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Saturday, April 2, 2011

First Americans

This poster looks at the irony of who was here first and who is getting the shaft on their education. Do I blame the system? Yes, to a point…  It is clear that schools can do things to help everyone graduate at more consistent rates, yet these actions are not being taken in many areas.

Statistics show that students who participate in Native American enrichment programs graduate at much higher rates than those who do now.  Some schools offer these programs but there are also school out there who do not care about these students and the poverty that surrounds them.

An example of this is the Superintendent from the school district that I grew up in.  He would refer to the school on the poor side of town as his "poor little school" and rumor has it that he also said "poor little Indian school."  I never heard the second one, but this can help us all understand that schools are not equal and there are people who have the power to do something about it, but don't.

In addition to the schools there are many problems that surround the Indian reservations and other populations with high drop out rates.

There are factors like being seen as a traitor and getting beat up by your family and friends for going to school (and more-so for going to college), there is the problem of gang involvement.  Being born into a gang is common on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Indian Reservations, in South Dakota.  (I am sure that there are others but these are two of the top three worst counties in the US and I am the most familiar with them.)  When you are born into a gang that is truly all you have.  When you get out you loose your family and your friends, end up half dead in a hospital, and are left with nothing.  Situations like this do not help the schools or the learning environment. 

I am not here to tell individual schools what to do to increase graduation rates and student interest, I am here to raise awareness about the fact that something needs to be done in many areas of United States.

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