Editorial: Indian education office a positive step
"South Dakota should Gear Up - and it looks like we are going to do just that.

Both the state Senate and the House recently passed a bill - offered by Gov. Mike Rounds - that would set up an Indian Education Office and an Indian Education Advisory Council with representatives from each of the state's nine tribes. This is in conjunction with the $6.9 million federal Gear Up program to improve high-school performance, graduation rates and college entry statistics for Indian students.

The recently passed legislation will ensure that Indian education becomes a permanent part of the state content standards so a future governor can't do away with it, said Marcia Zephier, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, who is on the newly created advisory council and testified before the joint appropriations committee for the bill.

Gail Swenson, supervisor of Indian Education in the Sioux Falls School District, made a very good point when she said the spirit of the bill is to review K-12 curriculum with this question in mind: What do we want all students in South Dakota who go to public school to know about our native population?

The question is a pertinent one. Answering it should go a long way toward enhancing education and raising awareness for all students. In doing so, Zephier believes, we will strengthen not only academics, but race relations."

Get the Story:
Indian education program smart move for S.D. (The Aberdeen American News 3/13)
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National Indian Education Study:
Overview | Executive Summary | Full Report

Relevant Links:
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
Nation's Report Card - http://www.nationsreportcard.gov

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