Youth & Education

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

Researchers at the University of Washington say the federal school turnaround program is mostly failing in Washington state, even though teachers and administrators are trying their best to make a difference for kids.

The federal government is spending more than $3 billion nationwide to help districts turn around their worst-performing schools.

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.

(Video of incoming PLU president Thomas Krise by journalists at PLU's The Mooring Mast student newspaper.)

Pacific Lutheran University has a new president. Thomas W. Krise takes the helm at the private university this June.  He replaces Loren Anderson, who’s retiring.  

Krise comes to PLU from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., where he’s been the dean of the school of arts and sciences. Krise, an Episcopalian, is the first non-Lutheran to head PLU since it was founded in 1890.

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.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington state senate has approved a new four-tier teacher evaluation system. The bill that passed Tuesday also creates a mechanism for firing under-performing teachers who don't improve.

School kids are graded A through F. But not teachers in Washington. For the most part they're still evaluated on a pass-fail system. But that's changing.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Forty one states allow charter schools. But not Washington. Opponents in the legislature recently killed a bipartisan proposal to allow a limited number of under-performing schools to convert. But supporters of the idea haven't given up.

For the legislature it was high drama. A stand-off in the Senate Education Committee. A coalition of five Republicans and two Democrats had the votes to advance the charter school bill.

Despite signs that the state economy is improving, finding money to send children to college is still becoming more difficult.

More students received financial aid last year, but even more families aren't getting the help they need, according to a new report from the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Charla Bear / KPLU

An African-American man who was bullied when he was a student in Aberdeen has won a major settlement from the school district. Russell Dickerson III sued the district in federal court for not stopping his classmates from harassing him throughout junior high and high school. 

With life returning to normal across much of Puget Sound, at least 24,000 homes were still without power as of 11 o'clock this morning. Puget Sound Energy has the largest number of outages and predicts it will have nearly all its customers restored by Wednesday evening.

The clean-up job is still daunting, and it's affecting some schools and college campuses.

All Seattle schools will be closed on Wednesday, according to Schoolreport.org. Evening activities are also canceled.

Frank Fani / Flickr

The University of Washington says it will have more room for in-state students in this fall's freshman class.

This gift for the class of 2012 comes from the Legislature and the fact that UW has received fewer applications from freshmen hopefuls.

Education researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have a message for the citizens of Washington state. They want them to know that the state government is failing to meet its responsibility to provide enough opportunities for a college education in Washington.

o5com / Flickr

We've heard a lot of stories lately about the struggles of young, unemployed people with college degrees. A Washington State agency says the reason for that is a lot of students are choosing the wrong majors for this economy.

If they spent less time and money on school, they might have an easier time getting a job and make more money, at least in the short term.

SEATTLE — The Washington Supreme Court plans to issue a ruling today on a major case concerning the state's obligation to pay for public school education.

Charla Bear / KPLU

Some of Seattle’s most at-risk students are getting help with their reading skills, but not from people.

Once a week, service dogs lend their ears to formerly homeless children as they read aloud. It’s become a learning experience for both the kids and canines.

A new look at test scores by Seattle Public Schools shows American-born black students lag behind black immigrants in academic achievement.

The interim head of Seattle Public Schools says she doesn't want the job permanently.

Susan Enfield made the surprise announcement Friday in a letter to staff and community members.

A man accused of taking money from a Seattle School District program pleaded not guilty Thursday to theft charges. KOMO Radio reports Silas Potter remains in jail following his arraignment.

Katie Kennedy

Hundreds of high school students are rallying at the University of Washington in protest of cuts to education. They walked out of their classrooms this afternoon and marched or rode buses to the University District. 

Students from at least five high schools, including Ingraham and Nathan Hale - and even a few students from Tacoma - have banded together for the protest. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire wants to put teeth into a statewide system for evaluating teachers and principals. In Olympia Tuesday, Gregoire said she'll ask the Legislature to approve a new four tier performance rating. It would go from unsatisfactory, to basic, to proficient, and top out at distinguished.

The governor wants the law to require educators in the two lowest tiers improve within a year or be fired.

Faye Rasmussen / Shoreline School Distict

iPads are probably on a lot of people’s wish lists this holiday season, including teachers. Educators say the tablet devices allow them to reach students with learning difficulties in ways they’ve never been able to before. 

The Seattle School Board may ease the district's policy on selling junk food in vending machines to help student groups raise money for activities.

BlueTurf / Flickr

Boise State University’s football program joins the Big East in 2013. That’s the official word from league and university officials today .

Teachers across the state plan to protest cuts to public schools on the first day of the legislature’s special session to shore up the budget.

Hundreds of educators will rally in Olympia on Monday, Nov. 28. Even more teachers will deliver their concerns virtually.

Richard Wohl-Corbin

"...There are ideas out there other than cutting.”

College students will descend on Olympia today as the legislature kicks off a special session to tackle the state’s budget shortfall. Nearly a dozen schools have banded together to send busloads of students to the capitol. 

montchr / Flickr photo

The ability to smoke a cigarette on college campuses is becoming a subject for the history books.

Several colleges in the Pacific Northwest have banned smoking – not only in and around buildings as required by law – but everywhere on school grounds.

It’s been more than a quarter century since high school graduation requirements changed in our state. Now, the board of education has voted to increase credits in certain subjects. 

Some school administrators say the move is a step backward for other learning opportunities.  

Charla Bear / KPLU

Thousands of students across the state are taking the SAT this weekend.

The college entrance exam plays a big role in admissions, but a lot of students are poorly prepared for it. Some educators say an easy way to change that – and get students to gear up for college earlier – is to pay for sophomores or juniors to take a preliminary version of the test. 

Student achievement in Oregon and Washington isn't improving or declining, according to results released Tuesday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The bi-annual "Nation's Report Card" shows Oregon 4th graders scoring just below the national average on both Reading and Math. Oregon 8th graders are statistically tied with the nation as a whole. Christine Miles with the Oregon Department of Education says the results are basically flat.

The Regents of Washington State University are considering a Martin Stadium upgrade project that would cost an estimated $80 million.

When Oregon State University defeated Washington State University in college football last Saturday, it did so with five team members who had been heavily recruited by WSU.

“They loved Washington State, loved everything about it, their parents were crazy about it. They ended up going to Oregon State—now this is not Oregon, Oregon State, primarily because of their facilities,” says Bill Moos, WSU's director of intercollegiate athletics.

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