Saturday, March 15, 2014

Literacy, The Common Core and Our American Indian Students

I had the honor yesterday of presenting a workshop at the 39th Annual North Carolina Indian Unity Conference. The workshop was geared toward parents, guardians, and family of our American Indian students. I gave a very basic overview of the Common Core State Standards and the English Language Arts portion of the standards.

After the overview of the achievement expectations for our students, we focused on some of the learning tools schools use to get there - in this case, books about Native Americans or that include Native Americans. These are books commonly found in media centers, leveled book rooms and classrooms all over the country. Unfortunately, many of them give an inaccurate view of Native Americans. Using a number of resources, we explored how to analyze these tools students are given to learn, either purposefully or inadvertently, about American Indians, and developed language to approach teachers, media specialists and school administration when we are uncomfortable with the message these tools impart.

Workshop participants had wonderful insights and comments both about the new achievement expectations and about the tools we put in the hands of students everywhere. I hope that I have helped developed advocates for accurate information for all students.

Many thanks to give for this experience:
the Chapel-Hill-Carrboro City Schools district
faculty and staff at Mary Scroggs Elementary School
the Sappony Tribe
United Tribes Board
Indian Housing Authority
my daughter

I am humbled and grateful to be part of such caring, supportive communities both at school, my tribe and family and the community of North Carolina tribes.


  1. Yay Kara!! I'm sorry I missed it. So glad you shared the slides on here :)

  2. Thank you for sharing with other American Indian Student Parents. We appreciate your work and send a huge congratulations on your Strowd-Roses grant award!