The Tribal Education Department National Assembly (TEDNA) Native Youth Community Partners (NYCP) Project will develop, test, and demonstrate the effectiveness of College and Career Readiness services and supports to improve the educational opportunities and achievement of Indian students in middle and junior high school. The TEDNA NYCP Project is expected to achieve the goal that all participating Grade 6-9 Indian students will improve College and Career Readiness as defined by a successful transition into high school with a GPA of 2.0+ and a plan that addresses and supports College and Career Readiness that is locally informed. (Full abstract available upon request).

The success of the TEDNA NYCP Project will depend heavily on key personal attributes of the NYCP Project Director. Candidates for this position must bring:

  • Talent, intelligence, compassion, energy, enthusiasm and patience sufficient to bring all project participants to understand and personally invest in project success.
  • Sufficient understanding of tribal sovereignty, Native culture and Native experience to win and maintain acceptance and participation by the individuals and tribes that they will be serving.
  • Sufficient understanding of current and emerging learning, education and administrative practices (and their application in public, BIE and tribal schools) to build and maintain effective bridges within each community of students, parents, tribe, and school.
  • Sufficient understanding of the grant award criteria, TEDNA’s application and the roles and capacities of our OIE funder, our project evaluator and our partner service providers to build and maintain effective bridges within this community and each tribal community of students, parents, leaders and their partnering school.
  • A commitment to personal growth and development that will enable them to serve the NYCP Project’s highest potential as a demonstration project that informs and empowers all Native communities.

These attributes are also key to TEDNA’s success in recruiting and building the resources essential to fulfillment of our mission.

For more information, click here.

An excerpt:

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students awarded Little Wound School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota a Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant totaling more than $325,000. The grant will be used to assist the Little Wound School with ongoing recovery efforts following 12 suicide deaths on the Pine Ridge reservation, including the deaths of current and former Little Wound School students, and relatives and friends of the students. In addition, there have been more than 100 suicide attempts on the reservation during the 2014-15 school year. This is the third Project SERV grant awarded to a school district on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The first grant was awarded in June 2010, and in June 2015, the Department awarded a grant to Pine Ridge School following a significant increase in student suicides. 

“These incidents are troubling, and my heart goes out to the students, families and community of Pine Ridge,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “There are so many people involved in the work to help children, families and the community heal after these tragedies, and this grant will help this community receive the services it needs to move forward in restoring the learning environment.”

There are two types of Project SERV awards—Immediate Services and Extended Services. Immediate Services grants provide emergency, short-term assistance to affected school districts or colleges and universities. Extended Services grants assist school districts and colleges and universities in carrying out the long-term recovery efforts that may be needed following a significant, traumatic event. To date, the Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded more than $42.1 million to 128 grantees, including Little Wound School, since the grants program began in 2001.

To view a list of Project SERV grantees and award amounts, or to learn more about the program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/dvppserv/index.html.

To read the entire press release, click here.

The University of North Dakota, at long last, has a new nickname, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

“Fighting Hawks” will replace “Fighting Sioux” as the university’s new moniker, ending a decades-long struggle over whether to discontinue the longtime Sioux mascot, which some students, faculty members, and alumni assailed as racist. Among the forces opposing the nickname’s removal were several lawsuits and, most recently, a former mayor’s effort to trademark the possible replacements.

The new nickname prevailed in a runoff vote after two names — “Fighting Hawks” and “Roughriders” — emerged via popular vote from a field of five.

An excerpt:

By Kristen Carpenter and Carla Fredericks

The Denver Post recently weighed in on the controversy surrounding the National Football League’s team in Washington, D.C. The Post wrote, “Although the Redskins name ought to be retired, it shouldn’t occur at the expense of the First Amendment.”

We believe the case was decided properly, in our view, as a matter of federal trademark law and does not impact free speech.

The federal court in Blackhorse vs. Pro-Football, Inc., canceled six trademarks registered to the Pro-Football corporation. The federal Lanham Act prohibits registration of marks that “may disparage … persons living or dead.”

