Analyzing NAEP: Who American Indian/Alaska Native Students Turn To In School

Last month, the 2011 National Indian Education Study (NIES) was released. The NIES is conducted through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and administered to 4th and 8th grade American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in order to provide more information about their cultural and educational experiences at school. The results highlighted below are from 10,300 8th graders’ self-reports of how often and to whom they talk to about high school and beyond.

According to the report, “Almost two-thirds of AI/AN eighth graders report never talking to a school counselor about classes for high school or future plans.” In contrast, the report found that 73% of AI/AN students sought the advice of a family member two or more times and 61% sought the advice of another student two or more times. In addition, 35% of AI/AN students reported discussing their class choices and future plans with someone outside of their family or friends.

In many cases, school counselors have the best and most accurate information regarding high school courses, particularly for higher-level college preparation, honors, and advanced placement. These results may indicate a need for school counselors to consider alternative methods and outreach techniques, such as identifying and working with AI/AN student social networks, in order to better support AI/AN students as they make plans for their future.

To read a summary or the full NIES report, visit the NAEP website here.

Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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