Montana gets federal grant to study paid family and medical leave

The National Partnership for Women & Families sent out a news release today congratulating Montana for being one of four states to win a federal grant to study family and medical leave.

The announcement is copied below:

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Early education news ping-pong

I get regular, always positive news releases on the state of K-12 education in Montana from the state Office of Public Instruction. Often, I dutifully post the releases on this blog for readers.

Naturally, I didn’t hear a peep from OPI about this latest news, which is based on a national study that dealt Montana a failing grade for our math and English standards:

“Montana’s English language arts standards ’are among the worst in the country,’ the study’s three authors wrote.

Findings on Montana’s math standards were equally woeful.”

Ai yi yi.

Montana Superintendent Denise Juneau shrugged off the findings, pointing out that the study failed to include a key portion of the state’s standards, and noting how well Montana has done in other national studies.

So it’s the battle of the studies, apparently.

Meanwhile, the OPI broke some more positive news: Montana is set to take in $11.5 million in Department of Education grants to improve some of our worst-performing schools. Here’s the release, below.

– MM

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Research study seeking new moms

Barbara Wickel, who heads the Ronald McDonald House in Missoula and who is, incidentally, a member of the Missoulian’s editorial advisory board, sent out an e-mail seeking candidates for her daughter’s research project. Here’s the e-mail and the details, if you want to participate or help spread the word:

From Barbara Wickel: “My daughter is collecting data for her Master’s thesis. She needs lots of people to take a survey to complete her research. Could you please distribute this to everyone on your email list (church lists, work lists, etc.) and take it yourself if you meet the criteria. She needs this information as soon as possible so please try to get this out soonest!

“Coping Mothers – Internet-Based Research Study

“The Coping Mothers project is a research study examining the effects of perceived health, coping methods, and differentiation on relationship satisfaction 6-12 months postpartum mothers. Your participation in the study may help researchers learn how differentiation and coping abilities when dealing with health problems effects relationship satisfaction.

“Researchers are looking for women who meet all the following criteria:

· First time mothers with child(ren) who are 6-12 months of age

· Are currently in a long-term relationship or marriage with the child’s father

· Are fluent in English

“If you are interested in participating in this internet-based research project, please click on the link below (no password needed) or cut and paste the following URL address:

“If you have questions or concerns before deciding to participate, please call Dr. Anne Edwards at Purdue University Calumet (219) 989-2863, or email her at This study was approved by the institutional review board at Purdue University on December 11, 2009, (protocol #0912008704).”

– MM

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