Indian education challenges in South Dakota

Improving education for Indian students in South Dakota is a major challenge, the state's education secretary said.

Only 66 percent of Indian students finish high school, compared with nearly 90 percent of other students. Indian students are less like to attend college or technical schools than their counterparts.

Education Secretary Rick Melmer hopes to improve the situation through a $6.9 million federal program aimed at preparing Indian students for college. A state lawmaker said it would be hard for some districts to participate because they would have to provide matching funds.

In Rapid City, where 12 percent of students are Indian, tribal elders mentor at-risk students. Mary Wright, an elder who helped start the city's Indian education program, said the school district has made changes that aren't in the best interests of the community.

Get the Story:
Ed secretary: “No bigger challenge’’ than improving Indian education (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 1/16)
Critic questions district's Indian education policies (The Rapid City Journal 1/17)

National Indian Education Study:
Overview | Executive Summary | Full Report

Relevant Links:
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
Nation's Report Card - http://www.nationsreportcard.gov

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