ERIC Number: ED467706
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
A Case Study of Gila River Indian Community (Arizona) and Its Role as a Partner in the NSF-Supported UCAN Rural Systemic Initiative (RSI).
Russon, Craig; Horn, Jerry; Oliver, Steve
This case study examines the history and current circumstances of education in the Gila River Indian Community (Arizona) in the context of its participation in the Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Rural Systemic Initiative (UCAN RSI), which aims to improve science and mathematics achievement through systemic reform. This report describes tribal history and economic conditions; the school system and its involvement with the UCAN RSI; and progress on the National Science Foundation's "six drivers of educational system reform": implementation of standards-based curriculum, supportive policies, convergence of resources to support math and science programs, broad-based parent and community support, improved student achievement, and improved equity of achievement. Located south of Phoenix, the reservation is slowly recovering from years of forced dependence. The seven elementary and middle schools include BIA, tribal, public, and parochial schools. The one high school has very low attendance as many students go off reservation for high school. All reservation schools belong to UCAN's Arizona Tribal Coalition. Coalition teachers meet regularly for professional development and support. As a result of alliances with businesses and other schools, some teachers are developing a culturally relevant math and science curriculum. Evaluators found weak to moderate evidence of developing success on the six drivers of reform. Although education is recognized as a way to help the community moved forward, systemic reform on the reservation is a difficult proposition. Multiple jurisdictions prevent alignment of policies, and resources have always been a struggle. However, the coalition's emphasis on professional development has had some impact. (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, American Indian Education, American Indian History, American Indian Reservations, Case Studies, Community Characteristics, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Mathematics Education, Professional Development, Rural Schools, Science Education
For full text: http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/rsi/gila_river.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Western Michigan Univ., Kalamazoo. Evaluation Center.