Youth & Education

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

Eric E Castro / Flickr

Parents and teachers of a student who's been expelled from a Washington school will likely have to meet together before the student is allowed to attend classes again, according to new state rules up for public review Monday.

"You would think it was happening before, but it absolutely wasn't happening before," said Linda Mangel, education policy director for the ACLU of Washington, who noted the new guideline comes as part of a change in state law.

Washington State University

Washington State University and the University of Idaho are among the schools under investigation over their handling of sexual assault cases.

Ted S. Warren / AP File Photo

A lawyer who argued a landmark education funding case before the Washington Supreme Court says state lawmakers are still dragging their feet in meeting the mandate justices set out: develop, by this week, a "complete plan" to pump billions of new dollars into the state's public schools.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

State lawmakers aiming to meet an April 30 deadline from the state Supreme Court have delivered a report detailing its efforts to increase school funding from levels that justices have ruled are inadequate.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

When federal education officials revoked Washington state's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, they hung a cloud of uncertainty over the early childhood education programs Tacoma School District offers.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Five-year-old Serenity Johnson has been eager to start preschool since she was 2½ years old.

"She said 'Mommy, I want to go to school,'" her mother, Shantia Johnson, said. "I said, 'You can't go to school until preschool, and we have to pay for preschool. ‘So I needed to find a preschool we didn't have to pay for."

Washington state's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a controversial federal education law, helped Serenity get exactly what she wanted. The waiver freed up federal money Tacoma Public Schools officials used to expand its publicly-funded preschool programs to Stafford Elementary, the Johnsons' home school.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pulled Washington state's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act on Thursday, making it the first state to lose flexibility from the outdated law.

The move revokes Washington school districts' flexibility in spending nearly $40 million in federal funding tied to the law, and replaces many of the 2001 law's most stringent rules designed to hold schools accountable for students' test scores.

"Today’s news from Secretary Duncan is disappointing but not unexpected," Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. "I hope districts will work to mitigate impacts on students. I know that despite this setback Washington teachers remain fully committed to serving our students."

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Washington's top elected school official is urging state lawmakers to think bigger as they craft a court-ordered plan to increase education funding for the state's K-12 schools.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn this week unveiled a plan to increase education funding by $6.7 billion by the 2017-2018 school year. That's nearly twice as much as the amount state legislative analysts estimate is needed to comply with the landmark McCleary decision. In the 2012 case, the state Supreme Court ordered lawmakers to fully fund K-12 schools by 2018. 

AP Photo

Disclosure: Pacific Lutheran University holds the license for KPLU.

Pacific Lutheran University will soon become the first Northwest college to offer a course of study in the Holocaust and other genocides.

The school will allow students to begin pursuing a minor in Holocaust and genocide studies starting next fall, says PLU professor and historian Bob Ericksen.

Kraemer Family Library / Flickr

Two women in Washington have raised enough money to send 350 copies of a controversial book by Sherman Alexie to students in Meridian, Idaho. 

The move is in reaction to the Meridian School Board's decision to suspend use of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" after parents complained about profanity and sexual content in the novel.

AP

Washington state's senior U.S. senator is hoping to revive a push for federal anti-bullying laws aimed at preventing harassment of college students based on their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. But critics say such laws would impede on the students' First Amendment rights.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., visited the University of Washington campus Thursday to promote a bill she introduced in the Senate late last month. The measure would require any university receiving federal funds to adopt policies barring "severe, persistent or pervasive" harassment against its students.

"If ... you want to keep those federal funds, you will have an anti-bullying policy," Murray said during her visit.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

High school junior Marcus Hollman wants a job — "something to get me into the job market," he says. But he keeps running into the same words like a brick wall: "professional experience required."

"There are very few employers ready to accept someone with no previous experience," said Hollman, a student at Harrison Preparatory Academy, after attending a youth-oriented job fair in Tacoma on Tuesday.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

The night before Seattle's biggest competition of the year for the city's young slam poets, Koha Farr was understandably anxious.

"Ridiculously nervous," the 19-year-old competitive slam poet admitted after his Thursday evening practice. "But I'm ready. I'm ready for tomorrow."

Farr is performing at Town Hall Seattle in Friday night's "Grand Slam," in which teens who've qualified for this final competition will vie for a chance to represent the city at a national slam poetry festival.

Gregory Crowther

Remember that biology chapter on how muscles contract? Probably not. But what if your professor had rapped it to you, or belted out the lesson to the tune of a popular song? 

Central Washington University

Code language is probably as old as language itself. Now, two Northwest professors have launched a competition to test students’ code-breaking skills.

Called Kryptos, the competition is geared toward undergraduate students all around the Northwest. But the region’s high school students are also encouraged to try and break the codes.

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