Youth & Education

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

Tacoma students will head back to school today, despite their teachers having no contract.

Teachers voted on whether to strike last night, but fell about 30 votes short of the majority needed to boycott the district, according to a letter sent to teachers by Andy Coons, president of the Tacoma Education Association.

More than a thousand schools in Washington state are failing to make adequate progress under federal law. But a handful of others are beating the odds and improving enough to work their way off the growing list of failing schools.

Among Seattle Public Schools, the improved schools are Greenwood Elementary School, Middle College High School, Sacajawea Elementary School.

With school scheduled to start tomorrow, Tacoma teachers are still without a contract.

The teachers and the district bargained late into the night last night but couldn’t reach an agreement before their three-year contract expired at midnight.

Bill S / Flickr

Math appears to be less of a problem than it used to be for Washington students trying to graduate from high school. More than two-thirds of them passed new state tests required to get their diplomas. Some students could even clear the hurdle before they finish middle school. 

Bill S / Flickr

Washington’s students have made some gains on math and science tests. More kids passed state exams in those subjects last year than the year before, according to the Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn.

The first day of school for Tacoma students is just a few days away, but their teachers might not show up.

They have yet to reach an agreement over their contract with the school district. That leaves many families worried that a strike could be on the horizon.

Results from earlier this summer showed fewer Oregon students met federal benchmarks last year, than at any time since Congress passed the No Child Left Behind act.

Now, more detailed test results demonstrate what officials claimed at the time: that students were improving at Reading and Math – but that fewer students were passing because the required minimum score went up.

The new test results show double-digit gains on many measures, especially in high school.

EVERETT, Wash. — Police say no one's going to be arrested following a scuffle at an Everett School Board meeting this week, but misdemeanor charges are possible.

Charla Bear / KPLU

School starts up again in a couple of weeks and a lot of kids have just begun to think about the coming year.  Kindergarteners in Kent, though, are already mulling over higher education.

The school district is trying a unique approach to helping students get to college.

The Environmental Protection Agency says hazardous contaminants that most schools have gotten rid of remain in more than 160 government-operated tribal schools. That includes six in the Northwest. A new settlement aims to bring schools in Native American communities up to standards.

EPA inspections of tribal schools between 2005 and 2008 found violations of seven environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Members of Oregon’s largest public workers' union have approved a new two-year contract. It's the first time state workers have agreed to pay a portion of their health insurance premiums.

Members of SEIU Local 503 voted to ratify the contract 77% to 23%. The agreement means that many state workers will pay around 5% of the cost of their health insurance premiums. Employees will also have to take unpaid furlough days. They'll also get cost of living pay increases.

"No I’m not out of order, you’re not the boss of me here I’m sorry ..."

EVERETT, Wash. — A disagreement at an Everett School Board meeting got so heated, police were called to intervene.

(Video and partial transcription inside.)

rytc / Flickr

When kids in Seattle head back to school in a few weeks, you might notice a lot more of them getting there on foot.

Some Seattle students who took yellow buses last year won’t have service this year. Others could have to wait at new stops, up to a half of a mile away from their homes. 

Associated Press

Students are adding a high-tech touch to a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for a new Aviation High School at the Museum of Flight near Boeing Field at Seattle.

The new school year at Washington State University has brought with it a record class of freshmen in Pullman, with about 4,200 first-year students on campus.

"This class is highly competitive, this class represents the largest population of color than we’ve had in the history of our university, and we’ve been doing that at a time in which we’ve been more fiscally challenged than ever before," said WSU President Elson Floyd.

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