The State of Indian Schools

Back when my mother made the decision to enter the teaching profession, she did her student teaching at an Indian school in New Mexico. At St. Catherine’s Indian School in Santa Fe County, my mother gained the clinical experience that helped her develop into the exemplary high school English teacher so many of her students know her for.

Why the trip down memory lane? Over the weekend, the Associated Press’ Kimberly Hefling wrote an interesting piece on the current state of the modern-day Indian school.

In the piece, she describes one school in Arizona as such: “The school, which serves 81 students, consists of a cluster of rundown classroom buildings containing asbestos, radon, mice, mold and flimsy outside door locks. The newest building, a large, white monolithic dome that is nearly 20 years old, houses the gym.”

When we talk public education and school needs here in the United States, we often focus on inner-city schools and the challenges they face. It is rare that Indian schools (or rural schools in general) are a central part of the discussion. If you haven’t read Hefling’s article, please do. It is worth the read and paints a too real picture of the work ahead of us.

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