Indian Education Study Group Seeking Comments

The Department of the Interior, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education (ED), will conduct a series of consultation sessions with Indian tribes to review and provide feedback on the draft actionable recommendations prepared by the American Indian Education Study Group.

The study group was convened by the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Education to determine how to effectively fulfill President Barack Obama’s vision for Indian education. The study group focused on how to facilitate tribal sovereignty in American Indian education and how to improve educational outcomes for students attending BIE-funded schools. The study group previously engaged with tribal leaders and Indian educators in six listening sessions on improving Indian education for BIE to develop draft actionable recommendations.

Based on input from these listening sessions, the study group has identified a framework for reform with a goal of high-achieving tribally controlled schools. This goal would allow the schools to deliver methods and practices for every BIE student to meet and exceed high expectations and be well prepared for college, careers, and tribal and global citizenship. The study group believes that, in order to reach this goal, the Obama Administration, Congress, and tribes must focus on the following four pillars of reform:

Pillar One: Effective Teachers and Principals—Help tribes identify, recruit, retain and empower diverse, highly effective teachers and principals to maximize student achievement in all tribally controlled schools.

Pillar Two: Agile Organizational Environment—Build a responsive organization with appropriate authority, resources, and services to tribes so they can help their students attain high levels of achievement.

Pillar Three: A Budget That Supports New Capacity Building Mission—Develop a budget that is aligned to and supports BIE’s new mission of tribal capacity building and scaling up best practices.

Pillar Four: Comprehensive Supports Through Partnerships—Foster and cultivate family, community and organizational partnerships to provide the social and emotional supports BIE students need in order to be ready to learn.

The study group will hear input from tribal representatives on these pillars of reform and the actionable recommendations at consultation sessions and by written comment. Tribal representatives are invited to discuss other education topics and concerns, as time allows. If a tribal representative cannot attend, we invite you to submit written comments on or before June 2, 2014 to: Jacquelyn Cheek, Special Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Indian Education, 1849 C Street NW., Mail Stop 3609, Washington, DC 20240; telephone (202) 208-6983 or fax (202) 208-3312 or by email to IAEDTC-CMTS@bia.gov.

Consultation sessions will be held as follows:

April 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Loneman Day School in Oglala, South Dakota

April 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma

May 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Muckleshoot School, Auburn, Washington

May 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Gila River Head Start Building, Sacaton, Arizona

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