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National Indian Education Study 2011

July 2012

Author: National Center for Education Statistics

PDF Download National Indian Education Study 2011 PDF for viewing and printing (19441K PDF)



Cover image of National Indian 
Education Study 2011 report.

Executive Summary

No significant change in average reading scores for AI/AN students compared to 2009 or 2005

AI/AN students’ performance in reading differs by some student characteristics

No significant change in reading scores from 2009 for 12 reported states

Mathematics score gap between non-AI/AN and AI/AN students larger than in 2005

AI/AN students’ performance in mathematics differs by some student characteristics

Mathematics scores lower than in 2009 in one state at grade 4 and in two states at grade 8

Results from the NIES survey describe AI/AN students, their teachers and schools, and the integration of AI/AN culture in their education

The National Indian Education Study (NIES) is administered as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to allow more in-depth reporting on the achievement and experiences of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in grades 4 and 8. The results presented in this report highlight some of the findings on the educational experiences of fourth- and eighth-grade AI/AN students based on responses to the NIES student, teacher, and school questionnaires, and on the performance of AI/AN students in the NAEP reading and mathematics assessments.

No significant change in average reading scores for AI/AN students compared to 2009 or 2005

Nationally representative samples of 5,500 AI/AN fourth-graders and 4,100 AI/AN eighth-graders participated in the 2011 NAEP reading assessment. At each grade, students responded to questions designed to measure their reading comprehension across literary and informational texts.

At both grades 4 and 8, average reading scores for AI/AN students in 2011 were not significantly different from the scores in 2009 or 2005. AI/AN students scored 19 points lower on average in reading than non-AI/AN students in 2011 at grade 4, and 13 points lower at grade 8.

Forty-seven percent of AI/AN students at grade 4 and 63 percent at grade 8 performed at or above the Basic level in reading in 2011, demonstrating at least partial mastery of reading comprehension skills. At both grades 4 and 8, the percentages of AI/AN students performing at Basic, at Proficient, and at Advanced in 2011 were not significantly different from the percentages in previous assessment years.

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AI/AN students’ performance in reading differs by some student characteristics

In 2011, average reading scores for AI/AN students were

  • higher for female students than for male students at both grades 4 and 8;
  • lower for students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (an indicator of lower family income) than for those who were not eligible at both grades 4 and 8;
  • higher for students attending schools in suburban locations than for those in rural locations at both grades 4 and 8; and
  • higher for students attending public schools than for those attending BIE schools at both grades 4 and 8.

In comparison to 2009, average reading scores were higher in 2011 for AI/AN eighth-graders who attended schools in city locations and for those in Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools.

Trend in NAEP reading average scores and score gaps for fourth- and eighth-grade AI/AN and non-AI/AN students

Line graph showing two horizontal lines: one labeled AI/AN and the other labeled Non-AI/AN. The space in-between the graph lines is labeled Score gap. The X axis is labeled year. The Y axis is labeled scale score and shows a range from 0 to 500. Grade 4 In 2005, the scale score = 219 for Non-AI/AN students, significantly different from 2011 and 204 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 15 between the groups.  In 2007, the scale score = 221 for Non-AI/AN students and 203 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 18 between the groups.  In 2009, the scale score = 221 for Non-AI/AN students and 204 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 17 between the groups.  In 2011, the scale score = 221 for Non-AI/AN students and 202 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 19 between the groups.  Grade 8 In 2005, the scale score = 262 for Non-AI/AN students, significantly different from 2011 and 249 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 13 between the groups.  In 2007, the scale score = 263 for Non-AI/AN students and 247 for AI/AN students, both are significantly different from 2011. The score gap of 16 between the groups.  In 2009, the scale score = 264 for Non-AI/AN students, significantly different from 2011 and 251 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 13 between the groups.  In 2011, the scale score = 265 for Non-AI/AN students and 252 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 13 between the groups.

* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2011.
NOTE: AI/AN = American Indian/Alaska Native. Score gaps are calculated based on differences between unrounded average scores.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 2005–11 Reading Assessments.

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No significant change in reading scores from 2009 for 12 reported states

Average reading scores for AI/AN fourth- and eighth-graders did not change significantly from 2009 to 2011 in any of the 12 states with samples large enough to report results for AI/AN students in both years. Among the seven states with samples large enough to report results in both 2005 and 2011, the average reading score for AI/AN eighth-graders in Montana was higher in 2011.

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Mathematics score gap between non-AI/AN and AI/AN students larger than in 2005

Nationally representative samples of 5,400 AI/AN fourth-graders and 4,200 AI/AN eighth-graders participated in the 2011 NAEP mathematics assessment designed to measure what they know and can do across five mathematics content areas: number properties and operations; measurement; geometry; data analysis, statistics, and probability; and algebra.

In 2011, AI/AN students scored 16 points lower on average in mathematics than non-AI/AN students at grade 4, and 19 points lower at grade 8. The score gaps for both grades in 2011 were not significantly different from the gaps in 2009, but were larger than the gaps in 2005. In comparison to 2009 and 2005, average scores for fourth- and eighth-grade AI/AN students did not change significantly in 2011 and scores for non-AI/AN students were higher in 2011.

In 2011, sixty-six percent of AI/AN students at grade 4 and 55 percent at grade 8 performed at or above the Basic level in mathematics. The percentages of AI/AN fourth- and eighth-graders performing at Basic and at Proficient in 2011 were not significantly different from the percentages in previous assessment years. At grade 8, the percentage of students at Advanced increased from 2 percent in 2005 to 3 percent in 2011.

