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
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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:
Tribes find common ground with Trump on Supreme Court nominee (2/17)
Bureau of Indian Affairs issues 'trespass' notice to #NoDAPL camp (2/17)
Hearing on injunction against Dakota Access moved to February 28 (2/17)
Native Sun News Today: Drilling test in treaty territory stirs concern (2/17)
Editorial: Presidents on Mount Rushmore didn't treat tribes so well (2/17)
Native women pushing for action on missing and murdered sisters (2/16)
Army Department formally cancels Dakota Access Pipeline review (2/16)
Native Sun News Today: Dakota Access firms see spills, explosions (2/16)
James Giago Davies: Tribes face bigger threat than Dakota Access (2/16)
Cronkite News: Navajo school official worried about Trump era cuts (2/16)
Monte Mills: Tribes turn to courts to battle Dakota Access Pipeline (2/16)
Steven Newcomb: Dakota Access marks growth of imperial empire (2/16)
Vena A-dae Romero: Bringing our tribes out of obesity & diabetes (2/16)
Gyasi Ross: Native and African people share history of resistance (2/16)
Mohegan Tribe announces resignation of top gaming executive (2/16)
Jena Band of Choctaw Indians secures funding for casino hotel (2/16)
Standing Rock leader vows to 'forgive' after White House slight (2/15)
Native women host briefing on missing, murdered women & girls (2/15)
Native Sun News Today: Vic Runnels was an artist for all seasons (2/15)
Native Sun News Today: Rapid City rivals in crosstown showdown (2/15)
Freedom Socialist: Voices from water protectors at Standing Rock (2/15)
Tribal leaders hear dueling messages on Indian health in Trump era (2/14)
New leader of key House panel defends handling of Dakota Access (2/14)
Republican lawmaker renews push for Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (2/14)
Mark Trahant: Another Native woman aims to make history at polls (2/14)
Native Sun News Today: Indian lawmakers invited to cracker barrel (2/14)
Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe comes together for health (2/14)
Dakota Access ready to start transporting oil sooner than expected (2/13)
More tribes join effort to halt completion of Dakota Access Pipeline (2/13)
Army Corps gave go ahead to Dakota Access Pipeline in key memo (2/13)
First State of Indian Nations address in the new Donald Trump era (2/13)
Donald Trump's Cabinet growing with more anti-Indian advocates (2/13)
Tim Giago: A reservation boarding school teacher I'll never forget (2/13)
Mark Trahant: Battle over Dakota Access Pipeline is far from over (2/13)
Native Sun News Today: Wambli Ska keeps culture alive for youth (2/13)
Victor Swallow: Oglala Sioux family remains connected to the land (2/13)
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.