Years ago, I was told that one of the reasons that American Indian educational issues are not studied by IES/NCES (Institute of Educational Sciences/National Center for Education Statistics) is because American Indians represent too small a proportion of the population and they are not a politically “hot” area for study. I was still a graduate student at the time, and was participating in a government-sponsored workshop on using the NCES databases–specifically the NELS:88 (National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988) database for research. Clearly, active study of educational issues related to this very important (to me) small population has not changed.
However, there isa site now that dedicated to American Indians, and it can be found through the link below. If you are interested research or research results about American Indian education issues, this may be the place to start. If enough interest is generated in the site, maybe issues related to indigenous populations will hit the forefront.
It can be done! Look what an elementary school in Kansas City, Kansas, did. A new principal, some staff changes, a new attitude, and a grant from SIG, the Schools Improvement Program–and a school that went from 45% of students in the warning area for reading to just 2% low scorers.
Kudos to everyone who made this happen: prinicpal, teachers and support staff, and parents. You made it happen!
To be honest, I do not understand why more schools did not take advantage of a change model. Sometimes, it takes moving only a few people to make a difference. Get rid of the chronic complainers who make little or no effort to change, and you are left with people who are willing to learn and make changes in their environment that places the students and their needs first. Too many schools that received SIG funds did so by attempting changes through other models. I would be interested to see what progress was made overall by SIG category. Maybe the information is forthcoming…