North Dakota Native American student graduation rate lagging

October 21, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Native American students in North Dakota are struggling in school despite the state’s overall high school graduation rate remaining high.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction held a Dropout Prevention and Re-engagement Summit on Oct. 1, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The summit was scheduled after teachers of Native American students across the state requested to know more information about dropout prevention strategies.

The total graduation rate was nearly 90 percent for the 2015-16 school year, the most recent data available. But te rate for Native American students was at about 65 percent.

State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said that since the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted in 2002 achievement gaps for all subgroups have gone down, except for Native American students.

“That is not OK, and it keeps me up at night . obviously, what we were doing for 15 years was not working. We have to re-examine that, and we have to do things differently,” said Baesler.

She also said that the replacement for No Child Left Behind will help with these efforts.

Sandy Addis is the keynote speaker and director of the Clemson University’s National Dropout Prevention Center. She said the state is “significantly ahead of the nation,” in terms of its high school graduation rate,

Addis said while there has been some progress among Native American students, there’s much more room to improve. She notes that low-income student graduation rates continue to fall behind.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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