The purpose of this report is to track the American Indian achievement gap in Montana and provide data on the Montana American Indian student population. In 2013, criterion referenced test (CRT) results were generally lower across the board for AI students, showing that after increasing for each of the past four years, only 62.9% of American Indians scored proficient on the reading assessment during the 2012–2013 school year. This was a significant decrease compared to the 67.6% that were proficient in 2012. Decreases occurred for both American Indian and White student groups, but the decrease for American Indian students was larger and was down to the level seen before 2010. The same decreasing trend occurred in Math CRT proficiency rates. For the second year in a row the American Indian math proficiency rates have decreased. The math proficiency level has dropped to a level not seen since before the 2010 school year. Science has historically had the lowest proficiency rates among all groups of students. Science CRT scores, which were available for the 2013–2014 school year, contained mixed results. The statewide American Indian student proficiency rate in science decreased to 30.4% from a high of 33.0% in 2013. While this is a sizable decrease, the proficiency rates are still significantly higher than before 2012.
The content and quality of this state report on American Indian achievement is outstanding, providing a comprehensive and accurate achievement overview of Montana's Native American students—approximately 6.5% of the total student population. The report provides a broad variety of data ranging from state CRT scores to NAEP achievement, in addition to high school dropout and graduation rates, and even the prevalence of smoking. The large number of legible graphics contributes to the communicative strengths of the paper. Utility should be very high. Unfortunately, the switch to Smarter Balanced assessments will result in incomparable data in future years. Effectiveness as a resource, although not directly addressed, should be very high, especially given the annual release of these reports.