Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau visited Heart Butte last week to kick off the Schools of Promise program. She talked with students, parents and school staff about what the million dollar grant means for the school.
Corin Cates-Carney

One of Montana’s lowest achieving schools is in line to receive over a million dollars in aid, starting next year.

Heart Butte High School and its 48 enrolled students are the newest recipients of the federally funded grant known as the Schools of Promise Initiative.

A new pilot course designed to address the shortage in computer programmers in Montana opens Monday.

Montana Schools are getting half a million dollars in federal grant money to improve math and science instruction.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau says a chunk of those funds will go to math programs on the Flathead Reservation. Juneau’s office says over the past five years American Indians’ rate of proficiency in math and science is 30 percent lower than white Montanans.

Life on a reservation can tend toward a pattern of wounds difficult to mend by young natives.

15-year-olds Kianna Finley and Gabby Houle live on the Flathead reservation. They say at times they are surrounded by a discouraging way of living - one of substance abuse and loss.

The U.S. Senate this week passed an update to the "No Child Left Behind" education law. The "Every Child Achieves Act" is the first education reform measure to clear the Senate in over 13 years.

As the Senate begins debating federal education policy, Montana Senator Jon Tester is trying to remove annual testing requirements from Washington, and Senator Steve Daines is seeking block grants of federal funding instead of money with specific strings attached.

The Senate is currently working on replacing the unpopular No Child Left Behind law, with one called “Every Child Achieves.”

Marianne Wiest - Courtesy photo

Bozeman technology entrepreneur Greg Gianforte is asking Montanans who live out of state to come home, and to bring their high paying jobs with them.

He launched what he’s calling his “Bring our Families Back tour,” Monday visiting economic development agencies in northwest Montana to promote telecommuting as a way to drive up Montana’s average income and improve the economy.

Fewer state and federal dollars are filling Montana school district coffers, so school officials are turning to local voters for help.

Bob Vogel of the Montana School Boards Association says bonding requests are becoming more common.

Native Languages: From Forbidden To Funded

Apr 24, 2015
Courtesy Nkwusm Salish Language School

April Charlo is happy to hear that state lawmakers passed a bill yesterday supporting Native American language immersion programs in the public schools. Growing up on the Flathead Reservation, Charlo says the first time she had a chance to learn Salish was in the 7th grade.

“And I wanted more." Charlo says. "I couldn’t have more until high school, but then it was only, you know, that 50 minute block a day. To have an immersion program in public school would have just been amazing.”

Flickr user biologycorner (CC-BY-NC)

Some technological glitches aren't stopping most of Montana's school districts from administering tests linked to Common Core.

State School Superintendent Denise Juneau estimates about 80 percent of Montana's schools will press ahead with the online tests despite widely reported problems.

Early Education Funding Fails To Make The Cut In Senate Budget

Apr 9, 2015

The Republican-controlled Senate today gave preliminary approval to the state’s main budget bill. The GOP majority allowed only a few technical amendments and resisted attempts by Democrats to add additional funding or programs to House Bill 2. This includes a Bullock Administration proposal to fund early childhood education.

Flickr user, Bit Boy

In 1961, Fidel Castro's new Cuban government organized a massive literacy campaign, recruiting 100,000 teenagers to move to the rural areas and teach illiterate farmers how to read and write.

Gov. Bullock's Preschool Program Faces GOP Opposition

Feb 24, 2015
Courtesy Photo

Representative Tom Woods sent his kids to preschool after searching for a couple of months to find the right fit.

“I’ve got kids. I’ve been through this,” Woods said in a recent interview. “Preschool helped them.”

Brian Kahn talks with faculty members Sam Koenen and Beth Stohlmann, and junior Nathan Mayville, of Petra Academy of Bozeman, MT. Petra is an accredited member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools.

Legislature's Education Debate Centers On Funding, Choice, Control

Feb 1, 2015
Michael Wright

Sen. Scott Sales, R-Bozeman, sat in his office recently and talked about why he supports school choice, a nationwide movement to increase access to charter and private schools.

“I’m of the belief that the child’s education isn’t the responsibility of the state,” he said. “It’s the parent.”

Two Education Bills On Wednesday's Legislative Agenda

Jan 20, 2015
William Marcus

Wednesday at the Capitol, Montana legislators hear two “sister bills" on education.

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau got right to the point when she opened a news conference Tuesday in the Governor’s office.

“I am proud to announce that Montana’s graduation rate has hit an all-time high of 85. 4 percent.”

That compares with a graduation rate of just over 80 percent in 2010.To put those numbers in perspective, only nine states have graduation rates higher than 85 percent, according to a U.S. Department of Education report from 2012.

Elissa Washuta talks about and reads from her memoir, My Body is a Book of Rules.

About the book:

Early Head Start Coming To Bozeman, Helena

Jan 12, 2015

Early Head Start programs are coming to Bozeman and Helena for the first time.

The non-profit, AWARE Incorporated will use a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to partner with local child-care agencies to make Early Head Start cheaper for low-income families.

Melinda Wade Corso, Early Childhood Services Director, says infants and toddlers might be too young to read and write, but not to learn to sit quietly in class.

10/02/2014 - An Intelligence Squared Debate - In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts. Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start? The debaters are Carmel Martin, Carol Burris, Michael Petrill, and Frederick Hess.

09/04/2014 - The United States is in the midst of a huge education reform. The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations for what students should learn each year in school. The standards have been adopted by most states, though there’s plenty of controversy about them among activists and politicians. Most teachers, however, actually like the standards.

Tribal - NASA Project To Teach About Climate Change

Jul 23, 2014

The Salish Kootenai College is one of four tribal colleges or universities, nationwide, to receive a grant from NASA to develop climate change curriculum. The grants come from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project, and range from $413,000 to $1,009,000.

06/05/2014 - Is the college of the future online? With the popularity of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the availability of online degree programs at a fraction of their on-campus price, we are experiencing an exciting experiment in higher education. Does the traditional classroom stand a chance? Will online education be the great equalizer, or is a campus-based college experience still necessary? The debaters are Anant Agarwal, Jonathan Cole, Ben Nelson, and Rebecca Schuman.

Katrin Frye

Each May for about two decades the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have held a River Honoring and invited children from across the reservation and beyond. The honoring started in 1986 in response to a push for additional dams below Kerr Dam, along the lower Flathead River.

Education Specialist Germaine White with the Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation said the Tribal Culture Committee was very concerned about a disturbance to the river.

The recipient of the 2011 National Humanities Medal is in Missoula to lecture about "the global century." Dr. Stanley Katz is a Princeton University professor, author, president emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies, and an expert on American legal and constitutional history.
    In this feature interview, Katz talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the difference between the terms "global" and "international" - and the importance of a globally-focused education.


Dan Boyce

Angela McLean has only had her new job a couple of months - and it looks like a good fit. Governor Steve Bullock appointed the former Anaconda high school teacher to be his lieutenant governor in February, to replace John Walsh, who replaced Max Baucus in the U.S. Senate.