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National Indian Education Association joins 'Campaign for High School Equity'

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Civil rights organizations ensure every student in the nation is prepared for success

WASHINGTON - Nine of the nation's major organizations representing communities of color recently announced a historic partnership, a year in the making, to ensure that America's secondary schools have the capacity and motivation to prepare every student for graduation, college, work and life.

The Campaign for High School Equity boasts a diverse membership, particularly known and respected for their leadership and historic roles in the civil rights movement. They are: the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, the National Council of La Raza, the National Indian Education Association, the National Urban League and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. The convener and coordinator of the Campaign is the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy and advocacy organization that focuses on improving the country's secondary schools.

Robin Butterfield spoke for the National Indian Education Association.

''NIEA firmly believes that education equality is the birthright of all Native children and, as such, helps to form the cultural and language legacies of our families, communities and tribal nations,'' she expressed.

The Campaign for High School Equity will make sure that excellent education will be found in every classroom through research and participation.

Robin Butterfield told the 200 news conference attendees, ''Native students perform better academically when they are taught in a manner that is consistent with their traditions, languages and cultures.''

Other organizations shared their concerns with insufficient funds and opportunities in their communities.

The goals of the Campaign for High School Equity are to provide a unique and important perspective on federal and national education policy issues critical to high school reform. This partnership will address the need and options for serious reforms in high school education and be a strong part in building strategic advocacy activities for changes that produce positive outcomes for students of color and low-income students.

Founded in 1969, The National Indian Education Association is membership based organization committed to increasing educational opportunities and resources for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students while protecting our cultural and linguistic traditions.

For more information about the Campaign for High School Equity, or to download a copy of A Plan for Success, visit http://www.highschoolequity.org.