As mentioned in my research overview, Native American children are 15% more likely to be tracked into special education compared to any other ethnic group. This is not because Native American children are defiant or less able to learn than any other child, or because they lack educational potential. There are complex systems at play that inhibit the success of Native American children in the classroom and a lot of it stems from a lack of cultural competency on behalf of the school, teachers, and staff. This lack of cultural competency may mean that teachers and staff are ignorant of student’s cultural values, their history, their language, their own English dialect (some children have what are known as Rez Accents), or their family structures. As a result of this misunderstanding there are culture clashes between the school and its students, which can result in lower educational attainment.

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