Bureau of Indian Education: Improving Interior's Assistance Would Aid Tribal Groups Developing Academic Accountability Systems

GAO-08-1125T Published: Sep 09, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 09, 2008.
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The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) requires states and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) to define and determine whether schools are making adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward the goal of 100 percent academic proficiency. To address tribes' needs for cultural preservation, NCLBA allows tribal groups to waive all or part of BIE's definition of AYP and propose an alternative, with technical assistance from BIE and the Department of Education, if requested. GAO is providing information on the extent of (1) BIE schools' adoption of BIE's definition of AYP; (2) tribal groups pursuit of alternatives and their reasons, as well as reasons for not pursuing alternatives; and (3) federal assistance to tribal groups pursuing alternatives. To prepare this testimony, GAO relied primarily on information from a recent GAO report, GAO-08-679, and contacted BIE officials for updates on actions taken in response to GAO's prior recommendations.

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