Early last month, Barack Obama made his first visit as president to Indian Country, where he announced plans to revamp the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) in an effort to improve the agency’s federally funded Native American schools. Acknowledging a “crisis” in Native American education, Obama proposed giving local tribes more control over education so that “you can direct your children’s education and reform schools here in Indian Country.”

As it stands, the BIE, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, directly operates 57 schools for Native American students and supervises 126 tribally controlled schools. The BIE schools educate less than 10 percent of Native American and Alaska Native students in the country, but these students tend to perform substantially worse than Native students in regular public schools and public school students in general.

Still, the performance of Native students in regular public schools is no cause for celebration, either. When taken together, Native students in BIE schools and regular public schools are some of the lowest-performing students in the country.

Below we have compiled a series of charts outlining the state of education for Native students around the country in all types of public schools.

To read further, click here. Our previous posts on this are here, and here.

Here is an article from ED Week regarding student data databases and their uses.  A quote:

Years ago when teachers, administrators and school staff were looking to build early warning systems to catch children from falling through the cracks, they would keep attendance records, grades and whether the students were tardy or leaving early on a regular basis. Now with accountability, and issues of Teacher of Record (TOR), schools are tracking students in every way possible so they can maintain an electronic paper trail. Numbers are not always the problem…it’s what people do with the numbers that can sometimes pose a problem.

Here is a New York Times article regarding protecting student data in a growing educational technological industry.  A quote:

On Tuesday, Senator Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, sent a letter to Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, about how K-12 schools are outsourcing management and assessment of student data, including intimate details like disabilities, to technology vendors. The letter cited an article in The New York Times this month about concerns over the proliferation of student data to companies.

A good article regarding the evolving use of data by school districts.  A quote:

Now, the bulk of student data is housed in a consolidated student-information system that teachers can use to create assessments, score them, and get the results analyzed immediately, giving them the power to adjust their teaching based on what they’re seeing and analyzing in real time. Gone are the days of waiting weeks, or even months, to get data about student academic performance.

“It’s had a huge impact,” said Dan Grossnicklaus, the student-information-systems manager for the 11,000-student district. “In the past, the results were more like an autopsy—not much you can do after the fact. Now there can be an intervention before a student leaves the class.”

This further shows the importance of data in education, and why Tribes and TEDs need to have streamlined access to that data to support their students.  FERPA was recently amended, but it still generally does not allow Tribes and TEDs to access data without a prior consent form.