White House Initiative on American Indian/Alaska Native Education, Nov 24

A listening session in Seattle on Monday, November 24th at Daybreak Star, convened by the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. This is an important opportunity to be seen and heard by policymakers who want your input on how to better serve Native students.



Puyallup Tribe starts doctor residency program on reservation

The health clinic of the Puyallup Tribe in Washington. Photo from Puyallup Tribe Health Authority
The health clinic of the Puyallup Tribe in Washington. Photo from Puyallup Tribe Health Authority


Source: Indianz.com


The Puyallup Tribe of Washington is taking advantage of a program in the Affordable Care Act that brings doctors and funding to the reservation.

Using $1.5 million in federal funds, the Puyallup Tribe Health Authority is training 10 doctors this year as part of the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education. The five-year, $230 million program was authorized by the 2009 law.

“We don’t want to just train technicians — we want to train healers,” Alan Shelton, the clinical director for the tribe’s authority, told McClatchy News. “And the way we train healers is we connect them to the Native American community and they learn about ideas of wellness and spirituality. And when they connect with patients, they connect with them on a deep level.”

The Puyallup Tribe was the first in Indian Country to utlize program. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is the second and more tribes could join if Congress authorizes an extension.

“[W]e’re actually training doctors in rural settings or tribal settings so that they will then be employed there, where we have the highest need,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), who has introduced the Community-Based Medical Education Act to keep the program running through 2019, told McClatchy.

S.2728 was introduced on July 31.

Get the Story:
With funds for physician training set to expire, rural doctor shortage persists (McClatchy News 8/5)

Malala Day


Source: Global Education First


Who is Malala?

Malala Yousafzai is a courageous advocate for universal education and girls’ rights. Malala was targeted for her brave activism and in October of 2012, the Taliban boarded her school bus and shot her and two other girls. After the shooting, Malala was flown from her home in Pakistan to the UK to recover. Malala is now back at school and continues to campaign for every child’s right to education.

What is Malala Day?

Malala Day, observed this year on 14 July 2014, is not just a day to celebrate Malala Yousafzai. It is a day for all children everywhere to raise their voices and be heard. It is a day to stand up for education and say to world that we are stronger than the enemies of education and stronger than the forces that threaten girls, boys and women from leading happy and productive lives. Learn more about Malala Day through her official website: www.malala.org

Last year,  July 12, 2013 was Malala’s 16th birthday. To celebrate Malala Day, the global community came together to highlight the leading role that youth can play in enabling all children to get an education. Malala marked the day by giving her first public speech since the shooting dedicated to the importance of universal education at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In support of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative, international youth leaders convened at the United Nations and in cities around the world in support of reaching the goal of having all children, especially girls, in school and learning by 2015.


Partner with Malala Day by going to www.malala.org/partners and by sharing Tweets, Facebook messages, photos or videos using the hashtag #StrongerThan. You can find images to share on social media here.

Sign Malala’s Petition

At this moment there are 58 million children without access to education and millions more who aren’t learning in school. Working together, that number can be lowered by 2015. On July 12, Malala marked her 16th birthday by delivering to the highest leadership of the UN a set of education demands written by youth. Continue to stand with Malala by signing this letter to show your demand for emergency action in support of Malala’s education fight.

Looking Back

Watch Malala’s speech delivered at the UN Headquarters.

View photos from Malala Day 2013.

Read the Youth Resolution: The Education We Want that was presented on Malala Day by the Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group.

© A World at School 2013


– See more at: http://www.globaleducationfirst.org/malaladay.html#sthash.ujulqv5R.dpuf

Interior Announces First Transfer to Cobell Education Fund for Native Students

Christina RoseJazmine Good Iron (Standing Rock), left, and Adonica Little (Ogalala), right, sit in front of Oglala Lakota College in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Christina Rose
Jazmine Good Iron (Standing Rock), left, and Adonica Little (Ogalala), right, sit in front of Oglala Lakota College in Rapid City, South Dakota.


Vincent Schilling, ICTMN


On April 2 the Department of the Interior announced that quarterly transfers of nearly $580,000 are set to begin this week to the American Indian College Fund. The Cobell Education Fund is part of the historic Cobell Settlement fund of 2012, which will provide financial assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary education and training.

“The Scholarship Fund is an important tool to help students across Indian country pursue higher education opportunities imperative to their success in the workplace and to the creation of the next generation of Indian leaders,” said Interior Solicitor Hilary Tompkins in a press release. Tompkins helped negotiate the Cobell Settlement on behalf of the Department of the Interior.

“While there was much debate in the settlement negotiations, there was no debate among the parties that we must do something to support Indian students in their aspirations and dreams,” she said.

