North Dakota: Bill would establish Indian education effort

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Mar 1 14:34:45 UTC 2007

Forwarded from edling-list:

Bill would establish Indian education effort

By Joe Kafka, The Associated Press

PIERRE -- A state Senate committee unanimously embraced a bill Tuesday
that would set up an Indian Education Office in South Dakota and an
advisory council with representatives from each of the state's nine
tribes. The efforts are aimed at making sure teachers and students are
knowledgeable about American Indian culture in South Dakota.

The legislation, which was offered by Gov. Mike Rounds, would require all
new teachers from out of state and those who were certified after 1993 to
complete a three-hour course in South Dakota Indian history and culture.
Also established by HB1290 would be a pilot program to offer Lakota
language instruction to teachers, and a curriculum in American Indian
history and culture would be developed by the state Education Department
and Indian Education Advisory Council. The bill was passed earlier by the
House. It now goes to the Senate floor.

Keith Moore, state Indian education coordinator, said the academic success
of Indian students does not match that of the general school population.
Indian students' tests and scores are below par, and efforts are under way
to raise achievement levels, he said. The average college entrance score
of South Dakota students is 21.8, Moore said, but the average for the
state's Indian students is 17.5. HB1290 also would establish an Indian
language revitalization program, beginning with a pilot effort to instruct
teachers in the Lakota language.  The program could be extended to offer
Lakota language instruction to Indian students.

The Indian Education Office would report to the 2008 Legislature on the
pilot language program.


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