Analysis of NAEP/NIES for American Indian and Alaska Native Students

This study analyzed National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment data and National Indian Education Study (NIES) survey data for American Indian and Alaska Native 8th grade students.

WestEd and Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) partnered on this study.

We examined how school-level factors (e.g., school type), teacher-level factors (e.g., teacher background variables and instructional practices), student-level factors (e.g., self-rated mathematics interest and proficiency), and interactions among these factors are associated with American Indian an Alaska Native student mathematics achievement.

In Phase I of this study, a series of two-level regression models (i.e., hierarchical linear modeling, [HLM]) was used to study the relationship between student/teacher/school-level factors and student performance. HLM accounted for the nesting of student observations within schools.

Phase II entailed qualitative research based on the findings from Phase I to allow us to develop a deeper understanding of American Indian and Alaska Native contexts of teaching and learning; and why particular factors are or are not associated with student performance on the NAEP mathematics assessment as identified in Phase I.

The goal of this study was to identify malleable factors that, if changed, could improve teachers’ practices in order to improve American Indian and Alaska Native student achievement in mathematics.

Findings served as the basis for future development projects targeting teacher professional development and instructional materials that enhance the education advancement of all students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.