A Better Education for Native Students

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The Morongo School offers a promising way for Indian nations and communities to educate their children so they have a firm foundation in their own culture, and acquire skills to gain entry and complete college.

The current state of Indian education is dismal and new methods and ideas are needed. Most Indian students attend Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) or public schools. In recent decades the achievement scores of Indian students has dropped rather than increased. Among the major ethnic groups in the United States, Indian student college preparation is among the lowest of all major ethnic groups. Nationally, about 40 percent of high school students are prepared for college, only about 15 percent of American Indian students are prepared for college. Less than one percent of college graduates are Indian students. Indian student college graduate rates are significantly lower than their representation in national population.

Indian education has been in crisis for many decades. Current policy and research on American Indian education presents a list of cultural, teaching, and discriminatory obstacles for Indian students in BIA and public schools. However, policy makers do not provide a usable or successful plan for how Indian students will get the education skills they need. Current Indian education policy does not address the need for well-educated and culturally grounded Indian professionals who will ensure the continuity, autonomy, and well-being of Indian nations. Incremental improvements in the BIA and public schools have not created significant increases in Indian student achievement or cultural foundations, or a well-informed tribal citizenry.

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