Youth & Education

Education
5:00 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Are schools becoming too obsessed with sci-tech?

Students learn chemistry at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash.
Lower Columbia Ciollege Flickr

Many of the efforts to improve schools in Washington are focusing on science and technology, and some leading educators are concerned that’s coming at the expense of a well-rounded education. They’re forming a group to advocate for liberal arts learning.

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Education
5:10 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Publicity turns up the heat on Tacoma schools' sunscreen ban

Zoe and Violet came home from a field trip badly burned. Both sunscreen and hats were prohibited by school policy.
Jesse Michener

A couple of bad sunburns have left Tacoma’s school district smarting, and could help spur policy changes about students and sunscreen. Tacoma school officials say they’ll revisit a policy banning the use of sunscreen by students, except with a doctor’s note.

The district is getting national attention after a Tacoma mom’s story went viral in late June. Jesse Michener says it never occurred to her to jump through the hoops it would take to get her daughters sunscreen when they left for a field trip on a rainy morning, but they came home burned badly enough that Michener took them to the hospital.

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NPR education
11:50 am
Tue July 10, 2012

School is 'too easy,' say American students

Many American students say school is too easy.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 10:28 am

Many students in American classrooms don't feel challenged enough. That's according to new analysis of federal data (pdf) conducted by the Washington think tank American Progress.

The organization, which promotes "progressive ideas and action," came to that conclusion when it analyzed surveys given to students by the Department of Education for its National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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Education
8:40 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Migrant students learn science in the farm fields and the classroom

The children of migrant workers learn about the science of agriculture at the camp, "Voices from the Field."
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

At the core of Washington’s agriculture industry is science – you can’t grow a potato or cherry without knowing about soil chemistry, hydrology and photosynthesis. But the people who get their hands dirty in the business of growing and picking don’t always think of it that way.

In fact, the children of that workforce tend to struggle in math and science. Just one in four children of migrant workers meets state science standards in eighth grade, far below the population as a whole. The gap in math is nearly as wide.

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Economy
3:18 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

New aerospace jobs highlight skills gap in Washington

Boeing's Everett, Wash. factory. Photo courtesy of Boeing

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:08 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Two aerospace companies plan to expand their operations in Washington. Governor Chris Gregoire made that announcement Monday from the Farnborough Air Show in London. But the news highlights a gap between the legions of unemployed and the skills they need for many new jobs.

Everett, Washington is a good microcosm for the so-called skills gap. The industrial city north of Seattle is home to Boeing and hundreds of key aerospace suppliers.

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Education
4:31 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Washington gets wiggle room under No Child Left Behind

Washington schools will be able to sidestep some of the toughest standards and punishments in the federal No Child Left Behind law. The federal government announced Friday it will give waivers to Washington and Wisconsin.

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has said under the current law, nearly every school in the state would get socked with penalties. Schools are supposed to have all of their students meeting learning standards by 2014, or else lose control over big chunks of federal money.

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Education
5:39 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Court blocks Seattle's "Creative Approach Schools"

Backers of a measure to allow charter schools in Washington are scheduled to turn in their petition signatures Friday. Meanwhile, a pilot project designed in part to short-circuit the argument for charter schools was blocked Thursday in court.

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Education
1:33 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Gov. Gregoire writes to complain about WWU raises

Gov. Chris Gregoire isn't happy about Western Washington University's new faculty contract.

She wrote a letter last week to Western President Bruce Shepard expressing "grave concerns" about the raises faculty members are getting.

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Education
1:35 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Student Loan Deal Pales Against Other Education Cuts

College students surrounded President Obama earlier this month when he called on Congress to stop student loan interest rates from doubling. Congress agreed on a deal to prevent the hike on Friday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 12:26 pm

It came down to the wire, but finally, Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal that keeps the interest rate on government-backed student loans from doubling. It will save the average borrower about $1,000 a year, but the compromise is likely to cost students a lot more than that over the long term.

The agreement that lawmakers passed Friday will keep interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year. Anthony DeLaRosa, a 23-year-old University of Colorado graduate, says it's a big victory.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
8:58 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Buried in debt, young people find dreams elusive

Michelle Holshue racked up $140,000 in student loan debt while training to become a public health nurse. She's living her dream of helping others, she says, but never expected it "to be so hard."
Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 4:32 am

Growing up near Philadelphia, Michelle Holshue's dream was to serve those in need. Applying to nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania seemed like a smart move — in 2007.

Nursing jobs were plentiful. The students' running joke was that hospital executives would soon be stopping them in the street, begging them to come to work.

Then the economy tanked. For a time, Holshue was an Ivy League grad on unemployment and food stamps.

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College education costs
5:30 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Congress Taking Student Loans, Highway Bill To Wire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:06 pm

Congressional leaders on Tuesday said they were close to a deal to solve two big issues facing lawmakers — student loan interest rates and federal highway funding.

Both issues with looming deadlines have high stakes for middle-income Americans: If Congress fails to reach agreements by this weekend, the federal highway program would come to a halt, and student loan interest rates would double, to 6.8 percent.

Student Loans

President Obama has been hammering on the issue of student loans for days.

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College education costs
1:31 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Student protesters run into police trouble on Capitol Hill

In this screen grab from the video shot by someone with the #MicCheckWallStreet protesters, Seattle police officers make an arrest.

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.

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Seattle schools
8:10 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Advertising will be allowed in Seattle schools

The Seattle School Board voted Wednesday night to allow some commercial advertising on school grounds.

The vote reverses a ban that was imposed in 2004.

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Loan Increase
11:40 am
Wed June 20, 2012

#MicCheckWallStreet rallies in Seattle against student loan hikes

#MicCheckWallStreet activists marching on Broadway on June 13 to protest student loan interest hikes.
Photo courtesy of Alex Garland

Fed up with the rising costs of college education and the prospect of interest on student loans doubling on July 1, a new student coalition in Seattle has started making some noise – with pots and pans and whatever else they can take to the streets with.

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Education
5:00 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Seattle finds "virtual" band-aid after axing summer school

As Seattle Public Schools begin their final week of classes, the district is turning to technology to rescue some summer school programs it cut last year. SPS will offer online courses at Franklin and possibly another high school, and three others plan to extend their school-year virtual learning into the summer. Cleveland and Rainier Beach high schools will have limited classroom programming.

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