A new report shows Native American students in Oklahoma scored higher in math and reading than Native American students nationwide — a trend that has been consistent for the past decade. 

Oklahoma’s Native American students also outperformed their peers in nearly all subjects and states in the National Indian Education Study 2015, an analysis of American Indian and Alaska Native students using scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress report, or Nation’s Report Card.  The one exception was eighth grade math; Oklahoma students scored higher than students in every other state except Wisconsin.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said she is proud of Oklahoma’s Native American students’ achievement.

“More than 130,000 American Indian schoolchildren are in our public schools – the highest number in the country. We take our responsibility to them very seriously and are committed to their success,” she said. “They continue to outpace their peers across the country, which is testament to their ability and the hard work of their parents, teachers and communities.”

For the Nation’s Report Card, students are assessed in math and reading in grades four and eight every two years. The Indian Education study, which contains additional survey data on the students’ cultural experiences in schools, is published every four years. 

The National Indian Education Study 2015 surveyed 14 states. Credit: National Indian Education Study 2015

Native American students across the surveyed states scored highest in more ethnically diverse schools, where the proportion of Native American students was 25 percent or less. In those schools, Native American students represented 1 percent of students in grades four and eight.

Native American students’ average scores were lower in high-density schools (defined as having a Native American population of 25 percent or more) and lowest in Bureau of Indian Education schools, where Native American students represented 97 percent of fourth-graders and 99 percent of eighth-graders.

The report analyzed Native American students’ scores in 14 states, including Oklahoma, where 15 percent of all students are Native American.

2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress Results

·      Oklahoma 4th Grade Reading: Native American students: 223; all students: 222.

·      National 4th Grade Reading: Native American students: 204; all students: 221.

·      Oklahoma 4th Grade Math: Native American students: 235; all students: 240.

·      National 4th Grade Math: Native American students: 227; all students: 240.

·      Oklahoma 8th Grade Reading: Native American students: 260; all students: 263.

·      National 8th Grade Reading: Native American students: 252; all students: 264.

·      Oklahoma 8th Grade Math: Native American students: 269; all students: 275.

·      National 8th Grade Math: Native American students: 266; all students: 281.


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