K-12 Education

Education
11:38 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Do we still need to learn cursive?

Rich Christen at the University of Portland has studied the history of teaching cursive handwriting. He keeps a fountain pen at his desk.
Colin Fogarty

Cursive handwriting may soon go the way of the card catalog and the film projector. Schools are moving to new curriculum standards that put more emphasis on typing skills. But not everyone is ready for the cursive alphabet to become a relic. Jessica Robinson reports the Idaho legislature is considering a statewide cursive mandate.

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K-12 Education
2:01 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Hundreds of high school students ditch school to protest state budget cuts

More than 100 Ballard High School students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday afternoon to join a protest at UW against cuts to education.
Katie Kennedy

Hundreds of high school students are rallying at the University of Washington in protest of cuts to education. They walked out of their classrooms this afternoon and marched or rode buses to the University District. 

Students from at least five high schools, including Ingraham and Nathan Hale - and even a few students from Tacoma - have banded together for the protest. 

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K-12 Education
9:10 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Teachers across state to protest budget cuts as special session begins

Teachers across the state plan to protest cuts to public schools on the first day of the legislature’s special session to shore up the budget.

Hundreds of educators will rally in Olympia on Monday, Nov. 28. Even more teachers will deliver their concerns virtually.

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K-12 Education
2:00 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

Federal Way says putting more kids in advanced classes worked

As a high school senior last year, Shrae Hogan didn't want to take Advanced Placement courses, until a new district policy placed her in one. The district says AP exam results show the policy has been a success.
Charla Bear KPLU

Federal Way's attempt to push kids to the next level may have had some impact. Recent results of exams in advanced courses, the school district says, shows more kids did take the tests without lowering the percentage of passing scores.

Bottom line: More kids in advanced classes + more kids taking the exams and passing = more students who can handle harder classes than they might have taken on their own.

The district hopes that also means more kids will go to college.

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K-12 Education
5:36 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

District cuts yellow school buses for some Seattle students

Some Seattle students will see less of these.
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. 

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Washington schools
4:16 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

Cash prizes will go to schools that get more kids eating breakfast

Students at Washington Elementary in Auburn choose breakfast items from a cart before heading to their classrooms to eat. It's a model touted as a successful way to get more kids to utilize morning meals at schools.
Charla Bear KPLU

More than 300,000 kids who qualify for free or reduced breakfast in Washington are not eating it.

Participation in the state’s early morning meal program is so low, educators and children’s advocates have launched a new effort to get schools focused on the issue.

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K-12 Education
6:05 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Struggling students have mixed results in Title I program

Test scores for some students who get services through the federal Title I program have improved in Washington, according to a report.
Seattle Public Schools

Some students with the lowest test scores in Washington have made big gains over the past few years, while others have fallen farther behind.

Researchers found a mixed bag when they looked at the Title I program, a federal effort to help disadvantaged kids.

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K-12 Education
3:36 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Update: Seattle schools sending a message with furlough

An administrator helps a student at Lafayette Elementary School in Seattle. The district has decided to furlough nearly all school staff for a day, resulting in closed schools just before students return to class in the fall.
Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools will shut down for a day just before school starts this fall. It will also close early on a later date during the school year.

Lesley Rogers, chief communications officer for Seattle Public Schools, says asking most of its staff to be gone on the same day sends a message to the state.

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K-12 Education
8:41 am
Thu July 7, 2011

Class sizes preserved, counselors cut in Seattle schools budget

Despite facing the steepest budget shortfall in the past 3 years, Seattle Public School officials say class sizes will not get any bigger next fall. The district's school board unanimously approved a plan last night to close a $45.5 million gap with considerable cuts to school supports and jobs, but teachers were largely spared.

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K-12 Education
7:30 am
Tue May 17, 2011

Hundreds of Washington teachers might not have jobs next year

Students in an Issaquah biology class construct molecular models. They might not have as many teachers next year. The school district sent layoff notices to 51 teachers.
Issaquah School District

Hundreds of teachers throughout Western Washington are unsure if they’ll return to their classrooms next year. Many districts have had to layoff instructors to balance their budgets as support at the state level dwindles. Even districts with the most resources are feeling the pinch.

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Northwest Cultures
1:35 pm
Wed March 30, 2011

Radiation and climate change drive Marshall Islanders to Northwest enclave

Most schools are used to working with children whose native language isn't English. In most of the Northwest and the nation, that means Spanish.

But in Spokane, immigrants from a remote set of South Pacific islands have sent schools scrambling to find translators for a language most of us have never heard of. It's called Marshallese. Turns out,  people from the Marshall Islands are leaving their tropical home for the Northwest in large numbers.

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K-12 Education
5:22 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Seattle schools win math textbook appeal

High school students in Seattle will continue to use a controversial math textbook after an appeals court affirmed the school board's decision.
Seattle Office for Education

Seattle Public Schools will get to keep using a controversial math textbook. An appeals court struck down a challenge to the "Discovering" math curriculum by a group of parents and local residents who call it “mathematically unsound.”

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Education
11:39 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Seattle's Families and Education Levy expands goals, money requests over the years

Nearly half of the 2011 Families and Education levy proposal focuses on early learning. It would also increases support for elementary school children and college and career preparation.
Seattle Office for Education

As schools and family service providers across the state struggle with budget cuts, taxpayers are being asked to help out more. In Seattle, the city council is gearing up to put the Families and Education Levy back on the ballot. Voters have renewed it every time it’s come up since former Mayor Norm Rice created it in 1990, but some people might not realize how much it’s changed. 

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K-12 Education
5:08 pm
Thu March 17, 2011

City panel could soon oversee ethics at Seattle Public Schools

Seattle school and city leaders want the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission to take over the school district's ethics complaints.
Charla Bear KPLU

An independent watchdog committee could soon take over ethics investigations at Seattle Public Schools. The move is an effort to rebuild public confidence after an audit exposed questionable spending and a lack of oversight at the school district.

When state auditors investigated nearly $2 million in misspent funds by school district employees, they say an “atmosphere of fear and intimidation” was one reason whistle-blowers didn’t come forward. 

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K-12 Education
4:10 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Teacher layoff reform bill dies in Legislature

A proposal to base teacher layoffs on performance - and not seniority - has died in the Washington legislature. The bill's demise is a victory for the state’s teacher's union, but a frustrating defeat for some lawmakers. 

Currently, when school districts reduce staff newer more junior teachers typically lose their jobs first. A bipartisan proposal in the Washington legislature would have changed that.

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