Professor Bryan Brayboy

Brayboy discusses issues in indigenous education


Maureen Roen

While in Seattle on March 9 to present a lecture at the University of Washington on "The Role of Sovereignty and Self-Determination in the Education of Native Populations,” ASU professor Bryan Brayboy was interviewed on KING-5 news about issues in Indigenous education.

Brayboy, a member of the Lumbee Nation, offered comment in light of recent reports indicating that Native students are not faring as well in education as would be hoped. A report released in 2011 by the National Assessment of Educational Programs revealed American Indian/Alaska Native students have fallen off in achievement in all but one measure – eighth-grade reading levels – since No Child Left Behind policies were implemented in 2003. And a report last week out of the U.S. Department of Education Civil Rights Office stated that minority students have less access to challenging curricula and often are taught by less experienced, lower paid teachers.

Brayboy, who is associate professor of culture, society and education in the School of Social Transformation and co-director of the Center for Indian Education at ASU, said that while disappointing, these findings also represent an opportunity for Native communities to refocus efforts on local control of education and creating culturally relevant learning environments.

“It opens up possibilities for us to say let’s think about different ways to reach our children in schools,” Brayboy told news host Mimi Jung. “Cultural responsive schooling is actually one of the things that brings local control back to schools and allows American Indian and Alaska Native students to learn things that they need to be successful in life, but to do so in a way that they see is relevant to their day-to-day lives.”