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Paper concludes report on Indian education

The Billings Gazette concludes its weeklong series on Indian education on reservations in Montana.

One story emphasizes the importance of tribal colleges. Many students use them as a stepping stone to four-year institutions away from the reservation.

Mandy Plainfeather enrolled at University of Montana but left because she didn't feel prepared. "The support structure wasn't there for me. That homesickness was really hard. I think I cried for about a month," Plainfeather told the paper.

She returned to the Crow Reservation to attend the Little Big Horn College before transferring to Montana State University and earning a bachelor's degree. About 90 percent of the students at the college are Crow.

A second article looks at the success the Lame Deer Elementary School on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation has seen in improving reading scores. The school is using a federal Reading First grant to require students to spend at least 90 minutes a day on reading.

At the end of the first year of the program, almost half of the kindergarten students were able to read at their grade level and master the skills needed to read in first grade. And 35 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient or better in reading, up from 18 percent in 2002.

Get the Story:
Tribal college a steppingstone to 4-year schools for Indian students (The Billings Gazette 8/25)
Reading emphasis keys gains in Lame Deer (The Billings Gazette 8/25)

Relevant Links:
Big Horn Teacher Projects -
Montana Indian Education Association -
Montana Office of Public Instruction -

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