Poverty and Public Health
5:01 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Study: Half Of Native American High School Students Graduate In US, New Mexico

Navajo Technical College commencement, 2012.
Navajo Technical College commencement, 2012.
Credit US Department of Education

  Only half of the Native American students in the U.S. graduated from high school in 2010, according to a new report by the non-profit publisher of Education Week. The study found Native American students graduated at a rate 30 percent lower than white students, 17 percent lower than Latino students, and 10 percent lower than African American students.

In New Mexico, Native American graduation rates are also hovering at around 50 percent, although this is similar to the statewide rates. Still, white graduation rates are 10 percent higher than Native rates in the state.

RiShawn Biddle, with The National Indian Education Association, says the data confirms that too many Native students aren’t making it out of high school. "Even when they do make it out of high school," he adds, "they’re not necessarily prepared for college and career success." He says the low graduation rates may be due to multiple factors, including cultural displacement, English as a second language, a lack of funds, and not receiving appropriate instruction.