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WASHINGTON - Just half of American Indian and Alaska Native high-school freshmen - more than 90 percent of whom live in urban and suburban communities outside of reservations - will graduate on time. American Indian tribes, bands, and nations are struggling with the lack of high-quality, culturally-based school opportunities.
NIEA State of Native Education Address 2012: Choosing Excellent Education
The National Indian Education Association concluded its 15th Annual Legislative Summit where the organization addressed this critical issue.
Even though the summit is over, the work by the National Indian Education Association will continue its advocacy for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students through the rest of this year through its Legislative Agenda.
This year's Legislative Agenda will build upon these opportunities and address critical issues by focusing on giving Native families and communities the power needed to choose excellent, culturally-based education that will help their children and themselves succeed in an economy in which knowledge is power. This includes:
Quinton Roman Nose
This agenda comes at a critical time for Native communities and for the United States as a whole. Native communities are concerned with both the prospects of reductions in federal spending, and the direction of the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act/Elementary and Secondary Education Act. And Tribal Education Departments and other agencies that handle Native education want the ability to participate in the federal Race to the Top initiative and other competitive school reform grant programs.
President Barack Obama's desire, announced during the White House Tribal Nations Conference, to improve education for American Indian and Alaska Native students provides new opportunities to help Native students succeed. Thanks to the work of the National Indian Education Association and its partners, President Obama signed Executive Order 13592, through which the US Department of Education and the Department of the Interior are working together to expand the capacity of tribal colleges and universities, and stem the impact of America's high school dropout crisis on American Indian and Alaska Native students.
posted February 18, 2012 6:00 am est
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