News
3:12 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Wind River Reservation Schools say they are fighting to improve

School officials from the Wind River Reservation admit they have problems graduating students and with educating students, but they also say they are slowly making progress.  School officials told a meeting of two legislative committees that more early education and more involvement with parents.  But they all say that socio-economic factors also play a role.  Wyoming Interim Education Director Jim Rose says resolving that issue will be tricky.

“You don’t have a very good opportunity to provide education to a child if they’re not nourished and if they are coming from a family that has no sense or value of the meaning or purpose of education.  So I think it has to be a broader effort.”

Scott Ratliff is the Vice Chairman of the State School Board.  Ratliff has worked with schools on the reservation for a number of years, and he said that things are better…but there is also a lot to do.

“If I look at it from a historical standpoint, sure it’s getting better.  But some of the things are still huge.  Substance abuse is still huge and what brings with that is fetal alcohol, either syndrome or effect.  We have to address those things and we’re not.”

Ratliff said it's a poverty issue, not a cultural issue.  He added that he also believes that early childhood education would help students learn at an earlier age.  Lawmakers are considering supporting such an effort

Tribal Business Leaders and Education officials say they are all striving to resolve the issue, but they say it will take time.  Rose says better engaging school boards will also be important.

Tribal Business Leaders and Education officials say they are all striving to resolve the issue, but they say it will take time.  Rose says better engaging school boards will also be important.