Youth & Education

school on saturday
6:30 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Saturday language schools growing in popularity

Every Saturday, the Northwest Chinese School takes over Newport High School in Bellevue. Sings in Mandarin are posted all over the building directing students where to go.

For most kids, the weekends are prime time to play and catch up on cartoons. But for thousands of children across the country and here in the Northwest, Saturdays mean waking up early to head to another school where they sharpen their academic teeth and learn a language that ties them to their cultural heritage. 

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Labor & Union
6:23 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Unionization push by PLU faculty could have national implications

Disclosure: Pacific Lutheran University holds the license for KPLU. KPLU’s programming staffers are the university’s only unionized employees.

Pacific Lutheran University is trying to fend off attempts by members of its faculty to unionize, and the outcome could have national implications.

The push is coming from “contingent faculty,” the non-tenure track professors, lecturers and instructors who teach about a third of PLU’s course credits. Those people get paid significantly less than regular faculty, and their employment status is much shakier.

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Education
5:51 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Colleges wait out state Legislature for tuition plan

Students heading off to college in Washington state next fall will have to wait awhile to find out how much tuition they'll be paying.

Since the Legislature hasn't finished the state budget, no one is sure whether lawmakers will recommend a tuition increase, or cut, or neither. All three ideas have been proposed this year.

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Education
5:00 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Seattle school district considers extending elementary school day

Seattle Public Schools is exploring adding a half-hour to the elementary school day.
ecastro Flickr

Seattle Public Schools wants to add a half-hour to the school day for elementary students by as early as the next school year. But the district must first align a number of variables, including funding and union support.

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Education
5:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Bringing the arts back into Seattle schools

Masks that middle school students made at Madrona K-8 School.
Jennifer Wing KPLU

Will providing  greater access to the arts boost academic achievement? 

Seattle Public Schools is betting it will, and is working to bring arts education into more of its elementary and middle schools.

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Education
5:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Coaches help students with attention deficits stay engaged

Katie Beckham works hard to keep up in math class.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

As spring fever sets in, teachers are struggling to keep their students focused on the classroom. That can be a challenge even on the best of days for kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Their brains work differently from the students most schools were designed for, and nearly a third end up dropping out or delaying graduation.

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Zombies in the classroom
5:00 am
Wed April 10, 2013

How to survive a zombie apocalypse? Learn geography

Zombie-based learning teaches geography skills against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse.
David Hunter

Our story begins in an ordinary suburban middle school with a group of unsuspecting students, and one smart-alecky question to the teacher: “Mr. Hunter, did you hear about the zombie that attacked some guy the other day?”

Of course, the other students dismiss it, all except for one. He’s intrigued enough to dig a little deeper.

The student and Mr. Hunter begin plotting reported attacks on a map, and trying to discern a pattern in the outbreak’s spread.

“They’re getting closer to us,” the student concludes.

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Early Education
4:00 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Feds cut off two Seattle-based Head Start programs

United Indians' Head Start program, based at their Daybreak Star building, will end after this June.
sea turtle Flickr

Two Seattle-based Head Start providers are losing their funding, as part of a wider crackdown within the federal preschool program.

Other agencies will take over the contracts, so the move won’t reduce the number of early education slots available to low-income kids in Seattle. But to the providers who are being cut off, it’s devastating.

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Education
12:01 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Rainier Beach High works to make elite IB program serve all students

Rainier Beach principal Dwane Chappelle talks to sophomores about the IB program.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

An elite academic program developed at a Swiss private school is coming to a beleaguered Seattle high school where officials hope it will boost enrollment and attract high-achieving students. Now they face the challenge of making the program serve the whole school instead of just a privileged few.

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Education
3:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Seattle’s most troubled high school gets elite academic degree program

Rainier Beach High School is seen in this photo.
how3ird Flickr

Rainier Beach High School will become the third Seattle school to offer the International Baccalaureate program, district officials announced.

IB was originally developed to educate the children of diplomats in Europe, but is gaining popularity as a way to help turn around struggling urban schools. And Rainier Beach is one of those, with chronic under-enrollment and the lowest test scores of any comprehensive high school in the district.

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Education
3:38 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

After 26 years, football returns to Tacoma middle schools

Casey Madison Tacoma Public Schools

Middle school football teams hit the gridiron this week in Tacoma for the first time since the Reagan administration. It’s been 26 years since the school district transitioned from a junior high system, and canceled almost all middle school athletics.

Now some creative fundraising has allowed both boys and girls to don pads and helmets, and go knock the stuffing out of each other.

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Education
3:51 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Seattle schools freeze hiring, spending as deficit looms

Seattle’s school district has frozen hiring and spending in anticipation of a budget shortfall next year. But since officials say the change won't affect actual classroom resources or essential personnel, you might say the district has put hiring and spending in the fridge.

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Education
6:00 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Should in-demand college degrees cost more to earn?

Protesters chat with police following their march into the Univesrity of Washington president's office.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Should students earning in-demand degree pay more?

That's the idea behind behind differential tuition, which would allow colleges to raise the price of earning expensive, sought-after degrees like engineering and computer science.

Some local students are rallying against the idea and urging their schools not to boost tuition to match their majors' demand. 

But the schools say differential tuition could help offset deep cutbacks in state funding.

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Education
4:29 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Seattle schools chief reinstates suspended curriculum on race

Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Seattle Public Schools is reinstating a high school curriculum on race and social justice after suspending it over a student’s complaint, but the controversy is likely to continue.

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Education
4:47 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Washington education bills lack response to Supreme Court ruling

Alexandra Kocik Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A single shiny red apple sat atop each desk on the Washington Senate floor Wednesday to represent a day full of voting on education issues. Senators deliberated and passed multiple measures. One would rank schools with A through F grades. Another would make it easier for principals to get rid of ineffective teachers.

But Democrats like Sen. David Frockt point out that lawmakers have not yet responded to a state Supreme Court ruling known as the McCleary decision. It requires more funding for schools.

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