indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
House hearing focuses on NCLB in Indian Country
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Filed Under: Education

Two-thirds of Bureau of Indian Affairs schools aren't meeting standards under the No Child Left Behind Act, a House subcommittee was told on Tuesday.

Passed in 2001, NCLB requires public and BIA schools to demonstrate adequate yearly progress (AYP). The goal is for 100 percent of students to achieve academic proficiency.

But only one-third of the 174 schools within the
Bureau of Indian Education are meeting AYP standards, according to the Government Accountability Office. Failure to meet AYP for multiple years could lead to restructuring under NCLB.

So far, that hasn't happened to any Indian schools. But a recent GAO report calls on the BIA to work more closely with tribes to ensure Indian students aren't being left behind.

"Our success in the 21st century economy is directly tied to our ability to produce a high quality labor force," said Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Michigan), the chairman of the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee. "And that ability is, of course, directly tied to our ability to meet the challenge of providing every child -- including every Indian child –- with a world-class education."

NCLB recognizes tribal sovereignty and allows tribes to develop their own AYP standards, subject to federal approval. But as of this year, only two tribes and one tribal education consortium are developing programs to fit their needs.

That means all of the other BIA schools must comply with state AYP standards. With nearly two dozens states involved, measuring Indian student progress has become a complex process.

"There are currently 23 different state definitions of AYP being applied throughout the BIA school system, leaving the BIE without a single AYP determination process," testified Stanley R. Holder, the chief of the BIA's division of performance and accountability.

So far, the BIE has entered into agreements with 11 states to address AYP issues. But 12 more states -- including ones with large Indian student populations like Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oklahoma -- have yet to sign a memorandum of understanding.

"The 12 states without signed MOUs enroll about two-thirds of the students in BIE schools," Cornelia Ashby of the GAO said in her testimony.

Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert, the president of the National Indian Education Association, said applying state AYP definitions to BIE schools is unfair because tribes haven't played a role in shaping those standards. "Tribal communities are in the best position to determine the needs and the appropriate assessment methods for Native students," he testified.

But the alternative -- developing tribal standards -- is an equally tough venture, Gilbert told the committee. "As the law is currently written, a single tribe, school board or BIE funded school may apply for a waiver, however, considering the significant amount of time and resources needed to successfully submit an application, very few tribes, if any, have been able to submit an application on their own," he said.

The Oceti Sakowin Education Consortium, which serves over 4,400 Indian students in South Dakota, was the first to start the process, back in 2005. But OSEC has yet to receive federal approval -- or federal funds -- for its program.

"The first year of our attempts to get this work done, we were told repeatedly by the bureau that we could not apply as a group of schools for an alternative definition, were told that it would be too expensive and that there was no money for this type of work," said Theodore Hamilton, the executive director of the OSEC.

The Navajo Nation, the largest tribe in the country, started the process more recently, in November 2007, but hasn't received approval either. The BIE schools on the reservation serve over 16,000 students in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

The BIE agreed with the recommendations of the GAO report and has taken steps to negotiate more MOUs and to help OSEC, the Navajo Nation and the Miccosukee Tribe with their AYP programs.

Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Hearing:
Challenges Facing Bureau of Indian Education Schools in Improving Student Achievement (September 9, 2008)

GAO Report:
Bureau of Indian Education Schools: Improving Interior's Assistance Would Help Some Tribal Groups Implement Academic Accountability Systems (June 27, 2008)

Related Stories:
Audit finds BIA schools unprepared for violence (8/19)
Tribal schools fail to conduct fingerprint checks (7/24)
BIA school criminal checks found lacking (7/21)
Report warns of serious dangers at BIA schools (7/17)
BIA officials faulted for student's death still at work (7/27)
Survey finds high-risk behaviors among BIA students (11/13)



Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Gathering scheduled in June at site of former BIA insane asylum (4/29)
Native Sun News: Tribal college student overcomes challenges (4/29)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ancestors are gone but language lives on (4/29)
Mike Rounds: Eliminate 'hateful' and 'paternalistic' federal laws (4/29)
Harlan McKosato: White privilege fuels Donald Trump's fanbase (4/29)
Indian Health Service faulted for lengthy waits for patient care (4/29)
Mescalero Apache woman to compete for Miss United States (4/29)
Environmental Protection Agency pays little to tribes for spill (4/29)
Measure to declare bison as official mammal ready for Obama (4/29)
John Wayne's negative views about tribes resurface in debate (4/29)
Chumash Tribe picks Kenneth Kahn as first new leader in years (4/29)
Mille Lacs Band announces upgrades as casino marks 25 years (4/29)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees warmer reception to casino bid (4/29)
Florida racks up legal bills in gaming fight with Seminole Tribe (4/29)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe sues Indian Health Service over shutdown (4/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves eight bills at meeting (4/28)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe to debut justice center (4/28)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne official fired from tribal job (4/28)
Native Sun News: Comments sought on Black Hills mine cleanup (4/28)
Editorial: Native Sun News endorses Hillary Clinton for president (4/28)
Cronkite News: EPA slammed for response to Gold King Mine spill (4/28)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump advisor accuses tribes of terror plot (4/28)
Alex Jacobs: Hillary Clinton must answer to role in Honduras coup (4/28)
Northwest tribes inch closer to reburial of Kennewick Man remains (4/28)
Santee Sioux Tribe hosts task force to address substance abuse (4/28)
Huge crowds flock to New Mexico for annual Gathering of Nations (4/28)
Muckleshoot Tribe to host $50K 'Gold Cup' for Indian relay racing (4/28)
Member of Puyallup Tribe develops 'Teepee' tribal directory app (4/28)
Man in long fight with Shingle Springs Band faces longer sentence (4/28)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe enters gaming agreement with Mohegan Tribe (4/28)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees casino as a path to self-sufficiency (4/28)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe announces another hire at casino (4/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe welcomes rejection of rival casino bid (4/28)
Senate passes measure to include Indian Country in tourism plans (4/27)
Amanda Blackhorse to deliver commencement speech at Haskell (4/27)
Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe aims to stop pipeline (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge artist gains national recognition (4/27)
Brandon Ecoffey: 'Bull Dawg' represents the Oglala Lakota Nation (4/27)
Mark Trahant: Tribes endorse Native candidates for US Congress (4/27)
John Thune: Tribal citizens suffer with Indian Health Service care (4/27)
Cronkite News: Tribes support more protections at Grand Canyon (4/27)
Gabe Galanda: A moral responsibility to stop tribal disenrollment (4/27)
Vernice Moncooyea Willis: Bernie Sanders deserves our support (4/27)
Jennifer Denetdale: University must stop celebrating genocide (4/27)
Eastern Cherokee group hails Tribal Marijuana Sovereignty Act (4/27)
Leader of Fort Peck Tribes blames baby's death on drug abuse (4/27)
Chippewa Cree Tribe and FBI investigate theft of drugs at clinic (4/27)
Former comptroller of Crow Tribe accused of embezzling $28K (4/27)
Congress set to pass bill to declare bison as national mammal (4/27)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton moving closer to nominations (4/27)
Fond du Lac Band won't confirm plan for site adjacent to casino (4/27)
Graton Rancheria on track to complete $175M casino expansion (4/27)
Pokagon Band to debut casino expansion project by end of year (4/27)
Connecticut tribes delay decision on potential casino until 2017 (4/27)
Oregon Lottery official fired as Lewis and Clark ads come down (4/27)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.