The results of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), or the Nation’s Report Card, are out, and they show that Native American 12th graders have made gains in both math and reading since 2005.
The Nation’s Report Card is the only nationally representative measure of what American students know and can do. For the first time, the 2009 results show the performance of 12th-grade public school students in the 11 states that volunteered to participate: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota and West Virginia.
A new working paper is raising questions about the sustainability of policies promoting self-determination for tribes in the United States. The 29-page paper, titled “American Indian Self-Determination: The Political Economy of a Policy that Works,” comes from the Harvard Kennedy School and is co-authored by Joseph P. Kalt, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the school.
The paper looks at how current self-determination policy has improved economic and social conditions in tribal communities across the country. Yet it also presents evidence extracted from an analysis of political party sympathies and voting trends that suggests that this policy may be threatened.
“In Congress … there are signs of change. Most particularly, the oft-noted evolution of the Republican Party away from its libertarian strains and toward more aggressive support for social policymaking aimed at promoting particular conservative social norms and structures is suggesting a trend away from the Indian self-government movement,” the authors conclude. “We might well predict that the next change to Republican control of the U.S. Congress will signal an end to policies of self-determination.”