Youth & Education

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

Design in Public

What can be done to improve the school lunch experience? That’s the question behind a new ideas competition in Seattle aimed at fighting child obesity and diabetes.

The Redesigning the School Lunch Experience competition offers a range of practical and playful solutions to inspire kids to make healthier food choices.

"Children spend an hour a day every weekday in their lives in a cafeteria," said Katherine Wimble, associate director of Design in Public, a nonprofit group with the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects. "This is about seeing what innovative ideas could transform the whole experience so they can make healthier choices."   

Those wanting to open up a charter school in the Seattle and Tacoma areas will be making public presentations over the next week and a half.

The state’s Charter School Commission is holding six public forums, which will help the commission decide which schools will open over the next two years.

 

The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday ordered lawmakers to submit a complete plan by the end of April to detail how the state will fully pay for basic education.

The 8-1 ruling said that while the state made progress in last year's budget to increase funding for K-12 education, it was "not on target" to hit the constitutionally required funding level by the 2017-18 school year.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

The Obama administration has issued new recommendations on classroom discipline that seek to end the apparent disparities in how students of different races are disciplined for breaking school rules.

Government civil rights data show that black students without disabilities are more than three times as likely as whites to be expelled or suspended. Critics say that creates a "school-to-prison" pipeline because many students enter the criminal justice system for violations.

Denis Poroy / Associated Press

Washington state has the largest number of new National Board-certified teachers in the country.

A total of 516 new board-certified teachers have joined the state’s ranks. Washington now has more than 7,000 certified teachers, which puts the state in fourth place nationwide.

dalexeenko / Flickr

A new state audit has found Washington university credit cards were used to make more than $225,000 in purchases not allowed by state policies.

Most of the purchases were for alcohol or gifts. And the majority were made by people associated with the University of Washington.

Florangela Davila

It isn't easy being a teacher, especially a new one.

"The reality of the complexity of the job comes flying at you on Day One, when everything you learned in school needs to be in acted in reality, and you realize this is a really complicated job," said Jeanne Harmon, who directs support programs for new teachers at the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Thousands of Washington residents who started the GED high school equivalency test sometime this past decade but never finished now have just a few weeks to complete their exams or start over.

cdsessums / Flickr

A King County judge has ruled parts of the state’s charter school law are unconstitutional. But the nuances of the ruling have both supporters and opponents of charter schools declaring victory.  

If it’s confusing why both sides fighting something in court would be happy, it has to do with how you read what King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel decided.

Dave Martin / Associated Press

A free program developed by the University of Washington helps curb teen drinking and violence, according to new research.

The “Communities That Care” program takes a one-size-doesn’t-fit-all approach in tackling these problems.

javacolleen / Flickr

The improving employment picture in the Northwest isn't good news if you teach at a community college. Enrollment is dropping as more people head back to work. And that means there are fewer classes to teach.

Frank Goulard has taught math at Portland Community College for more than 30 years, so he knew what would happen when the economy started to tank five years ago.

Florangela Davila

Tacoma public schools brings in professionals to teach their career and technical education classes: a former judge’s advocate, a former photojournalist—you get the point.

But the man who’s just started teaching wood shop at Stadium High? Well, he’s Roy McAlister and he's got some impressive, rock star-sized credentials.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

If you drive through Grays Harbor County, it’s easy to notice the darkened storefronts and empty homes that signal the area’s economic struggles. But in the county with a poverty rate that's twice the state average, a long-standing rivalry between two high schools feeds the hungry.

For more than a century, the Hoquiam Grizzlies and the Aberdeen Bobcats have maintained one of Washington state’s biggest high school football rivalries. But it’s their rivalry in Food Ball that funds the majority of the county food banks' annual budget.

Gabriel Garcia Marengo / Flickr

Today’s teens are pushing the boundaries in their artwork, but playing it safe in the stories they write, according to new research by the University of Washington Information School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Using a set of criteria, the study examined artwork and writing produced by teens and published in magazines between 1990 and 2011.

