Youth & Education

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

Washington State University is finalizing its plans to cut $40 million in the current biennium budget.

Washington State University President Elson Floyd says he’s never seen anything like it in his years in higher education— he’s referring to the loss of 52% of the university’s net state appropriation in the past four years. And about forty million dollars needs to be cut in the current budget cycle through 2013.

To help achieve that reduction, the university will cut $3.2 million from Academic Affairs but Floyd says they’ll spare academic programs.

Mark Strozier / Flickr

"We found that self-esteem mattered little ... "

Could you have predicted your future in high school? Sociologists at the University of Washington asked Tacoma’s class of 2000 to try.

They got nearly every senior to take a survey about their lives and future goals. Now a decade later, researchers are following up with the former students to find out what has influenced their life paths.

Mary Levin / UW

What’s the coolest university in America? According to Sierra Magazine, it’s the University of Washington.

The official publication of the Sierra Club has named the University of Washington the top university in the country for its initiatives to operate sustainably and limit its contributions to global warming.

Seattle Public Schools

Some students with the lowest test scores in Washington have made big gains over the past few years, while others have fallen farther behind.

Researchers found a mixed bag when they looked at the Title I program, a federal effort to help disadvantaged kids.

Melissa Ivarson

College students in Washington are less likely to “make the grade” if they take courses online. A new study found that students have a greater chance of not only bombing classes if they take them remotely but of dropping out completely.

Yet, students and educators say distance learning isn’t failing. 

Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools will shut down for a day just before school starts this fall. It will also close early on a later date during the school year.

Lesley Rogers, chief communications officer for Seattle Public Schools, says asking most of its staff to be gone on the same day sends a message to the state.

Shannan Muskopf / Flickr

Washington today became the latest state to align its education standards with a national movement. Forty-four states have now committed to what are dubbed  “common core standards” for Language Arts and Math in public schools.

John Yeager / World Vision

Teens from Seattle and Tacoma are meeting with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to advocate for an end to youth violence.

They are pushing for the passage of the Youth Promise Act, now stalled in congress. The act would provide communities with federal funding to develop local programs to keep kids off the street and busy, especially after school between the hours of three and six.

Alejandro Gordo / Flickr

“It’s as though they think that the good effects of drinking keep getting better …”

A new study with implications for alcohol intervention programs on college campuses around the country finds that many students believe the benefits of boozing it up outweigh the downsides.

Courtesy of WSU

The largest private collection of photographs taken during World War II at an internment camp for Japanese-Americans is being donated to Washington State University.

The more than 2,000 black and white photo negatives were taken by George Hirahara and his son Frank between 1943 and 1945 at the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming. (More photos inside.)

ReUse / Flickr

A job training program in south Seattle is giving 130 people a ticket out of poverty with skills in the growing field of deconstruction or the carefully dismantling homes and buildings to preserve reusable materials.

Despite facing the steepest budget shortfall in the past 3 years, Seattle Public School officials say class sizes will not get any bigger next fall. The district's school board unanimously approved a plan last night to close a $45.5 million gap with considerable cuts to school supports and jobs, but teachers were largely spared.

Some high school students are expected to ditch the state’s popular Running Start program this fall.

The number of students who take advantage of the opportunity to earn college credit has grown every year since the program began in the early 90’s, but that progress could be coming to a halt.  

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.


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: