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Improving education for Native American students

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Red Lake Middle School
Red Lake Middle School on the Red Lake reservation in northern Minnesota.
MPR file photo

Native American students fall behind every other racial and ethnic group of students in graduation rates, test scores and post-grad job searches, according to a recent project in Education Week highlighting the continuing struggle.

From Lesli A. Maxwell's piece:

"The state of American Indian education is a disaster," says David Beaulieu, a professor of educational policy and community studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe-White Earth.

While such historically disadvantaged groups as African-American and Latino students have seen their graduation rates accelerate in recent years, American Indians and Alaska Natives, who constitute one subgroup for federal education data reporting, have not. According to analyses by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, American Indian graduation rates have been on a downward trend since 2008.

Minnesota has the lowest on-time high-school graduation rate — 45.5 percent — in the country for Native American students, according to a MinnCAN report this year.

We discuss what can be done to combat this problem, and look at how the student population in the Twin Cities is faring.