Seattle Public Schools

Every student who graduates from Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School in the spring will be able to attend South Seattle Community College for free for a year.

The 13th Year Promise Scholarship pays for one year of tuition, or the equivalent of approximately $5,000, in an effort to increase the number of underrepresented students in higher education.

Florangela Davila / KPLU

Seattle Public Schools will keep working with the groups that were holding classes in the vacant Horace Mann school building, the district said after police arrested four people for trespassing on Tuesday.

District officials said those who set up barricades earlier this month and refused to leave were just a small subset of the group that had been using the building over spring and summer.

Florangela Davila / KPLU

Seattle police have arrested four people occupying the vacant Horace Mann school in Seattle's Central District. Some activists inside had refused to leave the building even after they were warned against trespassing on school district property.

Associated Press

Enrollment at Seattle public schools is growing. More students are graduating from high school. And more high school students are taking college-level courses, according to the school district’s own scorecard released Tuesday.

But the district admits the same scorecard shows there’s much more work to be done.

Seattle school board candidate Suzanne Dale Estey has conceded to her opponent Sue Peters in one of the costliest campaigns in local history. 

Peters said Dale Estey called her Wednesday night to congratulate her.

Dale Estey is the former economic development for the city of Renton. Her campaign raised nearly $100,000 more than Peters. A political action committee, Great Seattle Schools, also raised nearly $100,000 in an effort to defeat Peters.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Washington state’s fourth and eighth graders are among the best in the country when it comes to reading and math, according to the Nation’s Report Card released by the National Assessment for Education Progress Thursday.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

An additional 770 kindergarteners can now attend school for free as a result of Seattle Public Schools’ decision to offer free all-day kindergarten at 16 more schools.

The change took effect Nov.1, but it is retroactive to Sept. 4, meaning families will get refunds for September and October.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

With 25 percent of new teachers quitting the profession within the first five years, state Superintendent Randy Dorn hopes the latest batch of mentorship grants will retain teachers.   

Nearly $800,000 in Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) grants will benefit nearly 400 new teachers in seven school districts across the state. The funds will help grantees coach and counsel new teachers and offer them professional development opportunities.

Washington state students rank in the top 10 for math and science when compared with their counterparts in other countries, according to a new batch of test scores.

Washington's eighth graders tested better than the national average in both subjects. And scores here are higher than those in Ontario, Canada; Hungary, and Australia.

Do the arts matter? ArtsEd Washington, a nonprofit advocacy group, queried school board candidates across the state about the influence of the arts in their own lives and whether arts education would be a priority if elected this November.

This weekened, Seattle's Convention Center is getting overrun by thousands of women and girls gathered for the annual GeekGirlCon event. But the convention is not just about gaming.

dharder9475 / Flickr

A recent hazing incident involving more than 100 students at Seattle's Garfield High School has many wondering how such a thing can become part of a school's tradition in a district with a zero-tolerance policy. 

According to the police report, the victims were driven to the Washington Park Arboretum where more than 100 students and a keg of beer were present. There, they were paddled and "forced to drink shots of hard liquor" until at least one of them was very intoxicated, the report said. Eleven students have been temporarily expelled while both school officials and police investigate.

Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Teresa Wippel said hazing has become a tradition at Garfield High, which has a long history of such incidents. According to veteran psychologist Susan Lipkins, what begins as a benign initiation ritual can easily evolve into a dangerous culture over time.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Washington schools chief Randy Dorn says the time has come to raise taxes to increase funding for public education. And he’s prepared to lead the fight.

Dorn styles himself as a bit of a maverick. He says his job is to make adults uncomfortable. He recently gave the legislature a grade of “incomplete” for its first down payment on a Supreme Court decision that says Washington is not adequately funding public schools.

Dena Michele Rosko / Flickr

Gonzaga University has joined the official Catholic movement in support of environmental stewardship.

On Monday, Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh and the president of Gonzaga Preparatory high school both signed the St. Francis Pledge.

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