Youth & Education

Education Funding
5:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Wash. Superintendent's Estimate For Ed Funding Nearly Twice That Of Lawmakers'

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn speaks at a panel discussion in 2013.
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. 

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Higher Education
9:28 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Pacific Lutheran University To Offer Northwest's First Holocaust Studies Minor

Undated file photo shows the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, in Poland, which was liberated by the Russians, in January 1945.
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.

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Controversial Book
7:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Campaign To Get Sherman Alexie Book To Idaho Students Tops Goal

File photo of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian."
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.

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Anti-Bullying
8:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Murray's Anti-Bullying Bill Targeting Colleges Limits Free Speech, Critics Say

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
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.

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Youth Unemployment
1:22 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

In Toughest Job Market Since WWII, An Uphill Climb For Teens And Young Adults

Nigel Wea, 22, speaks with one of the 80 prospective employers at Tuesday's "Jobfest," a job fair in Tacoma for 16 to 24 year olds.
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.

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Youth Culture
1:49 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Seattle's Teen Poets To Face Off In Biggest 'Slam' Of The Year

Koha Farr, 19, practices performing one of his poems Thursday night. He's one of a dozen teen poets competing in Friday night's 'Grand Slam' at Town Hall Seattle.
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.

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How We Learn
1:13 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Teacher Who Collected 7,000 Nerdy Science Songs Studying Their Teaching Power

University of Washington assistant professor Greg Crowther performs in "Money 4 Drugz," a music video about funding malaria research.
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? 

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κρυπτοσ
12:11 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Contest Challenges Northwest College Students To Break Secret Code

Here's a challenge from the 2013 competition.
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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Youth & Sports
4:27 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

With No NBA Team In Sight, Investor Hansen Lends Arena Space To Nonprofit For Kids

A student in the A PLUS Youth Program gets ready to run a race. The organization offers after-school mentorship and academic tutoring in addition to youth sports programming.
A PLUS Youth Program Facebook

The space where billionaire investor Chris Hansen hoped to house Seattle's next NBA team will go to the kids, for now. 

Hansen will temporarily hand over the Sodo warehouse space to the A PLUS Youth Program, a nonprofit organization that offers athletic programming and after-school mentorship. 

The move couldn't come at a better time for the nonprofit, says its founder and executive director Tavio Hobson.

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Continuing Education
10:23 am
Wed April 2, 2014

UW To Offer New Online Degree In Social Sciences

kyle~ Flickr

The University of Washington is launching a new online degree in integrated social sciences aimed at people who want to complete their education.

The move is the university’s latest push into the competitive world of online education.

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Youth & Education
6:13 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Washington Students Begin Field Tests For New, Common Core-Aligned Statewide Exams

The online login screen for a practice exam from Smarter Balanced, a consortium developing tests aligned to new, nationally-crafted academic standards called the Common Core for use in 22 states.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Students in more than 600 Washington state schools are beginning to take a new, potentially-tougher standardized test this week that will soon completely replace the state's current standardized tests.

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Youth & Education
12:37 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Seattle Schools To Use New State Funds To Avoid Planned Staffing Cuts

Mary Smith, an administrative secretary at Seattle's Ingraham High School, shows the button she wore last week to protest planned staffing cuts in district schools. Ingraham staff voted to reject their building budget.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Following a cash infusion from the state and agitation from building-level staff, Seattle Public Schools administrators announced this week they won't be cutting staff members at schools after all.

Superintendent José Banda said the district will use the $8.3 million from the state Legislature's newly-passed budget to restore the equivalent of 50 assistant principals, counselors and clerical staff positions they had intended to eliminate next year.

"We intend to fully restore what was cut," Banda wrote in a district-wide email.

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Youth & Education
4:32 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Seattle Public Schools: Spike In Marijuana Use Not Just Seen At Roosevelt High

The rates at which Seattle high school students report using alcohol have dipped since 2008, but the district's lead substance abuse counselor suspects marijuana use has crept up since the last survey data came out in 2012.
KPLU

  Roosevelt High School has invited an expert on teen substance abuse to address concerned parents after the the school's principal sent a letter to parents about an increase in drug and alcohol use at the school. 

The letter by principal Brian Vance said the school's number of disciplinary incidents involving marijuana and alcohol use had "doubled" since last year, from 12 incidents to 24.

Seattle Public Schools officials say they've observed a similar trend district-wide.

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No Child Left Behind Act
5:00 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Where Fate Of Wash. State's Education Waiver Now Stands, And Why It Matters

President George W. Bush speaks at a school in Philadelphia in 2009, eight years after he signed it into law.
AP Photo J. Scott Applewhite

Washington state is at risk of losing nearly $40 million in federal funding after lawmakers left Olympia without passing a teacher evaluation bill.

Without the bill, the state failed to secure a waiver for an onerous requirement under the No Child Left Behind Act. As a result, the fate of federal funding for local preschool programs and extended day services now hinges on what federal education officials decide in coming months.

Here's an explanation of why the lawmakers didn't pass the bill, and where the complex issue now stands. 

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Youth & Education
4:14 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Seattle Teachers Vote Down School Building Budgets In Protest Of Looming Staff Cuts

Mary Smith, an administrative secretary at Seattle's Ingraham High School, shows the button she wore Thursday to protest planned staffing cuts in district schools. Ingraham staff voted to reject their building budget this week.
Kyle Stokes KPLU

Teachers in 25 Seattle Public Schools have voted to reject their buildings' budgets for the next school year, and more may follow suit in the coming week.

Local teachers and union leaders coordinated the vote in hopes of forcing district officials to avoid cutting the equivalent of more than 50 full-time staff positions — clerical staff, assistant principals and school counselors — across the district's 95 schools. 

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