Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Citing a 2011 National Indian Education Study that discloses much work needs to be done to improve American Indian education, the nation's leading American Indian education organization maintains Native education is in a state of emergency.
Dr. Heather Shotton Wichita/Kiowa/Cheyenne
“Our Native children need and deserve high-quality education that prepares them to both be successful in the knowledge-based economy, and help our cultures and languages continue to thrive”
says the National Indian Education Association President Dr. Heather Shotton.
The organization is using the study as the basis of its recommendations to the Obama administration as the president prepares for his second term.
In the opening line of the its statement, the National Indian Education Association writes: "Native education is in a state of emergency, and the federal government needs to take immediate action to ensure that Native students grow into engaged, productive citizens both their tribes and nation as a whole."
The 2011 study indicates the gap between Native students and their non-Native peers is larger than the gap that existed between the two groups in 2005 in reading and 4th grade math scores.
The emergency of Indian education is perhaps most apparent in the Native high school dropout rate, which is among the highest among racial and ethnic groups in the United States, according to the National Indian Education Association.
Given the current state of emergency in Indian education, the National Indian Education Association last week released the following key recommendations to the Obama administration:
“We look forward to working closely with President Obama and federal education officials over the next four years to make this a reality.”
The recommendations come as the Obama Administration prepares to host the Fourth Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference. The conference, being held December 5 in Washington DC, will provide leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the Administration. The recommendations also come as President Barack Obama, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar prepare the Administration's education agenda for the next four years.
posted November 26, 2012 7:40 am est