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The ratio of American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native high school freshmen who drop out into poverty and prison, according to Education Week‘s Diplomas Count report.


Percentage of Native American 4th-graders who read Below Basic proficiency on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. The national average is an abysmal 33 percent.


The only state in which more than 70 percent of  Native American students graduate on time.


The percentage of Native American high school students who took advanced math courses — key classes in college preparation and success — before graduating from school.

We tend not to think much about the effect of America’s educational failure on our American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native kids. But they have suffered the kind of systemic discrimination that can only be called criminal and near-genocidal. Since the creation of the first Indian boarding schools in the 1870s, Native American kids have been subject to physical and emotional abuse by federal and even state-run schools. Today, little has changed except the abuse is purely academic and, ultimately, economic. We have to do better by all of our kids and reform American public education.