BIE approves standards, assessments and accountability system

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/30/2020 05:00 PM
WASHINGTON – On March 26, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney announced that the Bureau of Indian Education published its Standards, Assessments and Accountability System Final Rule under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

BIE officials said the SAAS Rule is expected to provide the BIE with the ability to operate under a unified assessment system intended to bolster professional development and student performance. Officials said the framework and consistency across the 23 states where BIE-funded schools are located is critical to improving services and providing the high-quality education that BIE students and tribes deserve.

“The SAAS Rule will provide BIE-funded schools with the simplicity, clarity and consistency needed to establish a solid foundation for school improvement that better serves Indian students and Tribes,” said Sweeney. “Additionally, the rule reaffirms the right of Tribes to use Native American languages as a medium of instruction.” 

BIE Director Tony L. Dearman said the The SAAS Rule gives BIE-funded schools the opportunity to operate under a unified system of standards, assessments and accountability.

“This will provide educators the ability to share research-based best practice across our organization and provide timely data needed to inform and refine practices that increase academic performance for all students,” he said.  

The BIE implements federal Indian education programs and funds 183 elementary schools, secondary schools and dormitories (of which over two-thirds are tribally operated) located on 64 reservations in 23 states serving an estimated 46,000 individual students. The BIE also operates two post-secondary schools and administers grants for 29 tribally controlled colleges and universities and two tribal technical colleges.

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