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In this file photo a dancer participates in a powwow hosted by the Native American Youth and Family Center. The state recently approved a plan to better support Native American youth. ( Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian) (Ross William Hamilton)

The Oregon Department of Education has outlined a new strategic plan to help boost graduation rates, attendance and more for the state’s Native American youth. 

The state originally approved the Oregon American Indian/Alaska Native Education State Plan more than 20 years ago, according to ODE. The newly revised document was adopted by the State Board of Education in April and aims to increase outcomes for Native American students, provide culturally relevant instruction and hire and retain more Native American educators.

“This plan will help guide our efforts at the state level as we engage our tribal partners and communities in the important work underway,”  said new state schools chief Salam Noor, who recently took over for former Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “Our system has historically underserved our Native students, and this plan is an important step in turning things around and providing our students with what they need to excel.”

To read the entire article, click here.

An excerpt:

More and more American Indian and Alaska Native students are graduating from high school but they are still falling behind their peers, according to data released by the Education Department today.

During the 2012-2013 school year, 69.7 percent of Indian students finished high school. The rate marked an improvement from the two years prior.

Despite the gains, Indian students had the lower graduation rate of all other ethnic and racial groups. The rates among Asian/Pacific Islander (88.7) and White (86.6) students were significantly higher while the rate among Hispanic students (75.2) was noticeably higher as well.

To view the full article, click here.