Youth & Education

Stories about education focused on the Pacific Northwest, with many from KPLU's Youth & Education reporter, Kyle Stokes.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

THE DALLES, Ore. – A fixer-upper is paying unexpected dividends for a couple in The Dalles, Oregon.

The back parking lot of the old building they bought as an investment is yielding artifacts that give rare insight into the lives of pioneer Chinese immigrants in the Northwest.

Associated Press

Ever since a University of Washington study published in a major medical journal in 2007 showed baby videos don't make infants smarter, the creators of the Baby Einstein series have been battling the university in court and in the media.

Associated Press

The state constitution says it’s Washington’s “paramount duty to make ample provisions for the education of all children,” but is it failing to do that? This afternoon, the state Supreme Court will consider arguments on both sides.

Flickr

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical colleges voted Thursday to raise tuition by an average of 12 percent next year. That's the maximum the Legislature allowed in the state budget.

Lyndsey Struthers / Flickr

The University of Washington’s highly-ranked school of nursing is plagued with low-morale, internal strife and a lack of trust between faculty and the department head, according to a new report.

The report by the Seattle consulting firm MacDonald Boyd and Associates attributed the deep divisions largely to choices made over budget cuts.  The state has slashed funding for University of Washington by more than 50-percent in the past 3 years. (Follow the link to the consultant's report)

The Richland School Board, taking into consideration mixed recommendations from the district's Instructional Materials Committee, voted to remove "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie from highschool reading lists.

Gary Davis / KPLU

Seattle University has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference in 2012. The WAC announced the move Tuesday following a board of directors meeting in Park City, Utah.

Washington high school students continue to do well on statewide tests in reading and writing, but only about half are passing the science assessment.

Of this year's tenth graders, more than 81 percent passed the reading test on their first try and nearly 84 percent passed the writing test. Results from math tests will be released in August. The passage rates are above 90 percent for this year's seniors, who have had multiple chances to pass.

The Regents of Washington State University have approved a sixteen percent increase in in-state undergraduate tuition on the same day that Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law legislation giving Washington state’s four-year universities authority to set their own tuition.

This fall, college students could face bigger tuition hikes than Washington has seen in nearly a decade. That’s after two years of double digit increases.

Under a bill signed by Governor Chris Gregoire, state colleges get to set their own rates. They’re also expected to help students who can’t afford to pay more. 

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a measure giving the state's six four-year colleges and universities ability to set tuition.

At the bill signing ceremony at a Seattle high school Monday, The Boeing Co. and Microsoft Corp. also announced that they would each pledge $25 million over the next five years to a new scholarship program and endowment which Gregoire also signed into law Monday.

Courtesy of PLU

One of the longest serving college presidents in western Washington is stepping down.  The President of Pacific Lutheran University plans to retire effective a year from now, June 1, 2012.

Loren Anderson made the announcement Tuesday afternoon  to faculty and staff at the south Tacoma campus.  Anderson has led Pacific Lutheran University for the past 20 years.  (The university holds the broadcast license for KPLU-FM.)

Issaquah School District

Hundreds of teachers throughout Western Washington are unsure if they’ll return to their classrooms next year. Many districts have had to layoff instructors to balance their budgets as support at the state level dwindles. Even districts with the most resources are feeling the pinch.

Troy Cryder / NASA

The Space Shuttle Endeavor is headed to the International Space Station after a successful launch. On board is an experiment conducted by students in Seattle

A team from Ballard High School is cultivating E. Coli in space to see how it compares to bacteria on Earth.

Associated Press

The former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate, Desmond Tutu is scheduled to speak to more than seven-thousand people at the Tacoma Dome Friday night.

His appearance is expected to be his last public event on the West Coast as he settles into retirement. Tutu met with students a day before his talk at the Dome. He told them that even thought they may want to be famous someday and make huge changes in the world, it’s the little acts of compassion in life that make a difference

Jean-Christian Bourcart

The University of Washington plans to launch a program to train and certify Teach for America recruits. People who go through the program would start teaching after just five weeks of intensive instruction.