According to the Interior, the scholarship fund is financed in part by the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. The program was created by the Cobell Settlement, which provided copy.9 billion to purchase fractionated interests in trust or restricted land from willing landowners. As an incentive to participate in the land consolidation program, a percentage of each purchase is donated to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund.

The American Indian College Fund in Denver, Colorado will be in charge of administering the scholarship fund monies to eligible students interested in enrolling or currently enrolled in tribal colleges, technical and vocational programs and undergraduate and graduate programs.

Eligible students must be enrolled in an accredited, non-profit, U.S. institution that awards graduating students either bachelor’s degrees or career and technical certificates, or students that are pursuing post-baccalaureate graduate or professional degree as a full-time degree-seeking student at an accredited institution in the U.S. Online degrees are covered as long as they meet the above requirements.

In accordance with the programs guidelines, 20 percent of the funds will be allocated to support graduate students through the American Indian Graduate Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

According to Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, the organization is currently only able to provide scholarships to 75 percent of its current applicants, so the disbursement is a welcomed asset.

“We are thrilled to be able to remember and implement the vision of Elouise Cobell so that the Cobell Scholarship Fund can lift up tribal students and their families, and also know that we have a long way to go,” she told Indian Country Today Media Network.

“Current U.S. Department of Education data shows that less than 13 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives earn a college degree compared to 28 percent of other racial groups,” she continued. “No doubt this is due to economic disparity, especially in reservation communities, as well as education disparity. We believe these scholarships will be a good start in providing Native people with a post-secondary education, which we see as the solution to ending poverty and its problems.

“We know there are many tribal students who have yet to access available scholarships so the need for scholarships will continue to rise.”

Crazy Bull also said that though the scholarships will help, the $580,000 is not a guaranteed amount per quarter as the Department of the Interior will contribute up to $60 million over the course of the Land Buy-Back Program. “Payments may vary each quarter depending on land sales and the value of those lands sold,” she said.


Currently the College Fund is still working to meet its goal of 60 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives having earned a higher education by 2025 and will still relentlessly continue to pursue fundraising goals.

“If we were to fully fund tribal college students, 20,000 students at an average cost of copy6,000 a year, we would need $32 million a year for scholarships,” Crazy Bull said. “There are at least another 160,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students attending college across the U.S. The vast majority of them have great need for financial support.

“Tribal people have a right to access education in whatever manner works for them and wherever they choose to go to school.”

“While the Cobell Scholarship Fund has criteria like all scholarships generally do, the funds will make a difference with access and we hope that the funds can serve as a resource for students to stay in school.  Our student persistence and graduation rates are a focus of tribal educators and we know one of the most significant barriers is adequate financial support,” Crazy Bull said.

Students interested in applying for the American Indian College Fund Scholarships should visit the College Fund website.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/04/06/interior-announces-first-transfer-cobell-education-fund-native-students-154337?page=0%2C2


School Data Finds Pattern of Inequality Along Racial Lines



By MOTOKO RICH MARCH 21, 2014 The New York Times

Racial minorities are more likely than white students to be suspended from school, to have less access to rigorous math and science classes, and to be taught by lower-paid teachers with less experience, according to comprehensive data released Friday by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

In the first analysis in nearly 15 years of information from all of the country’s 97,000 public schools, the Education Department found a pattern of inequality on a number of fronts, with race as the dividing factor.

Black students are suspended and expelled at three times the rate of white students. A quarter of high schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students do not offer any Algebra II courses, while a third of those schools do not have any chemistry classes. Black students are more than four times as likely as white students — and Latino students are twice as likely — to attend schools where one out of every five teachers does not meet all state teaching requirements.

“Here we are, 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the data altogether still show a picture of gross inequity in educational opportunity,” said Daniel J. Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California at Los Angeles’s Civil Rights Project.

In his budget request to Congress, President Obama has proposed a new phase of his administration’s Race to the Top competitive grant program, which would give $300 million in incentives to states and districts that put in place programs intended to close some of the educational gaps identified in the data.

“In all, it is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.

One of the striking statistics to emerge from the data, based on information collected during the 2011-12 academic year, was that even as early as preschool, black students face harsher discipline than other students.

While black children make up 18 percent of preschool enrollment, close to half of all preschool children who are suspended more than once are African-American.

“To see that young African-American students — or babies, as I call them — are being suspended from pre-K programs at such horrendous rates is deeply troubling,” said Leticia Smith-Evans, interim director of education practice at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

“It’s incredible to think about or fathom what pre-K students could be doing to get suspended from schools,” she added.

In high school, the study found that while more than 70 percent of white students attend schools that offer a full range of math and science courses — including algebra, biology, calculus, chemistry, geometry and physics — just over half of all black students have access to those courses. Just over two-thirds of Latinos attend schools with the full range of math and science courses, and less than half of American Indian and Native Alaskan students are able to enroll in as many high-level math and science courses as their white peers.

