Study: Few academic gains for American Indian students

A new government study shows there have been few gains in academic achievement for the nation's American Indian students.

The study looked at fourth and eighth grade reading and math scores on a test called the NAEP and found little improvement in either subject, though there were some gains in specific areas.

One bright spot for Minnesota's American Indians was that they mostly performed better in math than American Indian students in other states with large native populations. But, those scores are still well below those of white students.

"I'd say the findings are somewhat mixed, although kind of weighted towards the 'not much progress' side," said Arnold Goldstein, with the Institute of Education Sciences, which released the study. "There are a few bright lights, though."

In reading, Minnesota's native students had lower scores in 4th grade but higher scores in 8th grade, compared to two years ago.

The study was also another indicator of the socio-economics of Minnesota's American Indian students. A majority is eligible for free and reduced lunch, which is the most widely-used measurement of poverty in schools.

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