Teach for America expects to bring at least 35 of its recruits to Seattle and Federal Way this fall.

Bridgeport High School is one of just three schools left in a contest to have President Barack Obama speak at graduation. 

Shortly after the announcement came from the White House this morning, principal Tamra Jackson jumped on the intercom to let her students know:

Charla Bear / KPLU

It’s official. The University of Washington’s next president will be Michael K. Young. The Board of Regents says the current president of the University of Utah is the right person to lead UW at a time of shrinking state financial support.

WhiteHouse.gov / Bridgeport High School

Do you remember who delivered your high school graduation speech? If the students of Bridgeport High School get their wish, they almost certainly will.

The State Senate has approved a controversial proposal to base teacher lay-offs on performance - not seniority. The vote late Tuesday triggered a heated debate on the Senate floor and split majority Democrats. Senator Rodney Tom is a suburban Seattle Democrat. He led the charge for performance-based lay-offs:

“Why in the world would you ever lay-off a second year or third year or fourth year teacher of the year in lieu of maybe an eight or ninth year teacher who is on probation? It just makes no sense.”

Gary Davis / KPLU

A lot of low-income kids are missing out on Washington's offer to pay their way through college. In South King County, a new campaign is underway to change that. 

Charla Bear / KPLU

Across the country, schools are trying to get more students to take classes that prepare them for college. Some offer special tutoring programs. Others just offer to pay students who do well. School officials in Federal Way say the trouble with those strategies is - it leaves is up to students or teachers to decide who’s sharp enough to take those classes.

Courtesy Washington OSPI

If you listen to the numbers, there's no need for any change in the way teachers and principals are evaluated in public schools here in Washington State. 

Data is in from a first-ever statewide survey about their performance. It says very few teachers are a problem: not even 500 were rated unsatisfactory in all of Washington.

That's less than three quarters of one percent (.75%) of the state's public school teachers.  And even fewer principals – only 41 of nearly 3,000 – got a bad write up.

Seattle Office for Education

Seattle Public Schools will get to keep using a controversial math textbook. An appeals court struck down a challenge to the "Discovering" math curriculum by a group of parents and local residents who call it “mathematically unsound.”

Seattle Office for Education

As schools and family service providers across the state struggle with budget cuts, taxpayers are being asked to help out more. In Seattle, the city council is gearing up to put the Families and Education Levy back on the ballot. Voters have renewed it every time it’s come up since former Mayor Norm Rice created it in 1990, but some people might not realize how much it’s changed. 

AP

A longtime University of Washington economics professor has quickly found himself in a lead role with fellow Libyans fighting to defeat ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces. 

Shortly after Ali Al Tarhouni returned to Libya weeks ago, he was named finance minister for Libya's opposition movement, according to a statement Wednesday from the University of Washington press office.

Gary Davis / KPLU

Money is not enticing Washington’s top teachers to move to low-income schools, according to University of Washington researchers. They studied a state program that gives bonuses to teachers who go through a rigorous evaluation process called National Board Certification.

Supporters of the program, however, say it's successful because more teachers at struggling schools now have the high level proficiency endorsement.

Rachel Soloman / KPLU

Writing a research paper should be easy for students today. They’ve got libraries, online databases and all of Google at their fingertips.

But an ongoing study out of the University of Washington’s Information School is finding that college students find it tougher to do research today than in the past—even with access to more sources than students have ever had before.

AP Photo

Girls start to think math is a boys’ subject when they’re just 7 or 8 years old. That’s what University of Washington psychologists found when they studied children’s stereotypes. They say those beliefs could play a major role in the choices kids make as they get older.

Charla Bear / KPLU

An independent watchdog committee could soon take over ethics investigations at Seattle Public Schools. The move is an effort to rebuild public confidence after an audit exposed questionable spending and a lack of oversight at the school district.

When state auditors investigated nearly $2 million in misspent funds by school district employees, they say an “atmosphere of fear and intimidation” was one reason whistle-blowers didn’t come forward. 

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