“We want to have a situation in which students of color — and every student — has the opportunity and access that will get them into any kind of STEM career that takes their fancy,” said Claus von Zastrow, director of research for Change the Equation, a nonprofit that advocates improved science, technology, engineering and math education, or STEM, in the United States. “We’re finding that in fact a huge percentage of primarily students of color, but of all students, don’t even have the opportunity to take those courses. Those are gateways that are closed to them.”


The Education Department’s report found that black, Latino, American Indian and Native Alaskan students are three times as likely as white students to attend schools with higher concentrations of first-year teachers. And in nearly a quarter of school districts with at least two high schools, the teacher salary gap between high schools with the highest concentrations of black and Latino students and those with the lowest is more than $5,000 a year.


Timothy Daly, president of the New Teacher Project, a nonprofit that recruits teachers, said that while the data looked at educator experience and credentials, it was also important to look at quality, as measured by test scores, principal observations and student surveys.


“Folks who cannot teach effectively should not be working with low-income or African-American kids, period,” he said, adding that the problem was difficult to resolve because individual districts are allowed to make decisions on how to assign teachers to schools.

Indian Affairs Chairman: Education Key For Tribes

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, center, dances around a drum circle with students at the Head Start early education center in Crow Agency, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. Tester is the new chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee and says he'll use his new role as chairman to target wasteful spending, improve educational opportunities and promote job development on reservations. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, center, dances around a drum circle with students at the Head Start early education center in Crow Agency, Mont., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. Tester is the new chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee and says he’ll use his new role as chairman to target wasteful spending, improve educational opportunities and promote job development on reservations. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

By Matthew Brown, Associated Press, 2/19/2014

CROW AGENCY, Mont. (AP) — The new chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee said Wednesday he plans to use the post to target wasteful spending, improve educational opportunities for Native Americans and promote job development on reservations.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester outlined his agenda for the committee that oversees relations with the nation’s 566 recognized tribes during a visit to the Crow Indian Reservation with fellow Democrat Sen. John Walsh.

After a breakfast meeting with tribal leaders, the pair toured a Head Start education center and later danced with preschoolers around a drum circle.

Crow leaders showed the lawmakers cracks in the ceiling at the preschool and took them to the furnace room where a boiler dating to the 1960s was held together with vise grips to keep it running.

Tester said he was determined to address decades of dysfunction in how the government deals with tribes. He said excessive administrative costs incurred by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and other agencies have drained money from crucial programs including health care and education.

“This is about making sure those dollars that are allocated go to the intended purpose. If there’s waste, eliminate it. And if it means eliminating jobs, then eliminate the jobs,” he said.

Brian Cladoosby, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said problems with the government’s treatment of tribes stem largely from outdated laws and regulations that make Native Americans subservient to federal agencies.

That started to change in recent years — with rules giving tribes more power over their land and property — but further improvements are needed, Cladoosby said.

Tester said too many bureaucratic roadblocks hinder tribes’ attempts to become self-reliant, such as the Crow tribe’s efforts to expand coal mining on the southeastern Montana reservation.

However, Tester added that he would tread carefully to avoid infringing on the sovereignty of West Coast tribes opposed to coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon.

The proposed terminals are key to the coal industry’s aspirations to ship more of the fuel overseas from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming, in part to make up for flagging domestic demand. Tribes on the West Coast have raised concerns about potential environmental impacts of the shipping.

“I cannot go in and tell another tribe that we’re going to respect the Crow’s sovereignty but we’re not going to respect your sovereignty,” Tester said. “That’s a very dangerous position to put yourself in.”

Despite limits on what the senator can deliver for his home state, Crow leaders said they were pleased to have someone familiar with their concerns assume the influential post of committee chairman.

Crow Secretary A.J. Not Afraid said tribes in Montana and elsewhere on the Great Plains have different needs than tribes in other parts of the country that are closer to population centers and able to bring in significant revenue through gambling.

Those opportunities don’t exist for the Crow, Not Afraid said.

Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote said Tester understands the differences.

“He gets it,” Old Coyote said. “He understands our plight and what we’re fighting fo

Dream Big for Kids, March 29

Dream Big for Kids

Please save Saturday, March 29, 2014 for a very important event!
Join hundreds of Marysville community members, business leaders, parents, students and school district staff in an educational summit to help design the future for our district and our kids.  We need your ideas, your energy, and your voice.  
Please invest one Saturday in March to Dream Big for Kids!  For more details, call 360-653-0800 or email superintendents_office@msvl.k12.wa.us.
Dream Big for Kids

Google Hangout Will Highlight Educational Options During National School Choice Week

Digital learning groups will host leaders in digital learning on webcast

Source: NSCW Newswire

Seattle, WA (January 27, 2014) – Digital learning innovator Getting Smart, the International Association for K12 Online Learning, the Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation and Digital Learning Now will host leading online educators and experts in a Google Hangout.

