The American Indian Education KnowledgeBase is an online resource to aid education professionals in their efforts to improve the education of American Indian students and close the achievement gap American Indian students have faced in public, Bureau of Indian Education, and other schools.
Purpose: To ensure educators, in support of American Indian students, understand the historical principles which guides the academic journey of these students, the challenges and barriers which impacts these efforts, and current trends and research which are the basis for Indian education programs today.
American Indian tribes negotiated a multiplicity of treaties with the U.S. government, which then imposed upon them a number of laws and policies to promote the educational development of American Indian children.
The federal government has responded to treaty provisions enacted between tribal governments and the United States which required educational support for American Indian children by developing and implementing educational programs in response to the federal trust responsibility of the U.S. Government. The following Tasks will outline that response to treaty obligations.
Purpose: Educators will increase awareness and understanding of the breadth and scope of cultural diversity that exists among American Indian tribal communities, as well as shared values and traditions of American Indian people.
Educators will understand:
Educators will understand the process of federal recognition of tribes, tribal enrollment, and treaty making that has impacted American Indian tribal people since the founding of the United States. Educators will also learn about the structure and the importance of American Indian tribes, clans, bands, and extended families to American Indians.
Educators will understand and respect the importance of cultural values and traditional concepts which help to shape the mindset of American Indian children and their families. Educators will understand the complex challenges faced by American Indian children in today’s classroom as a result of conflicting value systems.
Guideline: Effective educational decision-making is based on systematic collection, aggregation and disaggregation of data into information which can be used to determine effective programming and services in support of American Indian students. The resources provided offer frameworks for collecting basic information for organizing data collection.
Using data effectively involves understanding how to use it and being aware of the challenges that entails. The lists offered from Getting Excited About Data (2nd ed): Combining People, Passion and Proof to Maximize Student Achievement highlight how high performing schools use data as well as listing challenges and impediments faced.
*NEW* NCAI Native American Demographics
This National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) website offers a snapshot of American Indian demographics, (from the 2010 U.S. Census), including: population, health disparities, public safety and security, energy on tribal lands, housing and infrastructure, forestry, and education.
This activity adapted from "A How To Guide For School Business Partnerships" is designed to help decision makers define what is and is not working within a project and what changes should be made to the plan. The Stop-Start-Continue Worksheet can be found on page 19.
This tool from the U.S. Department of Education's An Idea Book for Planning is useful for managing the data collected during the needs assessment. It consists of two parts: Data Sources Matrix and Data Collection and Analysis Plan.
"The Data Sources Matrix helps organize needs assessment data collection by identifying information sources and methods of data collection. In the matrix, fill specific sources of information you already have on hand from the school profile (e.g., student achievement data, results from a parent survey with results that are pertinent to the planning effort) so you do not duplicate efforts. Then, list any additional information the team decides to collect. Examine each focus area to make sure that there are data describing the status of major aspects of the priority focus areas."
"The Data Collection and Analysis Plan prioritizes the "focus areas" for which data will be collected and it lays out the data collection and analysis plans. First, define the team's key questions, the data collection methods (i.e., surveys, interviews, focus groups, shadowing, etc.), instruments to be used by analysis subcommittee members, and summarize the plans for analysis. List two to three "focus areas" the team plans to study in order of highest (#1) to lowest priority for data gathering. Respond to the questions for each focus area."
Implementing Schoolwide Programs - Presentation
EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT (ESSA): Testing Action Plan & Assessments Under Title I; Part A & Part B
High-quality assessments are essential to effectively educating students, measuring progress, and promoting equity. Done well and thoughtfully, they provide critical information for educators, families, the public, and students themselves and create the basis for improving outcomes for all learners. Done poorly, in excess, or without clear purpose, however, they take valuable time away from teaching and learning, and may drain creative approaches from our classrooms. In October 2015, President Obama announced a Testing Action Plan to restore balance to America’s classrooms by ensuring fewer, better, and fairer tests.
