The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), formerly known as the Office of Indian Education Programs, is an extension of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) which was established via the Snyder Act of 1921. The original purpose of the BIA was to provide, “benefits, care, and assistant of the Indians throughout the United States, including conservation and preservation of health.” It took three additional Acts to stretch the BIA’s influence into the area of education: Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistant Act of 1975, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This history is important because it demonstrate the long lasting efforts of the BIE to provide education to American Indian children, “from early childhood through life”, which mirrors our mission at NWEA.
The BIE schools use MAP interim assessments for acquiring real-time data to personalize instruction and inform teacher professional development. Educators have been purposeful in their use of MAP data and have consistently seen strong gains in student achievement. Recently, leaders in three BIE schools, Indian Island School in Maine, Coeur D’Alene Tribal School in Idaho, and Chi Chil’tah Community School in New Mexico, shared their perspectives on what’s helping drive strong outcomes for the students.
Even though these three schools are in varied locations there are common themes that have contributed to their success.
- All stressed the importance of building strong relationships and “tight-knit” communities. Their students’ growth is just as much the parents and kids responsibility as it is the teachers. Each component plays its part. The principal at the Indian Island School has even shared his cell phone numbers with parents to relieve some of the intimidation related to coming to the school. These schools have taken the extra step to be relevant to their communities and accessible.
- The schools placed a high priority on not just using MAP data, but also ensuring their teachers are trained to understand it. Through use of teacher professional development tools, provided by NWEA, Chil’tah was able to “maximize” data and formulate action plans. Students are also given access to review and compare their growth throughout the school year. Their progress is enthusiastically celebrated but most importantly, it’s understood because of the groundwork that was laid through additional training.
Read the full case study here: BIE Tri-School Case Study
- Indian Island School – Raised percentage of students meeting growth projections in math from 40% (2009-10) to 60% (2012-13)
- Coeur D’Alene Tribal School – Increased the number of students achieving at or above the 50th percentile by 20 percentage points in a single year, from 24% (2011-12) of students to 44% (2012-13)
- Chi Chil’tah Community School – Raised number of students meeting growth projections from 48% (2009-10) to 80% (2012-13)