ERIC Number: ED468967
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr-24
Address to Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Summit on Native Education (Bethel, Alaska, April 24, 2002).
Remarks of Alaska Native researcher and educator Paul Ongtooguk are presented. Alaska Native students perform worse on exit exams than any other population in the state. In the past, formal education was offered to Alaska Natives only if they gave up being Alaska Natives. The current system is not designed to solve the problems of Alaska Native education. The missions of the University of Alaska are to provide winning teams for alumni, pursue research and funding for employees, and develop new buildings. In rural schools, superintendents and principals come in for a few years, eager to fill their resumes and ensure that the basketball teams are winning, then move on. School board members vote for inappropriate or unintelligible policies because they are tied to funding. In pushing skill-and-drill just to pass the exam, schools are missing the fact that for many kids, learning the skill isn't the hard part. Figuring out why they should bother is the real issue. When schools build students' history, traditions, communities, and challenges into the curriculum, students are given a reason to learn. Alaska Natives themselves are going to have to take the lead in making changes. The successes with Native corporations and the Native health care system are proof that change is possible. (TD)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, Culturally Relevant Education, Educational Needs, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Role of Education, Self Determination, Speeches, Student Motivation, Underachievement
For full text: http://www.alaskool.org/native_ed/PO_YK-042402-speech.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alaska Univ., Anchorage. Inst. of Social and Economic Research.
Identifiers - Location: Alaska