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WASHINGTON About one-half to two-thirds of American Indian and Alaska Native fourth and eighth graders score at or above the Basic level in mathematics and reading, according to the study.
Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
“American Indian and Alaska Native students need a top-flight education in order to fully participate in a 21st century economy, and the wide and persistent gap between our fourth and eighth grade Native students and their peers highlights that we need to do more to help these students,”
said Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education.
Average math scores for fourth grade American Indian and Alaska Native students attending Bureau of Indian Education schools have improved since 2009 according to a national study released Tuesday, though the overall academic progress of these students has stalled since 2005.
The National Indian Education Study (NIES) study, which provides data on the educational achievement and experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native students, also reveals details about these students' cultural exposure, academic aspirations, school conditions, and curriculum.
“For too many American Indian and Alaska Native students, progress in closing the achievement gap has been too slow,”
said Joyce Silverthorne, Director of the Office of Indian Education.
“This report provides a key opportunity for increasing our understanding of the challenge and fostering the collaboration necessary to erase the achievement gap.”
First conducted in 2005 and again in 2007, 2009, and 2011, the National Indian Education Study reports results for the overall American Indian and Alaska Native population. Additionally, results are broken down by eligibility for the National School Lunch Program, gender, and type of school.
The report categorizes public schools as "high density," where 25 percent or more of the students are American Indian and Alaska Native, and "low density" schools, where less than 25 percent of the students are American Indian and Alaska Native. The report also shows results for American Indian and Alaska Native students attending schools administered by the Bureau of Indian Education.
The National Indian Education Study uses data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress conducted in 2011. A national sample of approximately 9,500 American Indian and Alaska Native students at grades 4 and 8 participated in the 2011 reading assessment, and the same number participated in the mathematics assessment. In addition to the national results, the study includes results for 12 states with relatively large populations of American Indian and Alaska Native students: Alaska, Arizona, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington.
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posted July 5, 2012 8:20 am edt