Poor and minority students in Washington state are more likely to be labeled truants. That’s a according to the state’s 2015 Truancy Report out Wednesday.

Meet The Next Secretary Of Education

Oct 2, 2015

The man who will succeed Education Secretary Arne Duncan has both an inspirational personal story and a record of controversy in what's become a national debate over the Common Core learning standards.

At age 40, John King Jr. will become one of the youngest Cabinet members in American history. He's been deputy U.S. education secretary since January, after serving as education commissioner in New York.

Duncan called him "one of the most passionate, courageous, clearheaded leaders in our field" with a "remarkable personal story."

Attribution: Ozzie425er at the English language Wikipedia

Classes in the Kelso School District are set to resume with a two-hour late start Monday after the teachers union and the district reached a tentative contract agreement.

The Daily News reports that the faculty ratified the pact Sunday evening. All 226 teachers present at a membership meeting voted to approve the contract.

The Kelso Education Association has been negotiating with the district since April and had been working without a contract since June 30.

Is technology the best thing that ever happened to education? Or a silent killer of children's attention spans and love of learning?

Tap, Click, Read is a new book out this week that attempts to offer a third alternative. It tells the stories of educators and parents who are trying to develop media, and ways of interacting with that media, that encourage literacy and critical thinking skills in young children, while reducing inequity.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The state Supreme Court will give advocates another month to file a response to justices' recent ruling striking down Washington's charter school law.  The extension likely means the charter schools can continue receiving public dollars through much of October.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to clarify the timeline of when Microsoft opened its Nevada office and when the state lowered its royalty tax. The updated version also adds that Microsoft declined to say how much state royalty tax the company has paid.

Courtesy of Washington Sea Grant

Garfield High School students will put their smarts to the test to defend their title at the annual Orca Bowl at the University of Washington this weekend.

In a competition that slightly resembles the TV game show “Jeopardy,” 20 teams from around the state will try to answer multiple-choice questions about marine sciences, many of them specifically geared toward this year's theme of ocean acidification. Then finalists from Ocean Science Bowls around the country will meet again in May to vie for the national title. This year, it's taking place for the first time in Seattle.

Washington state students rank in the top 10 for math and science when compared with their counterparts in other countries, according to a new batch of test scores.

Washington's eighth graders tested better than the national average in both subjects. And scores here are higher than those in Ontario, Canada; Hungary, and Australia.

This weekened, Seattle's Convention Center is getting overrun by thousands of women and girls gathered for the annual GeekGirlCon event. But the convention is not just about gaming.

Associated Press

More Washington kids are living in poverty today than before the recession, but they are better educated and their health has improved, according to a new report released Monday.

The annual survey released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows the number of Washington children living in poverty has increased to 18 percent, but poverty in the state is still well below the national average.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A single shiny red apple sat atop each desk on the Washington Senate floor Wednesday to represent a day full of voting on education issues. Senators deliberated and passed multiple measures. One would rank schools with A through F grades. Another would make it easier for principals to get rid of ineffective teachers.

But Democrats like Sen. David Frockt point out that lawmakers have not yet responded to a state Supreme Court ruling known as the McCleary decision. It requires more funding for schools.

Idaho is starting to see the education gap narrow for Latino students. That's according to the state's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Latinos are the fastest growing segment of Idaho’s school system.

The commission's director Margie Gonzalez told a legislative panel the days of double digit drop-out rates for Hispanic kids are gone. More Latinos are enrolling in college. And last month, a national assessment of vocabulary showed huge gains among Hispanic students in Idaho.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Dozens of visually impaired people with white canes and guide dogs protested outside’s headquarters in Seattle today. They say Amazon’s Kindle e-readers aren’t fully accessible to the blind


Update: An spokeswoman did return my call after this story aired, but declined to comment.

Blind people – including former New York Governor David Paterson – are planning to protest at today. They want the company to make its Kindle device and apps more accessible to the visually impaired, especially kids as e-readers start to be used in schools. 

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is asking state lawmakers to cap cost of living pay increases for public sector retirees. 

