Flailing grade: Indian education goes from bold plans to 'just hang on'

Matthew Zalaznick's picture
Monday, July 29, 2013

At the beginning of the Obama administration, there was major hope from Indian education advocates that Native-friendly policies could be enacted that would shift the federal focus from rigid criteria-based testing to making sure Indian students were actually succeeding in culturally relevant ways. After five years, hopes have waned, and protecting the status quo has become the next best option.

In 2009, the first year of President Barack Obama’s two terms, Natives had just experienced a tough 8-year stretch under the George W. Bush administration’s famous No Child Left Behind regime, where federal dollars were spent beefing up testing standards, and states—not tribes—were charged with leading the efforts.

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