RESEARCH


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THE SCHOOLING EXPERIENCE OF NORTH CAROLINA’S AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS

Evidence provided by the State Advisory Council on Indian Education (SACIE) in their 2014 annual report demonstrated that American Indian students had considerably lower proficiency rates in all tested subjects and at all levels than White students. The report also found that although the dropout rate of American Indian students had declined, the 2012-2013 American Indian student dropout rate was the highest among all ethnicity subgroups. Given these findings, SACIE called for a study to provide further investigation into the schooling experience of American Indian students.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC), Education Policy Initiative at Carolina (EPIC) at UNC Chapel Hill, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) – Southeast, and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) partnered to conduct a multi-faceted inquiry and analysis.

Guiding the research are three primary questions.

  1. What does the extant literature say about the educational experiences of American Indian students? What are some of the challenges and opportunities for American Indian student success? Which of these factors are relevant for American Indian students in North Carolina?

  2. What are the educational experiences of North Carolina’s American Indian students in grades6-12 in terms of outcomes and access to highly qualified teachers and school resources? How do these experiences compare with students of other ethnicities? Do these experiences vary by Region and/or tribe?

  3. To what extent are differences in student characteristics, class characteristics, and access to highly qualified teachers and school resources associated with differences in student outcomes between American Indian students and students of other ethnicities?

Phase I
The study began in June 2014 with an Information Request from SECC to state departments of education that have state agency contacts for Indian Education and/or that indicate a population of more than 4,000 Native American students (U.S. Department of Education, 2008, 2014). States were asked to identify support and strategies for enriching achievement of Native American students. Click below to view results.

SECC Information Request
(pdf, 2.1mb)


Phase II

The study conducted by The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC), Education Policy Initiative at Carolina (EPIC) at UNC Chapel Hill, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) – Southeast, and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) was completed in November 2016. The study resulted in a research report titled, The characteristics and education outcomes of American Indian students in grades 6–12 in North Carolina.

Key findings from the study indicate:

  • American Indian students in grades 6–12 in North Carolina lag behind their peers of other races/ethnicities on most education outcomes, in large part because of differences in student demographics and school characteristics between American Indian students and students of other races/ethnicities across the state.
  • American Indian students are much more similar in education outcomes and background characteristics to their peers of other races/ethnicities within the same schools when compared with students in the same school.


For more information, contact sacie@dpi.nc.gov