MOSCOW, Idaho - The "world's most comprehensive collection" of opium smoking paraphernalia has a new home; it's at the University of Idaho. A writer and collector, originally from San Diego, donated the exquisite antiques.

It's taking weeks to carefully unpack and catalogue all the opium smoking implements and accessories. Collector Steven Martin estimates he donated at least 1,000 pieces... ceramic opium pipe bowls, ornamented heating lamps, traveling kits, scrapers, old photographs and mug shots.

A school district in southwest Idaho says the book “Like Water for Chocolate” is inappropriate for high school sophomores. It’s banning the book from the curriculum.

The 1989 book by Mexican author Laura Esquivel includes vivid descriptions of sexual arousal. Nampa School District spokeswoman Allison Westfall says over the weekend, administrators reviewed the passages after receiving complaints.

The latest community college enrollment numbers may hold a clue to what’s happening in the Northwest’s economy. Some two-year institutions in the region are seeing the first decline in class registration since the recession.

At the bookstore at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, the piles of textbooks students buy are kind of like a bar graph for the local unemployment rate.

The principal of rural Toppenish High School, south of Yakima, has been named national high school principal of the year and will be honored in Washington, D.C. in a few weeks.

It's tempting to make a "fight club" reference (and some news outlets have), but the outrageous nature of the allegations seems to call for a more straight-forward approach:

In a new study, The Pew Hispanic Center says that for the first time ever, Hispanics have become the largest minority group in the country's college campuses.

It's a report that marks many firsts for the ethnic group, which has been making great strides in education since 1972.

Among them: For the first time, there were more than 2 million latinos ages 18 to 24 enrolled. They reached a record 16.5 percent of all college enrollment. Hispanics make up a little more than a quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in two-year colleges.

Dear college students across the U.S.,

Like millions of my colleagues who teach at universities and colleges, I'm working hard this week to put an updated zing into the syllabus for each of my fall classes. Describing the course content and readings for Biological Anthropology and Primate Behavior is the fun, mind-engaging part.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Fifty years ago a group of Seattle students were asked to make predictions about the “classroom of the future,” as part of the 1962 Century 21 World’s Fair. They came back with a mixed bag: phones that fit in your pocket? Check. Flying cars? Still waiting. (None mentioned high-stakes tests, Lunchables or Wikipedia.)

This year as part of the fair’s 50th anniversary, the Seattle Center asked students to make their own predictions about what school will look like 50 years from now.

An increase in the number of people protesting with the student group #MicCheckWallStreet last night on Capital Hill brought an increase in police presence with it.

And, not long after more than 80 people took to the streets to “peacefully” protest the rising costs of a college education, according to one organizer, the gathering turned hostile when a single arrest was made.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington teachers are woefully underpaid. That’s the conclusion of a draft legislative task force report. Now a key Washington state lawmaker says teachers and other school employees deserve at least a cost-of-living pay raise next year.

Twelve years ago, Washington voters approved Initiative 732. It requires annual pay increases for K-12 employees. The initiative didn’t come with any funding.

Award-winning children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak has died at 83. He shot to fame in 1963 with his picture book 'Where The Wild Things Are'. He published several more books, including 'In The Night Kitchen', 'Outside Over There' and most recently, 'Bumble-Ardy'.

Family friend Lynn Ceprio confirmed his death. The New York Times reports his cause of death was complications from a stroke he'd recently suffered.

EDMONDS, Wash. — Classes at a high school in the Edmonds School District have been canceled following threats to student safety.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state lawmakers have approved changes to health insurance benefits for K-12 school employees that will improve transparency and help those who pay the most for coverage but may not bring down costs.

Gubernatorial candidates Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee are praising a new law that passed the state Legislature this year making evaluations a part of how teachers are judged.

Donna Gordon Blankinship / Associated Press

The good news in this week's new Washington state revenue forecast has drawn the attention of everyone who wants some money for their department or program.

But in a statement put out by Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, Dorn says the state Constitution and the Supreme Court give Washington only one choice: pay for education first.