Youth & Education

Education
11:39 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Seattle's Families and Education Levy expands goals, money requests over the years

Nearly half of the 2011 Families and Education levy proposal focuses on early learning. It would also increases support for elementary school children and college and career preparation.
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. 

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Ali Tarhouni
3:34 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

UW professor integral part of new Libyan opposition government

Flags of Libya's opposition, the pre-Gadhafi regime banner, are waved by opposition supporters on Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt, outside the Arab League meeting.
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.

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K-12 Education
10:02 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Bonuses aren't attracting teachers to low-income schools, UW researchers find

Hundreds of public school teachers in Washington are working toward their National Board certification, a highly rigorous program. Some, like Seattle School teacher Drea Jermann, pictured in 2009, teach in schools termed "challenged."
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.

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Education
2:11 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

More college kids stumped on research papers

Jackson Hathorn recently graduated from the University of Washington after finishing his history thesis. He says it's easy for students writing research papers to get bogged down with how many sources there are out there.
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.

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K-12 Education
4:52 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Kids develop math stereotypes in second grade, UW study finds

Students in a second grade class tackle math problems. A new UW study shows people form their math stereotypes at this age.
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.

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K-12 Education
5:08 pm
Thu March 17, 2011

City panel could soon oversee ethics at Seattle Public Schools

Seattle school and city leaders want the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission to take over the school district's ethics complaints.
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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K-12 Education
4:53 pm
Wed March 9, 2011

Lettuce shortage hits school lunches in Western Washington

Kids have a good excuse for not eating salads right now. They've been taken off the school menu in Kent because lettuce is in short supply. Schools in Seattle, Redmond and elsewhere in Western Washington are also scaling back on serving romaine, iceberg and other leaf lettuces.

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K-12 Education
8:43 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Get to know interim Seattle schools superintendent Susan Enfield

Interim Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield on her 3rd day on the job, March 7, 2011.
Charla Bear KPLU

Most people know very little about the new head of Seattle Public Schools. After Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired over financial irregularities last week, the school board named Susan Enfield interim superintendent. Enfield had only been with the district for a year and a half as Chief Academic Officer. KPLU education reporter Charla Bear sat down with her to find out what she brings to Seattle schools besides an impressive resume...and dozens of rubber duckies.

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Unemployment
7:53 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Worker retraining programs run dry at community colleges

David Puki, left, helps inspect a drum brake with Hal Glade, at South Seattle Community College. Puki, a laid-off Boeing worker, is studying to be an auto mechanic.
Ralph Radford AP Photo

Unemployed workers are facing yet another obstacle as they try to get back on their feet. A lot of community colleges have run out of money to retrain them for in-demand jobs. 

It’s hard enough for most people to find work right now, let alone those whose fields have been pummeled by the recession. Changes in the job market have driven more workers than ever to take advantage of grants for retraining. So many, that even though the state spent $17.6 million to train an extra 3,784 people this year, it hasn’t been enough.

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Washington State Legislature
8:15 am
Fri March 4, 2011

Audit on K-12 health benefits runs afoul of unions

Majority Democrats in the Washington Legislature are working to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap. But they're not likely to implement a change the State Auditor says could save $180 million over the two-year budget cycle, as the idea runs afoul of the powerful teacher's union.

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Education
8:17 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Goodloe-Johnson fired; Enfield to lead Seattle Schools

One of the signs outside Seattle Schools headquarters Wednesday evening. Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired after a unanimous vote by the school board.
ErikaJSchultz Twitpic

Seattle's school board fired Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Don Kennedy, the district's chief financial officer, Wednesday evening, as was widely anticipated. The votes were unanimous.

The action was swift retribution following revelations of a financial scandal that drew the anger of board members and the public. The board then voted 6-1 to appoint Susan Enfield as interim superintendent.

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Education Reform
7:50 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Gregoire makes another push for 'Education Czar'

Governor Chris Gregoire is making another push to create a cabinet-level Department of Education. The idea appears to be faltering in the Washington legislature.

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Seattle Schools Scandal
3:32 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Urban League says it did nothing wrong

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, which received $595,000 from Seattle Public Schools, insists taxpayers got their money's worth despite a state audit report calling the payments of questionable value.

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Education
5:31 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Seattle Public Schools chief faces sudden exit

Seattle Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson faces a school board vote of termination of her contract at their Wednesday. March 2nd meeting.
Gary Davis KPLU

A financial scandal will likely force an abrupt end to the tenure of Seattle Public Schools superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. The school board will vote Wednesday evening on a motion to terminate her contract.

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K-12 Education
4:10 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Teacher layoff reform bill dies in Legislature

A proposal to base teacher layoffs on performance - and not seniority - has died in the Washington legislature. The bill's demise is a victory for the state’s teacher's union, but a frustrating defeat for some lawmakers. 

Currently, when school districts reduce staff newer more junior teachers typically lose their jobs first. A bipartisan proposal in the Washington legislature would have changed that.

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