerging track record of the information being used to improve policy, service delivery, and program evaluation.

Take, for example, Allegheny County, in southwestern Pennsylvania. After learning that 14,450 Pittsburgh public school students—more than half the district—had been involved in county human-services programs, officials there have worked to analyze the experiences of homeless students and children in foster care. They’ve initiated a new cross-sector effort to combat chronic absenteeism. Child-welfare caseworkers will soon receive weekly email alerts when children in their caseloads get suspended or miss multiple days of school. And district officials or school counselors and social workers could get similar notices when one of their students shows up in a homeless shelter, runs afoul of the law, or is moved from his or her child-welfare placement.

“It’s been transformational in understanding how a community, school districts, and other child-serving government agencies can come together to support kids,” said Erin Dalton, the deputy director of the county’s human-services department’s data-analysis, research, and evaluation office.

The administration of President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Education are both part of a growing national push for those kinds of data-sharing arrangements. But clearing the legal and technical hurdles to create such systems is difficult.

Turning the resulting data into better policies and fresh practices is even harder.

And the privacy concerns associated with integrated data systems—including potential breaches, the creation of inaccurate or misleading profiles, and possible stigmatization of children—are immense.

To read the entire article, click here.

Allegations of Racism Directed at the University of Wyoming

An excerpt:

The Principal of St. Stephens Indian High School is calling the University of Wyoming’s investigation into the Sept. 26 incident at the University Store involving six St. Stephens Indian High School seniors and allegations of racial profiling by UW employees “an insult to the intelligence of myself, the students and their parents, and every reasonable prudent citizen of our Nation.”

A total of 10 seniors from St. Stephens Indian High school visited UW two weekends ago as part of the “Campus Pass” program.  They were given a tour of campus on Friday, and six of the students went into the University Store on Saturday morning before the football game.  Allegedly, a customer in the store told one of the employees that one of the students wearing a St. Stephens shirt had taken an item and put it in their bag without paying.  According to St. Stephens Indian School Principal Cheryl R. Meyers, the six students and two chaperones were rounded up; campus police were called to conduct a search.  According to a description of events from the UW Office of General Counsel, “No items purchased from the store were in the bags, nor were there items from the store in the bags that had not been purchased.”

Yesterday, the University of Wyoming released a memo detailing their investigation into the incident involving six students and two chaperones at the University Store on Saturday, Sept. 26.  The report was sent to UW President McGinity on Tuesday, Oct. 6, and concludes by saying “There exists no evidence of racial profiling or discrimination.”

To read the full article, click here.