Indigenous School Improvement

Research findings on practices that holistically support Indigenous student success

The Need

School improvement practices not grounded in Indigenous education and ways of knowing often reinforce settler-colonial practices and beliefs.  

Indigenous students in the public school system face racism, colonial violence, and assimilationism. All schools and districts in our region engage in some type of school improvement or continuous improvement practices, but the planning, processes, and practices vary widely from school to school, district to district, and state to state. School improvement practices informed by Indigenous ways of knowing can close opportunity gaps for Indigenous students.

Indigenous students had the lowest rate of regular attendance among any racial or ethnic group during the 2020–21 school year, according to the Washington State Report Card. The pandemic disproportionately affected attendance for Indigenous students: regular attendance fell 9 percent among all students between the 2019–20 and 2020–21 school years and 20 percent among Indigenous students. Current practices that address changing models and modalities of instruction are not fully serving our Indigenous students. 

The Resource

Indigenous School Improvement: Research Findings provides findings around systems and supports to develop Indigenous educators. The report responds to two research questions:

  1. What can school improvement models founded in Indigenous ways of knowing or grown out of Indigenous communities look like?
  2. How can these findings inform ongoing and future work in Washington?

The report includes insights from Indigenous education literature and knowledge from 11 national experts with experience implementing Indigenous school improvement models in their schools or communities.

Share This