Enhancing Native Student Achievement: What Works?

Authors: Tanya Altstatt Menchaca

Disciplines: Education, Native American Studies

Themes: Education Reform, Family and Youth, Tribal Governance

Tribes: Makah

Shortly after the Federal “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB) was enacted, the Neah Bay High School on the Makah Indian Reservation was in the lowest fifth percentile of achievement for Washington State Schools. It was categorized as a “Priority School...in need of substantial improvement in whole school proficiency and growth...” by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Intensive support was requested of the school district and OSPI. Neah Bay High School’s low achieving status prompted the official label of a School Improvement Grant 1 school.  With this label Cape Flattery School District (CFSD) and Neah Bay High School were required to file School Improvement plans each year.  This case explores the steps taken to turn a failing school system into a success.