Youth & Education

Education
3:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Seattle’s most troubled high school gets elite academic degree program

Rainier Beach High School is seen in this photo.
how3ird Flickr

Rainier Beach High School will become the third Seattle school to offer the International Baccalaureate program, district officials announced.

IB was originally developed to educate the children of diplomats in Europe, but is gaining popularity as a way to help turn around struggling urban schools. And Rainier Beach is one of those, with chronic under-enrollment and the lowest test scores of any comprehensive high school in the district.

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Education
3:38 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

After 26 years, football returns to Tacoma middle schools

Casey Madison Tacoma Public Schools

Middle school football teams hit the gridiron this week in Tacoma for the first time since the Reagan administration. It’s been 26 years since the school district transitioned from a junior high system, and canceled almost all middle school athletics.

Now some creative fundraising has allowed both boys and girls to don pads and helmets, and go knock the stuffing out of each other.

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Education
3:51 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Seattle schools freeze hiring, spending as deficit looms

Seattle’s school district has frozen hiring and spending in anticipation of a budget shortfall next year. But since officials say the change won't affect actual classroom resources or essential personnel, you might say the district has put hiring and spending in the fridge.

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Education
6:00 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Should in-demand college degrees cost more to earn?

Protesters chat with police following their march into the Univesrity of Washington president's office.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Should students earning in-demand degree pay more?

That's the idea behind behind differential tuition, which would allow colleges to raise the price of earning expensive, sought-after degrees like engineering and computer science.

Some local students are rallying against the idea and urging their schools not to boost tuition to match their majors' demand. 

But the schools say differential tuition could help offset deep cutbacks in state funding.

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Education
4:29 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Seattle schools chief reinstates suspended curriculum on race

Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Seattle Public Schools is reinstating a high school curriculum on race and social justice after suspending it over a student’s complaint, but the controversy is likely to continue.

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Education
4:47 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Washington education bills lack response to Supreme Court ruling

Alexandra Kocik Northwest News Network

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.

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Education
4:15 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Meet the people who will choose Washington's charter schools

Washington voters said yes last November to allowing a limited number of charter schools, and now we know the names of the people who will select most of them. The Washington Charter School Commission is charged with setting criteria for new charter schools, and choosing which ones to authorize (Some school districts will eventually be able to do that, too).

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Education
4:59 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Universities Say Research Funding Cuts May Bring Job Cuts

Jimmy Emerson Flickr

The Northwest's public universities pull in massive amounts of federal research dollars. It totaled $1 billion last year at the University of Washington. Oregon State University won close to $200 million in federal research funds. The University of Idaho is counting on $100 million this year. So it's no surprise that university administrators are hanging on every scrap of news about imminent automatic federal budget cuts.

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Education
4:55 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Hearing in a noisy classroom gets better with training

inuii Flickr

New research out of the University of Washington finds hearing-impaired kids can train their ears and brains to hear better in a noisy classroom. Students with limited hearing have an especially tough time making out what someone is saying if, say, kids in the back are whispering, or a classmate has a cough.

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Education
5:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Why are kids in Federal Way playing with a nuclear reactor?

High school senior Raymond Maung poors liquid nitrogen into the reactor.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Hear the full story

In a quiet Federal Way garage, a group of students is getting the chance to do something they’d never get away with at school – build and run a thermonuclear reactor. 

The project aims to reimagine what science class might look like, and nudge dozens of kids into careers in science and technology.

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Education
5:24 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Washington colleges top lists for most Peace Corps volunteers

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet congratulates the presidents of the University of Washington and Western Washington University.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Maybe it’s something in the water: Washington schools top the lists of large, medium and small colleges producing the most Peace Corps volunteers. It’s the first time one state has dominated all three categories of the Peace Corps’ list.

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Education
5:12 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Homeless students on the rise in Washington

Keeping homeless kids in school means you have to make sure they can get there.
freefotouk Flickr

Some 27, 390 homeless students went to public school in Washington last year — up more than 5 percent over the year before, according to new numbers released by the state superintendent’s office. In the past, increases like that have been explained by school districts getting better at counting. But spokesman Nathan Olson said this time, based on what he’s heard from district officials, it looks like there just really are more homeless students.

“The data collection is fine now. People know about this, the homeless liaisons that every district has know about this, it’s not an issue. The issue really is the economy right now,” Olson said.

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Education
9:58 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Seattle test boycotters rally national support

Teachers are trying to generate a show of support for their boycott of teh MAP tests.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

A group of Seattle teachers is trying to rally national support behind its boycott of a required test, even as they face reprisals from the school district. Teachers protesting the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP tests, asked their supporters to besiege district headquarters with phone calls and emails. They say the tests waste class time and give misleading information, and they object to MAP scores being used in their own professional evaluations.

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Education
11:38 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Do we still need to learn cursive?

Rich Christen at the University of Portland has studied the history of teaching cursive handwriting. He keeps a fountain pen at his desk.
Colin Fogarty

Cursive handwriting may soon go the way of the card catalog and the film projector. Schools are moving to new curriculum standards that put more emphasis on typing skills. But not everyone is ready for the cursive alphabet to become a relic. Jessica Robinson reports the Idaho legislature is considering a statewide cursive mandate.

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Education
5:01 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Billions in school funding on February ballots

Arbor Hts. Principal Christy Collins shows her schools restrooms, where the water is unsafe to drink. The school will be overhauled if Seattle's capital levy passes.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Washington voters have begun receiving ballots for a special election on February 12th, with billions of dollars for schools at stake.

Seattle Public Schools is asking voters to approve more than $1.2 billion in construction and operating funds, much of which would go toward overhauling or replacing old buildings, like the 1950s-vintage Arbor Heights Elementary in West Seattle. Principal Christy Collins recently showed off a chilly special education classroom there.

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