The online event, titled “Digital Learning – Giving Students Choice” will discuss the importance for school choice opportunities for all students regardless of zip code, and how digital learning is changing the educational landscape.

The Getting Smart online event will be held on at 4 p.m. EST on January 28, and is one of 5,500 independently planned events taking place during National School Choice Week 2014 – the nation’s largest-ever celebration of educational opportunity.

The Google Hangout speakers will include Getting Smart CEO Tom Vander Ark; iNACOL President and CEO Susan Patrick; Christensen Institute Co-Founder and Executive Director Michael Horn; Digital Learning Now! Executive Director John Bailey.

Participants can connect to the Google Hangout online at https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/clv0csgu4g700s2nr6grj0rengs.

Getting Smart is an advocate for better K-12 educational options and believes the shift to digital holds learning promise for improved student achievement.

National School Choice Week shines a positive spotlight on effective education options for children – including traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling.

‘School Choice Week’ Begins Today in Washington; 55 Events Planned in the Evergreen State

Source: National School Choice Week

[Olympia – Jan. 27, 2014] – This week is School Choice Week in Washington and across the country. More than 55 events are planned across the Evergreen State, in addition to 5,500 events nationwide.

The Week, which is the nation’s largest-ever celebration of educational opportunity, gives students, parents, and teachers in Washington a chance to raise awareness of the different types of educational options available to families in advance of the 2014-2015 school year. Events across the state will include rallies, school fairs, roundtable discussions, open houses, and parent information sessions.

National School Choice Week spotlights all types of education options for families – including traditional public schools, public magnet schools, charter schools, private schools, online learning and homeschooling.

In addition to raising awareness of school choice options in Washington, the Week also provides students, parents and teachers with an opportunity to call on leaders in Olympia to expand access to high-quality education environments for children.

“Washington families know that when parents have the freedom to choose the best schools for their children, great things happen,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week. “Student achievement increases, graduation rates rise, and children are better prepared for real life.”

Said Campanella: “We hope families across the state will use National School Choice Week as an opportunity to learn more about the educational options available to their children, and to begin researching schools for the 2014-2015 school year. If families want to switch schools, January is the time to start the search process.”

The Week officially kicked off at a major rally Saturday night in Houston, Texas. Today, students wearing National School Choice Week’s signature yellow scarves will ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

National School Choice Week is an independent public awareness campaign that shines a spotlight on effective education options for all children. For more information, visit www.schoolchoiceweek.com

Snoqualmie Indian Tribe Announces Donations Focusing on Environmental Education


SNOQUALMIE, Wash., Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe recently donated $15,000 to the Mercer Slough Education Center, run by the Pacific Science Center. “The partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe helps us to provide memorable and exciting encounters with environmental science, reaching 10,000 students, parents, and teachers a year,” says Dana Fialdini. “The Pacific Science Center is grateful for the support we have received.”

Another recent donation of $25,000 to the Burke Museum is supporting the exhibit Elwha: A River Reborn, which focuses on the removal of the Elwha Dams. Julie Stein, Executive Director for the Burke, says the museum is “delighted to partner with the Snoqualmie Tribe” and that the sponsorship helps the Museum and others “celebrate and share the historic and transformational story with tens of thousands of people in our community, across the state, and far beyond.”

The Tribe also made donations to Sightline Institute and the Seattle Aquarium for $6,000 and $40,000, respectively. “We are honored to support these worthwhile organizations that focus on educating the community on important conservation and environmental matters,” said Tribal Secretary Alisa Burley.

These most recent donations are part of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe’s long-standing commitment to investing in various nonprofit initiatives in the Snoqualmie area and statewide.  Since 2010, the Tribe has donated over $3.5 million to hundreds of Washington State nonprofit organizations, including the Woodland Park Zoo, the Swedish Hospital, Seattle International Film Festival, Pike Place Market Foundation, and the Seattle Art Museum.

“We are truly humbled by the amazing work these local non-profits are doing in our communities and are proud to partner with them in their endeavors,” said Tribal Chairwoman Carolyn Lubenau. “We look forward to what the future may bring for the Tribe and its community partners.”

To qualify for a donation from the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, an organization must be located within Washington State and a 501c3 non-profit organization. Applications are available online at www.snoqualmietribe.us with the next application cycle deadline set as Friday, January 31st.

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Known as the People of the Moon, Snoqualmie Tribal members were signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott with the Washington territory in 1855. The Tribe owns and operates the Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, WA.