Oklahoma American Indian Students Lead Nation in Math/Reading Scores

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s American Indian students continue to lead the nation in math and reading scores. The 2015 National Indian Education Study (NIES) released today shows significant gains in reading for Oklahoma fourth-graders, who scored 19 points above the national average.

To read the entire article, courtesy of Ponca City Now, click here.

DOE Releases Civil Rights Data Collection Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      

June 9, 2016

Washington, D.C.– Earlier this week, the Department of Education (ED) released a first look at the data collected in the 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) Report. The CRDC is a survey of all public schools and school districts in the United States. The survey measures student access to resources, as well as information on factors like school discipline and bullying. As other reports have shown, Native students continue to face obstacles that impact their academic success. Highlights from the report show the harsh realities our students experience in public schools including:

  • Native students are disproportionately suspended from school.
  • Native high school students are also retained disproportionately.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native (26%), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (25%) high school students are chronically absent.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native boys represent 0.6% of all students, but 2% of students expelled without educational services.
  • More than one out of five American Indian or Alaska Native (22%) and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (23%) boys with disabilities served by IDEA received one or more out-of-school suspensions, compared to one out of ten white (10%) boys with disabilities served by IDEA.

Secretary of Education, John King, said of the report, “The Obama Administration has always stressed how data can empower parents, educators and policy makers to make informed decisions about how to better serve students. The stories the CRDC data tell us create the imperative for a continued call to action to do better and close achievement and opportunity gaps.”

NIEA Executive Director Ahniwake Rose agreed saying, “This report confirms what Native education advocates have always known-gaps persist that impact the success of our students. However, it only provides one chapter of a larger story. When looking at reports that assess the innovative solutions tribes have started to implement:  culture-based education, language immersion programs, community input, and support work, we know tribal communities have the ability to reverse these statistics. NIEA hopes the CRDC report provides an opportunity to begin a national discussion on how to expand these solutions and provide the flexibility and support to make them work.”

Throughout 2016, the ED will continue to release data highlights that relay information about issues that impact student success.

To view the CRDC report, please click here.

Click here to learn more about NIEA.

Indian Affairs: Key Actions Needed to Ensure Safety and Health at Indian School Facilities

GAO-16-313, March 10

The Department of the Interior’s (Interior) Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs (Indian Affairs) lacks sound information on safety and health conditions of all Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) school facilities. Specifically, GAO found that Indian Affairs’ national information on safety and health deficiencies at schools is not complete and accurate because of key weaknesses in its inspection program, which prevented GAO from conducting a broader analysis of schools’ safety and health conditions. Indian Affairs’ policy requires its regional safety inspectors to conduct inspections of all BIE schools annually to identify facility deficiencies that may pose a threat to the safety and health of students and staff. However, GAO found that 69 out of 180 BIE school locations were not inspected in fiscal year 2015, an increase from 55 locations in fiscal year 2012. Agency officials told GAO that vacancies among regional staff contributed to this trend. As a result, Indian Affairs lacks complete information on the frequency and severity of health and safety deficiencies at BIE schools nationwide and cannot be certain all school facilities are currently meeting safety requirements.

The Common Core Initiative, Educational Outcomes and American Indian/Alaska Native Students: Observations and Recommendations

This monograph explores the ways in which large-scale school reform efforts play out in American Indian/Alaska Native communities and schools, starting from a historical and cultural perspective, and focusing on the translation of research into concrete steps leading to American Indian/Alaska Native student academic success and personal well-being.

For more information, click here.

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.

 

Indigenous Educational Policy Development with Tribal Governments: A Case Study

Nicole R. Bowman-Farrell (Mohican/Munsee) did her PHD dissertation on Indigenous Educational Policy Development with Tribal Governments and specifically focused on the Stockbridge-Munsee.  The abstract from her dissertation is here.  The poster she used to present her research at NCAI’s mid-year conference is here.  Her actual PHD dissertation can be seen here.

From the abstract:

This study had three major findings:

1. Developing Tribal educational policy is a contextualized and multiple step process. The S-M educational policy system is a series of intra-Tribal interactions. Policy is created in multiple steps involving the Tribal government, Tribal Education Board, and Tribal Education Department. Each of these Tribal educational policy stakeholder groups has distinct roles in the policy process.

2. Multiple factors influence Tribal education policy development. These include “cross-cutting” influences as well as community, cultural/traditional and public/western education influences.

3. Tribal and public educational policy activities vary across educational agencies and affect the policy environment, inter-agency relations, and perceptions of educational stakeholders.

Findings from the study suggest that multi-jurisdictional policy structures and activities that explicitly foster intergovernmental relations across local, state, federal, and Tribal government agencies will best support public school education of American Indian students.

It is great to see some new scholarship on Tribal Education Policy, particularly scholarship that is well researched and written!

The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee report recommends continued funding for TED development pursuant to Section 2020 in the amount of $2,000,000

You can see the full report here.  An excerpt from page 38:

The recommendation includes $2,000,000 as requested for the development and operation of tribal departments or divisions of education as authorized in 25 U.S.C. 2020.

Via TurtleTalk: New Study on American Indian School-To-Prison Pipeline Problem in Utah

Here is “Disparities in Discipline: A Look at School Disciplinary Actions for Utah’s American Indian Students.

The abstract:

Via ACT.org: The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2014

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2014 is ACT’s annual report on the progress of the graduating class relative to college readiness. This year, 57% of the graduating class took the ACT® college readiness assessment. The increased number of test takers over the past several years enhances the breadth and depth of the data pool, providing a comprehensive picture of the current graduating class in the context of readiness levels as well as offering a glimpse of the emerging educational pipeline.

This report is designed to help educators understand and answer the following questions:

  • Are your students prepared for college and career, and are your younger students on target?
  • Are enough of your students taking core courses, and are those courses rigorous enough?
  • What are the most popular majors/occupations, and what does the pipeline for each look like?
  • What other dimensions of college and career readiness, like academic behaviors, should educators track?
  • How are educators tracking progress on STEM initiatives?

The data includes average scores and benchmark attainment by state for the Class of 2014 as well as 2013 and other other readiness factors. To view the report, click here.