It’s time to make a real investment in culturally responsive education

Danielle Riha has “experienced first-hand the transformational experience that culturally sensitive curricula” can provide for students. As a teacher at Alaska Native Cultural Charter School, she works closely with Anchorage’s Native students. She writes in this Anchorage Daily News op-ed that Anchorage — and Alaska as a whole — have some serious problems to address. “Although the Anchorage School District has the most ethnically diverse students in the United States, with over 100 languages spoken in student homes, Alaska Native students score lower on standardized tests than any other demographic in the state,” she writes. “Far too many teachers, policy makers and administrators are not effectively practicing culturally responsive teaching and do not utilize cultural standards for teaching and evaluation.”

“Native students across Alaska and beyond deserve access to a quality public school that speaks to their unique identity and history,” Riha explains. “When teachers are empowered to use culturally responsive curricula and traditional Native teaching methods, great things happen – and I see it in my classroom every day.”

Click here to read her op-ed in Anchorage Daily News.