Charla Bear

Education Reporter

Charla joined us in January, 2010 and is excited to be back in Seattle after several years in Washington, DC, where she was a director and producer for NPR. Charla has reported from three continents and several outlets including Marketplace, San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. She has a master of journalism from University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in architecture from University of Washington.

Charla's most memorable public radio moment: “Sitting alone in a room with a convicted murderer who had just been paroled. The only thing between us was a microphone, as he told me how he had transformed his life and become a priest.”

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Education
5:10 am
Thu December 9, 2010

New push to help South King County students succeed

Renton High School students working on a recent edition of the student newspaper Arrow. South King County and south Seattle schools are being targeted for improvements to in student achievement.
Gary Davis/KPLU

A major effort launches today to help low-income students in South King County and South Seattle.  It’s a new approach to a decades-old problem – how to help disadvantaged kids succeed in school and beyond. 

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Law
5:25 am
Wed December 8, 2010

Teen sues Aberdeen School District for not stopping harassment

Russell Dickerson III (right) says the Aberdeen School District didn't protect him from racial and sexual harassment
Charla Bear

An African-American teen in Aberdeen is suing the city’s school district for not keeping him safe from bullying when he was a student.  He alleges administrators knew he endured racial and sexual harassment for years, but did little to stop it.

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K-12 Education
6:36 am
Mon December 6, 2010

African Americans most affected by low-performing schools

African American students get tutoring and mentorship from The Urban League.
The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

African American kids are more likely than any other students to start their educations in Seattle’s worst public schools.  That’s according to a new report from University of Washington researchers.  Community groups and school district administrators say it means schools are disproportionately failing kids who already face big hurdles to education. 

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Public Health
12:42 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Cigarette campaign draws fire from Washington leaders

A big tobacco company is using images of Seattle to convince people to light up.  It’s one of 10 cities featured in an ad campaign that follows the Camel cigarettes mascot to “hip” locations.  This month, the company plans to start selling limited edition packs with Seattle icons on it.

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K-12 Education
1:56 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

Schools superintendent moves to delay new graduation requirements

Seattle students get extra help with math
Seattle Office for Education

This year’s high school freshman and sophomores might have fewer graduation tests to dread if Randy Dorn has his way.  

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K-12 Education
6:20 pm
Mon November 29, 2010

Seattle gets peek at new Families and Education Levy

Kids participate in a preschool program funded by the Families and Education Levy
Seattle Office for Education

It’s been less than a month since the last election, and already Seattle officials are unveiling a measure for next fall’s ballot.  This week, the public will get its first glimpse at the next Families and Education Levy.  

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Artscape
5:49 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Jazz program hopes to strike a chord with Seattle kids

Students in the Advanced Ensemble of Seattle Jazz Ed practice under the direction of Clarence Acox every Sunday
Charla Bear

Seattle public schools have some of the best jazz programs in the country.  Student ensembles dominate at national competitions and perform all over the world.  But many kids don’t get to participate because the bands only exist in a few schools.  Now a new program aims to give every middle and high school student in the area an opportunity to learn from renowned jazz teachers. 

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Higher Education
5:00 am
Mon November 15, 2010

New university shirts clean up sweatshop image

WSU is one of 3 universities in the state that sells new socially conscious shirts by Alta Gracia
Washington State University Bookstore

Showing school spirit for local Universities could give a big boost to workers in a developing country.  Bookstores at some schools now carry a line of logo shirts that aims to do away with the image of sweatshops.

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K-12 Education
6:05 pm
Thu November 11, 2010

High school credit for Seattle's middle school students

Starting this year, middle school students in Seattle could finally get some credit on their high school transcripts, that is.  Seventh and eighth graders who take high school level courses can now apply them towards graduation.  The policy has pluses and minuses for young kids.

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Education
9:20 am
Mon November 8, 2010

Report cards for Seattle schools: grading each building

Seattle Schools will issue report cards on the quality of education at each of their buildings, a move that will reflect the overall quality coming out of this building - school headquarters.
Charla Bear/KPLU

A lot of attention has been focused on improving public schools. But figuring out how schools are doing can be tricky. Some people say test scores and graduation rates don't show the whole picture. Now administrators in Seattle say they've come up with a better system.

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