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.
If your school is not yet investing in teaching and using technology in the classroom, this US Department of Education report may be the impetus needed to spur the school on to this task. Digital technology is the future of education, so students need to know how to use it effectively for learning. This report on using digital technology as part of the educational experience in science–especially science labs–is an important and necessary item to review. Although the National Center for Education Statistics report came out in 2009, its existence is again released by NEAP to remind schools of the importance of digital technology in education, especially science education.
From this NEAP report (National Assessment of Educational Progress):
For the first time, the NAEP science assessment also included interactive computer tasks in science. While performing the interactive computer and hands-on tasks, students manipulate objects and perform actual experiments, offering us richer data on how students respond to scientific challenges. Several key discoveries were observed.
Students were successful on parts of investigations that involved limited sets of data and making straightforward observations of that data.
Students were challenged by parts of investigations that contained more variables to manipulate or involved strategic decision making to collect appropriate data.
The percentage of students who could select correct conclusions from an investigation was higher than for those students who could select correct conclusions and also explain their results.
If you are interested in issues related to the education of Native Americans, this is a wonderful report that came out in December, one of the first of The Nation’s Report Card publications.
The Nation’s Report Card:
Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2011
This report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) presents results from the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in reading. Representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade public school students from 21 urban districts participated in the 2011 assessment. Student performance is reported as average scale scores on the NAEP reading scale and as percentages of students who attained the achievement levels set by the National Assessment Governing Board. District results are compared to results for all students attending public schools in the nation and large cities (i.e., cities with populations of 250,000 or more) overall and by race/ethnicity and eligibility for free/reduced-price school lunch. In 2011, scores for both fourth- and eighth-graders in five districts were higher than the scores for students in large cities, and scores for both grades were lower in nine districts. Among the 18 districts that also participated in the 2009 assessment, there was no significant change from 2009 to 2011 in the scores for any of the districts at grade 4, and just one district scored higher at grade 8. Scores for students in the remaining districts did not change significantly from 2009 to 2011.