Charla Bear

Education Reporter

Charla joined us in January, 2010 and is excited to be back in Seattle after several years in Washington, DC, where she was a director and producer for NPR. Charla has reported from three continents and several outlets including Marketplace, San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. She has a master of journalism from University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in architecture from University of Washington.

Charla's most memorable public radio moment: “Sitting alone in a room with a convicted murderer who had just been paroled. The only thing between us was a microphone, as he told me how he had transformed his life and become a priest.”

Pages

K-12 Education
4:52 am
Mon January 17, 2011

Bainbridge middle school skips day off for Martin Luther King

Haylee Derrickson (left) and classmates prepare for a march that kicks off their MLK lesson this year.
Kim Trick Hyla Middle School

Not all kids are enjoying a day off thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr.  Teachers and administrators at Hyla Middle School on Bainbridge Island see it as the perfect time to give students a new perspective on the civil rights leader.  

Read more
Education
2:30 pm
Fri January 14, 2011

Chief Sealth grads get free year at South Seattle Community College

Melinda Inez Foster says the 13th Year Promise Scholarship guarantees she'll achieve her goal of going to college.
Charla Bear KPLU

Seniors who graduate from Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle have a new price for their first year of college – free.  The president of South Seattle Community College says it’ll give one-year tuition scholarships to any student who gets a diploma and fills out a couple of forms. 

Read more
Haiti Earthquake
9:28 am
Wed January 12, 2011

UW Tacoma students build Haiti earthquake reminder on campus

UW Tacoma students practice setting up a simulation of a refugee shelter in Haiti. The students will put the replica dwellings and an aid tent in the middle of campus on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.
Courtesy of Holly Wolfe

As people remember the earthquake that devastated Haiti last year, some Washington residents will get an up close look at the hardships survivors still face.  Today, anyone who walks through the middle of the UW Tacoma campus can see a refugee camp like those many Haitians live in.  

Read more
K-12 Education
4:00 pm
Wed January 5, 2011

Seattle school officials proposing changes to enrollment plan

Some high school freshman could get new assignments for the 2011-2012 school year
Seattle Office for Education

Now that Seattle schoolchildren have settled in to the new student assignment plan, some changes are on the way.  The effort to place kids at neighborhood schools this year has hit a few bumps. 

Read more
Higher Education
7:00 pm
Mon January 3, 2011

Governor wants more private funding for public universities

Governor Chris Gregoire says she has a plan to make higher ed funding more stable and boost the number of students who earn degrees, but it could be a long shot.

The governor's plan would let schools decide when to increase tuition and by how much.  She says colleges and universities know best what they’re worth. 

Read more
Pre-K Education
7:32 am
Mon January 3, 2011

University of Washington center reimagines Head Start Program

Kids read at a preschool program in Seattle
Seattle Office for Education

A new project just launched at the University of Washington could give Head Start teachers a boost.  The effort aims to redesign how instructors for the federal early learning program are trained.

Read more
Environment
3:09 am
Tue December 28, 2010

Tiny paper can shred recycling options

Waste Management does not accept shredded paper in residential recycling bins
Bart Maguire Flickr photo

A lot of people clear out old documents after the New Year, but you might want to think twice before shredding them.  Paper scraps are too small for some recycling companies to take from residential customers. 

Recycling workers sort out all types and sizes of paper when it arrives at the center.  Newspapers go in one pile, envelopes in another.  But those scraps of shredded bills?    

Read more
K-12 Education
5:40 pm
Thu December 23, 2010

More Washington schools report homeless students

The number of homeless students in Washington during the past school year is 5-percent higher than the previous year.  More than 21,000 homeless students now go to school in Washington state, according to new figures released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

During the 2005-06 school year, districts reported half as many homeless students.

Read more
Health
5:04 pm
Wed December 22, 2010

Health history can be a gift to family members

Dr. Marius Laumans, right, examining Lynnette Drake, at a Group Health facility in Olympia, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Along with egg nog and presents, doctors say families should share their health histories this holiday season.  Health officials say family history is a leading predictor of illnesses and a big gift for loved ones. 

Read more
Metro Transit
4:46 pm
Mon December 20, 2010

Ads criticizing Israel cause stir over Metro bus policies

A sign scheduled to run on Metro buses next week has King County officials debating the limits of free speech in transit advertising.

The ad features the words, “Israeli war crimes your tax dollars at work” next to a group of kids staring at a demolished building.

King County Councilman Peter von Reichbauer called for a re-evaluation of the proposed ads, set to roll out Dec. 27.  The date coincides with the two-year anniversary of Israeli military action in Gaza.

Read more
K-12 Education
4:12 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

Community group sues to keep Teach for America out of Seattle

A group of Seattle parents and community members has filed a lawsuit to stop Seattle Public Schools from bringing Teach for America to the city.

Read more
K-12 Education
2:27 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

Bethel closer to ditching junior high schools

What's one way to end the terror of junior high?  Members of a Bethel School District committee think the answer is to create middle schools. 

The group of residents and staff from Pierce County’s third-largest school district voted Wednesday night to support switching the junior high configuration to a middle school model, reports the Tacoma News Tribune.

Read more
Seattle Center
4:14 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Mayor calls for Chihuly, KEXP, and a playground at Seattle Center

Rendering of the proposed KEXP building. The radio station would relocate to the Seattle Center under Mayor Mike McGinn's proposal.
Office of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has given his approval for a Dale Chihuly glass-art exhibit to replace the Fun Forest at the Seattle Center, plus a new home for radio station KEXP and a children’s playground.  

Read more
K-12 Education
8:02 am
Wed December 15, 2010

State needs more than a century to close achievement gap

A student gets help with his schoolwork in a Seattle program for at-risk youth
Seattle Office for Education

Washington is finally making progress on closing the achievement gap between different groups of students, but researchers say it’s not all good news.  A new report found that the gains mean some students will still lag behind for more than a century. 

Read more
Holiday Season
7:11 am
Mon December 13, 2010

Gift cards on wish list for Adopt-a-Family programs

Adopt-a-Family programs say kids benefit when parents can pick gifts that meet their needs
Solid Ground

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, local non-profits want to make sure needy families are on your list.  Several charities are collecting toys and clothes for people who can’t afford presents, but a few Adopt-a-Family programs ask donors to give something more than stuff. 

Read more

Pages