*NEW* Measuring the Achievement and Experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native Youth (2015)
The National Indian Education Study (NIES) is administered as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to allow more in-depth reporting on the achievement and experiences of AI/AN students in grade 4 and 8. In order to measure the progress of education in the United States, it is important to examine equity and growth for students from many different demographic groups. The educational experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth are of particular interest to educators and policymakers because of the prevalence of academic risk factors for this group.
Characteristics of American Indian and Alaska Native Education (1990 - 1994)
This Department of Education paper summarizes the findings of the 1993-94 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) with regard to schools that serve Native American and Alaska Native students, and examines trends in Indian Education since 1990-91, when the data for the first National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) report on Indian Education were collected.
The Maryland Department of Education, as part of its School Improvement in Maryland website, offers guidance on analyzing classroom data. Though oriented toward Maryland educators, the content may be useful to educators in other states.
*NEW* Where American Indian Students Go to School: Enrollment in Seven Central Region States (2016)
This January 2016 report provides descriptive information about the location and native language use of schools in the REL Central Region with high enrollment of American Indian students, whether Bureau of Indian Education schools or non–Bureau of Indian Education high-density American Indian schools (schools with 25 percent or more American Indian student enrollment). Of the 208 schools with high American Indian student enrollment (33 BIE and 173 HDAI schools), 83% are located in the region’s rural areas. The schools located in counties with the highest concentration of Native North American language speakers are in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado.
*NEW* DPI to Collect Data from Schools Serving Native American Students
This September 2017 Bismarck Tribune article announces an educational survey administered by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction to administrators and educators from 29 schools in the state to gauge how Native American students are being served. The Institute of Education Sciences' Regional Education Laboratory Central, which serves Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, provided assistance to DPI in enhancing the survey this year. Also this year, DPI increased the number and types of questions. It also consulted with tribal educators representing the state's five tribes.
Purpose: Assessing American Indian students’ academic performance and developing culturally-based education approaches in collaboration with local tribes, Indian organizations and Native communities are essential for improved educational opportunities. Educators should:
Purpose: Research indicates that it is important to affirm students’ identity and one reason for the academic achievement gap that American Indian students face is that a one-size-fits-all national curriculum represented in textbooks fails to give positive recognition to American Indian histories and cultures.
It is important for American Indian and Alaska Native students to have the standard state and national curriculums they are exposed to in school be supplemented with curriculum that reflects their background and the community that they live in.
Too often, an English-only policy in American schools has suppressed American Indian languages and cultures. The Native American Languages Act passed by U.S. Congress, and signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, enforces United States Policy to support, preserve, and protect American Indian languages. Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act Act of 2006 The 2007 United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has given further support to that goal. Today, Indigenous peoples are working through Indigenous language immersion schools to revitalize their languages and cultures.
Purpose: Charter and immersion schools are offering American Indians more flexibility in working to improve the education of their children by affording American Indian communities more power to shape the schooling their children receive.
Learn about charter and immersion schools and how they can provide alternatives to public, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, and tribally controlled schools, allowing American Indian communities to provide more culturally appropriate education for their children.
The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and mainstream public schools have not been successful in bringing up the average test scores and graduation rates of American Indian students to national averages. Learn how Tribally Operated and Indian Charter Schools are providing alternatives that show promise in improving the academic and life success of American Indian students.
Purpose: Research suggests one reason for the achievement gap faced by American Indian students is cultural conflicts between American Indian homes and schools. Accordingly, teachers should be prepared to meet the needs of American Indian and other Indigenous students, including using culturally responsive teaching methodologies that incorporate American Indian learning styles, avoiding biased teaching and stereotypes, and addressing the needs of gifted education and other special needs students.
One-size-fits-all educational reforms, despite being somewhat “evidence based”, have left behind many American Indian students. Learn how adjusting teaching methods and materials to fit American Indian students’ cultural and experiential backgrounds can make them more engaged learners and improve their academic performance.