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Report Says American Indian Students Often Neglected In California Schools

The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center opened its doors at Cal State San Marcos last November. The center released its first report on American Indian education in California at the California Indian Conference being held on campus Friday and Saturday.

The report finds American Indian and Alaskan Native students have higher dropout rates than other ethnic groups and that they can be overlooked for services because they are often undercounted in school reporting.

The report collects data and provides a baseline picture of educational attainment in the American Indian community, said Joely Proudfit, the center's director. She said the center is taking steps to improve that picture by developing a cultural competency certificate.

“For teachers who want to work within tribal communities, for school administrators, for PTA, for parents, school board members who didn’t have the opportunity to get culturally competent training in relation to American Indian communities, that'll be available through the center at San Marcos," she said.

Proudfit believes it will also take targeted funding and programs to improve educational outcomes for the American Indian community.

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