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National Indian Education Study 2007 Part I: Performance of American Indian and Alaska Native Students at Grades 4 and 8 on NAEP 2007 Reading and Mathematics Assessments

May 2008

Authors: Rebecca Moran, Bobby D. Rampey, Gloria S. Dion, and Patricia L. Donahue

Download sections of the report (or the complete report) in a PDF file for viewing and printing.


Cover image of the NIES Study 2007 Part I: Performance of American Indian and Alaska Native Students at Grades 4 and 8 on NAEP 2007 Reading and Mathematics

Executive Summary

Reading Results

Patterns in reading results vary when AI/AN students are compared to other racial/ethnic groups

AI/AN students in some states score higher in reading than their peers in the nation

Mathematic Results

Patterns in mathematics results vary when AI/AN students are compared to other racial/ethnic groups

The 2007 National Indian Education Study (NIES) was conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education. This report presents the results for Part I of the study focusing on the perfor-mance of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) fourth- and eighth-graders on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading and mathematics.

A national sample of approximately 10,100 AI/AN students at grades 4 and 8 participated in the 2007 reading assessment and 10,300 in the mathematics assessment. Results from this study are compared to those from the first NIES conducted in 2005. The results for 11 states with relatively large populations of AI/AN students are presented in addition to the national results.

Reading Results

Overall, the average reading scores for AI/AN fourth- and eighth-graders showed no significant change since 2005 and were lower than the scores for non-AI/AN students in 2007.

In 2007 at both grades, AI/AN students attending schools in which less than 25 percent of the students were AI/AN scored higher than their peers attending schools with higher concentrations of AI/AN students, and those attending public schools scored higher than their peers in Bureau of Indian Education schools.

Patterns in reading results vary when AI/AN students are compared to other racial/ethnic groups

While the overall average reading scores for AI/AN students were lower than the scores for non-AI/AN students at both grades in 2007, they were not consistently lower than the scores for all racial/ethnic groups.

  • Average scores for AI/AN students were not significantly different from the scores for Black or Hispanic students but were lower than the scores for White and Asian/Pacific Islander students.
  • Scores for higher-performing AI/AN students—those at the 75th and 90th percentiles—were higher than those of their Black peers.
  • AI/AN fourth-graders attending city schools scored higher than their Black and Hispanic peers, and AI/AN eighth-graders attending rural schools scored lower than their Hispanic peers.

AI/AN students in some states score higher in reading than their peers in the nation

When compared to the scores for all AI/AN students in the nation, average reading scores for AI/AN fourth-graders in Oklahoma and eighth-graders in Oklahoma and Oregon were higher in 2007. Scores for AI/AN fourth- and eighth-graders in Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, and South Dakota were lower than the average scores of all AI/AN students nationwide.

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Mathematic Results

Overall, the average mathematics scores for AI/AN fourth- and eighth-graders showed no significant change since 2005 and were lower than the scores for non-AI/AN students in 2007. There was, however, an increase in the percentage of AI/AN fourth-graders performing at or above the Proficient level from 21 percent in 2005 to 25 percent in 2007.

In 2007 at both grades, AI/AN students attending schools in which less than 25 percent of the students were AI/AN scored higher than their peers attending schools with higher concentrations of AI/AN students, and those attending public schools scored higher than their peers in Bureau of Indian Education schools.

Patterns in mathematics results vary when AI/AN students are compared to other racial/ethnic groups

While the overall average mathematics scores for AI/AN students were lower than the scores for non-AI/AN students at both grades in 2007, they were not consistently lower than the scores for all racial/ethnic groups.

  • AI/AN students at both grades scored higher on average than Black students, scored lower than White and Asian/Pacific Islander students, and had average scores that were not significantly different from Hispanic students.
  • Scores for higher-performing AI/AN students—those at the 75th and 90th percentiles—were higher than scores for their Black peers.

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Download sections of the report (or the complete report) in a PDF file for viewing and printing:

NCES 2008-457 Ordering information

Suggested Citation
Moran, R., Rampey, B.D., Dion, G., Donahue, P. (2008). National Indian Education Study 2007 Part I: Performance of American Indian and Alaska Native Students at Grades 4 and 8 on NAEP 2007 Reading and Mathematics Assessments (NCES 2008–457). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

For more information, see The National Indian Education Study in the Special Studies section of this website.

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Last updated 12 May 2008 (RH)

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
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