To Support Indian Tribes to Establish High School Equivalency Testing of Their Choice

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TITLE: A Resolution to Support Indian Tribes to Establish High School Equivalency Testing of Their Choice

WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and

WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and

WHEREAS, the American Council on Education established a new General Educational Development (GED) test in 2014, and the impetus for the new test was to assist in developing more scientists that would come from GED graduates; and

WHEREAS, after developing the new test, the American Council on Education sold the trademark to the Pearson Testing Service to provide the testing service for the ACE developed GED exam and the new GED exam is now called GED Pearson; and

WHEREAS, there has been widespread dissatisfaction with the new GED Pearson Test (See Attachment A-B) and 25 states have gone to other high school equivalence tests due to the increased difficulty to pass the GED Pearson Test (See Attachment C-D); and

WHEREAS, the new GED Pearson test has resulted in a significant decrease in GED graduates among the Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation (See Attachment E), and similar results have occurred on the Rosebud Sioux and the Sisseton-Wahpeton reservations in South Dakota and on the Three Affiliated Tribes, Spirit Lake Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians reservations in North Dakota; and

WHEREAS, three of the four North Dakota tribal colleges which currently administer the GED Pearson are strongly supportive of alternative high school equivalency examinations such as the High School Equivalency Test (HISET) administered by the nonprofit organization, Educational Testing Service (ETS); and

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT BE RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians urges Congress and the Administration to recognize tribes’ sovereign authority to establish and administer valid, reliable, and fair high school equivalency examinations of their choice.


The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2016 Midyear Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Spokane Convention Center, June 27 to June 30, 2016, with a quorum present.