The court held the team’s marks, including the word “r–skin” and related images, refer in a vulgar and offensive way to American Indians, thereby violating the act.

To read the entire article, click here.

 

 

UPDATED

Christmas seems to have come early this year for education advocates. After weeks of long and hard negotiations, House and Senate lawmakers have reached preliminary agreement on a bill for the long-stalled re-authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, multiple sources say.

The agreement will set the stage for an official conference committee, which would likely kick off next week. The legislation could be on the floor of the House and Senate by the end of this month, or early next, sources say. (Nothing set in stone on timing just yet.) 

So far, the word isn’t official. Neither the House nor the Senate education committee has confirmed.

No hard-and-fast details available yet, although those are likely to trickle out in coming days. But if I were a betting woman, I’d put money down that there will be some language asking states to intervene in the bottom five percent of their schools, and schools with high drop-out rates.

No provision for so-called Title I “portability,” smart money says. (School choice fans might have something to cheer about anyway). And many smaller programs may have been rolled into a big giant block grant, according to folks familiar with earlier drafts of the proposal.

Sources familiar with previous versions of the agreement also say the odds are good that a new program for early childhood education made it into the compromise.

Some of the biggest sticking points towards the end of negotiations were said to be secretarial authority, authorizations, and accountability. So where did things end up?

We’ll find out soon enough for sure.

But the accountability provisions in earlier drafts were said to be pretty complicated, which makes sense, given the nature of bipartisan compromise.

“Based on what I’ve seen, for the next Secretary, interpreting the new law will be like looking at a Rorschach with one eye closed and with both hands tied behind their back,” said Charlie Barone, the policy director at Democrats for Education Reform, who served as an aide to Rep. George Miller of California, the top Democrat on the House education committee, when NCLB was written.

But that complexity could actually be a boon to state and local control, especially since the compromise includes nearly all of the restrictions on the Secretary’s authority that were in the House and Senate versions.

“The complexity helps,” said a GOP aide. The agreement “leaves a lot of this to states to figure out and the secretary’s ability to interfere with those state decisions is astonishingly limited.”

UPDATE [Nov. 13, 10:20 am] Overall, everyone walked out of negotiations with his or her biggest priority intact, the aide said. “Everybody has a lot to be happy about,” said a GOP aide who participated in the negotiations.

  • Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., got her early childhood education program, which the Obama administration also really wanted, plus some additional accountability, including on subgroups.
  • Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee, got many programs placed into a block grant.
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate committee, got limitations on secretarial authority. That includes new limits on teacher evaluations, turnarounds, tests, you name it.
  • And Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., got some beefed-up subgroup language, which Murray also fought very hard for. The administration also wanted to see some subgroup accountability.

So what’s in the bill?  To read the entire article, click here.

Here (unfortunately behind a paywall):

The Growing Market for Indian Lawyering
By Matthew L.M. Fletcher
American Indians are sorely underrepresented in the legal profession. But there is a greater need for more Native attorneys now than ever. By offering lay advocate, paralegal, or pre-law programs, TCUs can make a major difference.

Producing a Tribal Citizenry Literate in Law and Jurisprudence
By Stephen Wall
As the most legislated people in America, tribal citizens can benefit immensely from a legal education offered from a critical and culturally specific perspective. And tribal colleges are ideally suited for the task.

Teaching Indian Law and Creating Agents of Change
By Christopher M. Harrington
Teaching tribal college students about Indian law and policy can be an emotional and challenging endeavor. The process, however, can galvanize and empower them to work for change in their own communities and in Indian Country as a whole.

Designing and Teaching an Introduction to Federal Indian Law
By Wynema Morris
There are a variety of factors that should be considered when designing the curriculum for a course on Indian law. Students should learn to read for content, interpret legal language and symbols, and gain an understanding of who makes, implements, and interprets the law.