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American-Indian students facing wide education gap

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'It seems like previous efforts have no impact on the gaps between American-Indian students and non-Indian students in reading and mathematics at fourth and eighth grades in South Dakota' stated by Melody Schopp, the State Education Secretary to the Legislature's long-range planning committee on Monday.

She told, "Students who cannot read in fourth grade and aren't proficient in Maths n eighth grade has difficulty in completing their high school or succeeding as adults. There was a 42% difference in graduation rates in the year 2012."

Speaking to the legislators she said, "The state Department of Education's goal is that, every student is able to graduate from high school ready for a career or for post-secondary education. And we really have this moral imperative. Every kid in South Dakota deserves it."

According to the national testing, the same type of gap in reading for American-Indian students at fourth grade, but South Dakota is seeing it wide at the eighth grade, which is quite contrary to the national trend.

American-Indian students wide education gap

According to the proficiency report, for the fourth grade reading results from the 2012-13 achievements tests, American-Indian students came in at 37% proficient and 9% advanced. White students were 44% proficient and 38% advanced. And for eighth-grade reading, American-Indian students were 37 percent proficient and 7 percent advanced. White students were 53 percent proficient and 26 percent advanced.

Moreover, In eighth-grade math, American-Indian students were 35 percent proficient and 4 percent advanced. White students were 60 percent proficient and 22 percent advanced.

On referring the report, she said, "We need to be laser focused to see what is working and what isn't working. We know the teachers can make all of the difference. We see there are bright spots like that.. Where we see it's working, we have to learn."

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