Youth & Education

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

The number of homeless students in Washington during the past school year is 5-percent higher than the previous year.  More than 21,000 homeless students now go to school in Washington state, according to new figures released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

During the 2005-06 school year, districts reported half as many homeless students.

Flickr/sumrtime

A UW Bothell education research group finds the "last hired, first fired" formula when public school teachers are laid off can be detrimental to student achievement. Such policies are staples of teacher union contracts. The findings are drawing criticism from a national teacher's union, according to The Associated Press.

A group of Seattle parents and community members has filed a lawsuit to stop Seattle Public Schools from bringing Teach for America to the city.

What's one way to end the terror of junior high?  Members of a Bethel School District committee think the answer is to create middle schools. 

The group of residents and staff from Pierce County’s third-largest school district voted Wednesday night to support switching the junior high configuration to a middle school model, reports the Tacoma News Tribune.

A student gets help with his schoolwork in a Seattle program for at-risk youth
Seattle Office for Education

Washington is finally making progress on closing the achievement gap between different groups of students, but researchers say it’s not all good news.  A new report found that the gains mean some students will still lag behind for more than a century. 

The Washington Supreme Court has dealt a blow to a dozen school districts across the state that sought more money for special education.  Today, the court said the districts did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the state underfunds the programs, a violation of its constitution

The number of poor children on the waitlist for preschool in Washington has tripled over the past three years. And now the problem may get worse. Governor Chris Gregoire’s across-the-board budget reductions threaten to cut more than 100 kids who are already enrolled.

Gary Davis/KPLU

It was a mistake that led to misinforming the public, says Seattle schools chief Maria Goodloe-Johnson.  She apologized at last night’s Seattle School Board meeting.  Goodloe-Johnson says she wants to assure the public that changes have been made to ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

Gary Davis/KPLU

A major effort launches today to help low-income students in South King County and South Seattle.  It’s a new approach to a decades-old problem – how to help disadvantaged kids succeed in school and beyond. 

The Urban League helps African American kids do well in school
The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

African American kids are more likely than any other students to start their educations in Seattle’s worst public schools.  That’s according to a new report from University of Washington researchers.  Community groups and school district administrators say it means schools are disproportionately failing kids who already face big hurdles to education. 

AP (Elaine Thompson)

Washington State University is getting the biggest donation in its history – from its most famous drop-out.  Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, is giving $26 million, to support the new School for Global Animal Health.  Allen’s donation is just a little bigger than one given by his old Microsoft pal Bill Gates two years ago. 

Seattle Public Schools

Seattle is considering yet another school closure, along with re-assigning some students away from popular but overcrowded schools. Closures and assignment changes caused conflict within the city’s public schools over the past few years.  That was supposed to be finished last year. 

But the Seattle Times reports some schools are under-enrolled and some are over-enrolled.  Alternative School #1 is battling to stay open. 

Flickr photo by Rutlo

Cornish College will welcome its first woman president since the arts school was established by Nellie Cornish in 1914.  Dr. Nancy Uscher will leave her position as provost of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and join the Seattle arts school in August next year.

Seattle students work on math
Seattle Office for Education

This year’s high school freshman and sophomores might have fewer graduation tests to dread if Randy Dorn has his way.  

Kids participate in a preschool program funded by the Families & Education Levy
Seattle Office for Education

It’s been less than a month since the last election, and already Seattle officials are unveiling a measure for next fall’s ballot.  This week, the public will get its first glimpse at the next Families and Education Levy.  

Gary Davis/KPLU.

Teach for America is coming to Seattle Schools.  The school board voted overwhelmingly Wednesday evening to approve a contract for 20 to 25  positions starting next year. Teach for America places top college graduates in underperforming schools.

PLU Communications

Update - Thursday, Nov. 18th,  4:30 pm

This update from PLU Communications:

The Pierce County Fire Marshal has ruled that yesterday's small fire in the Morken Center was accidental. It was caused by a faultycontroller in a heating and air conditioning unit.

 

AP

A full slate of public testimony is expected at tonight's  school board meeting in Seattle.  The board is voting on a controversial proposal to allow new recruits from a national organization called Teach for America into Seattle's public schools.  The program places top college grads – who don't have traditional teaching certificates - in underperforming schools. 

WSU mens sweatshirt by Alta Gracia
Washington State University Bookstore

Showing school spirit for local Universities could give a big boost to workers in a developing country.  Bookstores at some schools now carry a line of logo shirts that aims to do away with the image of sweatshops.

Starting this year, middle school students in Seattle could finally get some credit on their high school transcripts, that is.  Seventh and eighth graders who take high school level courses can now apply them towards graduation.  The policy has pluses and minuses for young kids.

Charla Bear/KPLU

A lot of attention has been focused on improving public schools. But figuring out how schools are doing can be tricky. Some people say test scores and graduation rates don't show the whole picture. Now administrators in Seattle say they've come up with a better system.

Gary Davis/KPLU photo

     Seattle School officials and leaders of the district’s teacher’s union say they’re putting the finishing touches on a tentative contract.  In brief statements issued Monday evening, both sides say they hope to disclose details of the proposal Tuesday (this) afternoon. Until then, the sides agreed not to discuss information that’s been hammered out at the negotiating table over the past two weeks.

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