Trend in NAEP mathematics average scores and score gaps for fourth- and eighth-grade AI/AN and non-AI/AN students

Line graph showing two horizontal lines: one labeled AI/AN and the other labeled Non-AI/AN. The space in-between the graph lines is labeled Score gap. The X axis is labeled year. The Y axis is labeled scale score and shows a range from 0 to 500. Grade 4 In 2005, the scale score = 238 for Non-AI/AN students, significantly different from 2011 and 226 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 12 between the groups, significantly different from 2011.  In 2007, the scale score = 240 for Non-AI/AN students and 228 for AI/AN students, both are significantly different from 2011. The score gap of 12 between the groups, significantly different from 2011.  In 2009, the scale score = 240 for Non-AI/AN students, significantly different from 2011 and 225 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 15 between the groups.  In 2011, the scale score = 241 for Non-AI/AN students and 225 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 16 between the groups.  Grade 8 Line graph showing two horizontal lines: one labeled AI/AN and the other labeled Non-AI/AN. The space in-between the graph lines is labeled Score gap. The X axis is labeled year. The Y axis is labeled scale score and shows a range from 0 to 500. In 2005, the scale score = 279 for Non-AI/AN students, significantly different from 2011 and 264 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 15 between the groups, significantly different from 2011.  In 2007, the scale score = 282 for Non-AI/AN students, significantly different from 2011 and 264 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 18 between the groups.  In 2009, the scale score = 283 for Non-AI/AN students, significantly different from 2011 and 266 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 18 between the groups.  In 2011, the scale score = 284 for Non-AI/AN students and 265 for AI/AN students. The score gap of 19 between the groups.

* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2011.
NOTE: AI/AN = American Indian/Alaska Native. Score gaps are calculated based on differences between unrounded average scores.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 2005–11 Mathematics Assessments.

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AI/AN students’ performance in mathematics differs by some student characteristics

In 2011, average mathematics scores for AI/AN students were

  • lower for students eligible for the National School Lunch Program than for those who were not eligible at both grades 4 and 8;
  • higher for students attending schools in suburban locations than for those in towns and rural locations at grade 4; and
  • higher for students attending public schools than for those attending BIE schools at both grades 4 and 8.

In comparison to 2009, the average mathematics score for AI/AN fourth-graders in BIE schools was higher in 2011.

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Mathematics scores lower than in 2009 in one state at grade 4 and in two states at grade 8

Among the 12 states with samples large enough to report results for AI/AN students in both 2009 and 2011, average mathematics scores were lower in 2011 in Montana at grade 4 and in Minnesota and Utah at grade 8. Among the seven states with samples large enough to report results in both 2005 and 2011, average mathematics scores were lower in 2011 in Alaska at grades 4 and 8, and higher in 2011 in Oklahoma at grades 4 and 8 and in South Dakota at grade 8.

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Results from the NIES survey describe AI/AN students, their teachers and schools, and the integration of AI/AN culture in their education

About 10,200 AI/AN students at grade 4 and 10,300 AI/AN students at grade 8 participated in the 2011 NIES survey. Also responding to the survey were about 3,000 teachers and 1,900 school administrators at grade 4, and about 4,600 teachers and 2,000 school administrators at grade 8. Data collected from the NIES student, teacher, and school questionnaires provide information about the students themselves, their communities, teachers’ background and instructional practices, and how schools address the needs of AI/AN students.

Overall survey results reported for the nation include AI/AN students attending public, private, BIE, and Department of Defense schools. Results are also reported separately for three mutually exclusive categories based on the type of school and proportion of AI/AN students: low density public schools where less than 25 percent of the student body is AI/AN; high density public schools where 25 percent or more of the students are AI/AN; and BIE schools that serve AI/AN students almost exclusively. In summarizing the NIES survey results by school type/density, data for response categories were sometimes collapsed to better illustrate how response patterns differed for students attending different schools.

Higher percentages of AI/AN students in BIE schools than in low density public schools reported having some or a lot of knowledge about their AI/AN history.

Students report knowing some or a lot about their AI/AN history
Type of school Percentage of
grade 4 students
Percentage of
grade 8 students
    Overall 56 63
      Low density public schools 53 58
      High density public schools 57 69
      BIE schools 62 82
NOTE: Results are not shown separately for Department of Defense and private schools.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 National Indian Education Study.
 

Higher percentages of students in BIE schools than in high or low density public schools had teachers who learned about AI/AN students to at least a small extent from living and working in an AI/AN community.

Students’ teachers report acquiring information about their AI/AN students to at least a small extent from living and working in an AI/AN community
Type of school Percentage of
grade 4 students
Percentage of
grade 8 students
    Overall 60 54
      Low density public schools 29 28
      High density public schools 84 85
      BIE schools 97 97
NOTE: Results are not shown separately for Department of Defense and private schools.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 National Indian Education Study.
 

Higher percentages of students in BIE and high density public schools than in low density public schools had members of the AI/AN community visit the school to discuss education issues at least one time during the year.

Students attend school where administrators report members of the AI/AN community visit to discuss education issues one or more times a year
Type of school Percentage of
grade 4 students
Percentage of
grade 8 students
    Overall 63 58
      Low density public schools 40 42
      High density public schools 86 81
      BIE schools 78 81
NOTE: Results are not shown separately for Department of Defense and private schools.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 National Indian Education Study.

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Download the complete report in a PDF file for viewing and printing:

PDF National Indian Education Study 2011 report PDF (19441K PDF)

NCES 2012-466  Ordering information


Suggested Citation
National Center for Education Statistics (2012). National Indian Education Study 2011 (NCES 2012–466). Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

For more information, see the results of the National Indian Education Study on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) website.

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Last updated 29 June 2012 (RH)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education