Tribal School Wins Its Own Waiver From No Child Left Behind

An excerpt:

A tribal school in Florida has been granted relief from the most onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind, making it the first tribal school in the nation to win its own waiver from the nation’s main federal education law.

The Miccosukee Indian School joins more than 40 states that have already won flexibility from No Child Left Behind by setting forth an alternative plan to hold their schools accountable. The Miccosukee school’s plan includes academic standards that cover not just math and English, but also the Miccosukee language and culturally relevant science.

It also aims to cut academic achievement gaps at the school in half over the next six years, which means its annual performance targets are different than Florida’s.

“Our standards include rigorous educational benchmarks and reflect the unique history, heritage, tradition, language, culture and values of the Miccosukee Indian Tribe and our people,” said Colley Billie, chairman of the tribe.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the move Monday, saying it is a sign of the Obama administration’s broader commitment to ensuring that tribes have control of their children’s education.

“This is a historic day,” Jewell said during a ceremony at her office. “It’s all about tribal self-governance, self-determination, and it starts with making sure the people who care most deeply about these children are the people that are making decisions for them.”

To read the entire article on http://www.washingtonpost.com, click here.

Federal Officials Say Native American School in Minnesota Needs Help

Federal officials got a firsthand look at one deteriorating Native American school in Minnesota Tuesday–they said it’s one of many suffering similarly throughout the country.

After touring Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School in Bena, Minnesota, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell said it’s just one example of how the country is letting down it’s Native American students.

Employees said at this school about 30 miles west of Grand Rapids, they don’t have many of the daily classroom materials they need. Jewell said the science rooms particularly suffer. Used previously as a bus garage, part of the school is made with metal, and as employees said, that doesn’t lend well to the extreme cold weather the area often faces.

“It needs a lot of work and there are a lot of issues mainly when the whether gets very cold,” Benjamin Bowstring, an employee with the school, said. He said bats often find their home in the school as well.

The school is Bureau of Indian Education funded and also receives some dollars from the Leech Lake Ojibwe tribe, but Jewell said that hasn’t been enough.

There are 183 Native American schools funded through the BIE across the country and more than 60 of those are operating under poor condition. Jewell estimated today it could cost more than $25 million to completely restore the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School and Wasburn guessed it could cost nearly $1 billion more to fix all the others.

“It is important that we make progress, and you’ve got to start in the areas that have the biggest safety issues, where you’ve got supportive people from the tribal standpoint, from a school administration standpoint and this is a great example,” Jewell said.

She said the next step is asking Congress and administration for their support.

“It’s awareness, it’s priority and frankly as a country, you can’t save your way to prosperity,” Jewell said. “You can’t save your way to having well-educated Indian children.”

 

To view the entire article and video, click here.

DOI Announces $2.5 Million to Promote Tribal Control and Operation of BIE-Funded Schools

Interior Department Announces $2.5 million to Promote Tribal Control and Operation of BIE-Funded Schools

Funding Opportunity Part of Bureau of Indian Education’s implementation of American Indian Education Study Group’s “Blueprint for Reform;” Sovereignty in Indian Education grants will promote tribal self-determination in education through tribal control of BIE-funded schools

WASHINGTON, D.C.–As part of the Obama Administration’s historic commitment to ensurethat all students attending Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools receive an effectiveeducation delivered to them by tribes, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the BIE will fund $2.5million in Sovereignty in Indian Education competitive grants. The purpose of these grants is to provide funding to federally recognized tribes and their tribal education departments to promotetribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations.

To view the press release, click here.

ICT – Interior Secretary Jewell Discusses Native Education at Laguna Pueblo

Here.  And an excerpt:

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said her December 11 visit to Laguna Pueblo Elementary School in New Mexico was her “first opportunity to see an Indian school directly,” reported the Albuquerque Journal.

She and a number of others, including Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn, were meeting to help inform the work of the American Indian Education Study Group. As part of the visit, they toured the school and had a roundtable with principals from other local tribally controlled schools.

Jewell saw the deteriorating school and the difficulty the school has in recruiting and retaining teachers.

 

Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/17/interior-secretary-jewell-discusses-native-education-laguna-pueblo-152719

DR. CHARLES M. ROESSEL NAMED DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF INDIAN EDUCATION

Here.  From Native News Online:

Assistant Secretary Kevin K. Washburn today announced that he has named Dr. Charles M. “Monty” Roessel as Director of the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).  Roessel, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, had served as the acting director since February 2012.

 The announcement came today as Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Assistant Secretary Washburn and Director Roessell were in Laguna, New Mexico to tour a Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) tribally controlled grant school located on the Pueblo of Laguna reservation.