Native Education: Many Native American Students Don’t Learn About Their Languages and Cultures in School…and more…

Many Native American Students Don’t Learn About Their Languages and Cultures in School
 — A new report that delves into the K-12 experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native students found that roughly half of them have never been exposed to their native languages in school or at home.
    The paper, which explores findings from the National Indian Education Study—a report that comes out every four years—found that students in schools with a larger share of American Indian and Alaska Native students were more likely to be exposed to native languages than were their peers in schools with fewer native students.
    Overall, students attending Bureau of Indian Education schools were more likely to report being exposed to Native languages “sometimes” or “often” when compared to their peers attending traditional public schools.
Corey Mitchell, Learning the Language – 5/8/19 at 4:25 PM

[AZ] What was Phoenix Indian School like for students? A history from 1891 to 1990/  Valley 101 podcast talked with multiple people who attended Phoenix’s boarding school for Native Americans about what it was like.
 — In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the federal government systematically took Native American children from their homes and shipped them to boarding schools across the U.S. to assimilate them into western society.
Taylor Seely, Arizona Republic – 4/29/19

[AZ] Neto’s Tucson: Two indigenous UA students help others to soar
 — As an indigenous graduate student at the University of Arizona, Amanda Cheromiah has encountered numerous obstacles. But the second-year doctoral student in higher education has persevered. Often through running.
Ernesto Portillo Jr., Arizona Daily Star –4/28/19 at 6:00 pm


Controversial charter school director avoids jail after fraud charges dropped
 — A former Oakland charter school director known for boosting student test scores through humiliation and harsh discipline has avoided jail time following a six-year federal investigation into allegations of fraud. Ben Chavis, who ran the American Indian Model Schools, will spend one year on probation and pay a $100 fine in a plea deal with federal investigators, according to court documents.
Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle — 5/2/19


Santa Clara University holds intertribal Native American gathering for first time in history/ First Annual SCU Pow Wow presented by newly formed student group
 — Santa Clara University hosted its first annual American Indian Pow Wow in the Mission Gardens. A newly formed student group, the SCU Native American Coalition for Change, presented the event that featured Native Americans wearing colorful and distinctive traditional regalia in exhibition and ceremonial dances. The event marked the first time Native Californians, along with Native Americans from across North America and the Hawaiian Islands, came together in celebration, prayer and dance on the Santa Clara mission grounds since its foundation in 1777.
Doug Duran and Ray Chavez. Mercury News – 5/4/19


NAEP Releases Follow-Up 2015 National Indian Education Study (NIES) Report
 — NCES Releases Additional National Indian Education Study Results
    On May 7, 2019, NCES will release a follow-up report to the 2015 National Indian Education Study. The first report was released in March 2017.
    NIES is administered as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to allow more in-depth reporting on the achievement and experiences of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in grades 4 and 8.
    This follow-up report focuses primarily on two major concerns that have been raised throughout the first decade of the study:
• What contextual factors are associated with higher- and lower-performing AI/AN students?
• How do AI/AN students see themselves in terms of their Native languages, culture, and aspirations for the future?
     Both of these major themes are aimed at examining AI/AN student performance beyond what has been previously reported—average scores in mathematics and reading.
     The survey questions selected for this report examined the knowledge that AI/AN students had of their Native culture and language. They revealed how teachers acquired and integrated culturally-responsive materials, activities, and instruction into their lessons to enhance student learning, and how school officials reached out to members of the Native community for their participation in school events with students, parents, and teachers.
     These survey questions, as well as the report itself, were created in close collaboration with the NIES Technical Review Panel (TRP). The NIES TRP is composed of AI/AN educational stakeholders from across the country.  
     The report examines a variety of factors that are associated with higher- and lower-performing AI/AN students. It also explores a set of composite variables (i.e., variables built upon multiple discrete student survey questions) related to exposure to Native languages, AI/AN cultural knowledge, interest in reading about cultures (both their own and others), engagement at school, and perceptions of effort in school.
    To view the full report, please visit

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