Ann Dornfeld

Reporter

Ann Dornfeld is a reporter at KUOW. She should have realized radio was in her future when, growing up in Seattle, she went to KUBE 93 after school one day to interview DJ Chet Buchanan. She claimed it was for a school assignment. She was actually just curious.

Ann went on to spin hip-hop records and host a public affairs show at her college radio station. On a month-long trip to Anchorage, she volunteered at Alaska Public Radio Network. She expected to be put to work filing papers. Instead, APRN gave her a mic and told her to file stories. She stayed all summer and learned the art of radio reporting. An official internship at APRN followed, and another at KUOW. She then worked at KLCC Public Radio in Eugene, Oregon as the Morning Edition host and reporter.

Ann returned to Seattle and worked as a roving freelance reporter, focusing on environmental issues for KUOW and national shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Environment Report and Marketplace. She has reported on a rare bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico, penguin habitat loss in South Africa, mangrove destruction in the US Virgin Islands, coral reef conservation in Bonaire and invasive lionfish in the Bahamas. She covered a major earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, for NPR News and The World.

Ann has won awards for her reporting from the Associated Press and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. She received an Investigative Reporting award from the Education Writers Association for her 2010 KUOW story about recess inequalities for poor children in Seattle Public Schools.

In her spare time, Ann enjoys underwater photography while diving balmy Puget Sound. Her favorite marine invertebrate is a nudibranch. Her favorite nudibranch is a Cockerell's dorid (Laila cockerelli).

Pages

Leadership Transition
5:53 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Seattle School Board Picks Interim Superintendent

The Seattle School Board voted unanimously Friday to make Larry Nyland the interim schools chief to replace outgoing Superintendent Jose Banda.

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Education Reform
5:06 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Here Are Washington's New Prospective Charter Schools

Seven organizations have filed to open charter schools in Washington in the state’s second-ever round of applications.

The proposed schools include California-based charter chains… a bilingual school… and a school that would teach partly in sign language.

Three of the schools would be in Spokane, with the rest in Seattle, Sunnyside, and Pierce and Clark Counties.

Three of the groups had applied unsuccessfully to open schools last year.

The state’s charter school authorizers will decide which applications to approve, if any, by mid-October.

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Early Childhood
12:06 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Long Before Babies Talk, They're Plotting Away

A baby sits in a magnetoencephalography brain scanner at the UW Institute for Learning and Brain Science while listening to vowel sounds.
Credit Institute for Learning and Brain Science / University of Washington

A University of Washington study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science gives clues about how talking to babies from an early age helps them say their first words.

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Child Care
2:28 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Childcare Provider Debates Two Possible Preschool Laws

Patti Oliver Bailey oversees sandbox play on a summer afternoon.
Ann Dornfeld KUOW

Patti Oliver Bailey sat on a sunny wooden deck in Seattle’s Rainier Valley on a recent afternoon, surrounded by toddlers digging through a box of pink sand and bright toys.

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Protest March
4:33 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Teachers Protest Gates Foundation-Backed Education Reforms

Teachers rally outside the Gates Foundation to demand changes to the organization's education strategies
Ann Dornfeld KUOW

A coalition of teachers and their supporters marched through downtown Seattle Thursday afternoon to the headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The local branch of a national organization that calls itself the Badass Teachers Association was protesting the education reform efforts the Gates Foundation has generously funded, from charter schools to the new Common Core State Standards.

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Universal Preschool
1:36 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Seattle City Council Sends Two Early Childhood Initiatives To Voters

The Seattle City Council has floated two pieces of legislation for universal preschool.
Credit Flickr Photo/a.pasquier

The Seattle City Council voted on Monday to send two competing early childhood education initiatives to voters this fall. One initiative was proposed by council President Tim Burgess and Mayor Ed Murray, and the other by a union that represents child care workers.

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Leadership Churn
10:24 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Seattle Schools Chief Jose Banda May Leave For Sacramento

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda is a finalist for the schools chief job in Sacramento. If he is offered the position and accepts it, he would be leaving Seattle after two years.
Credit Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda has been named the finalist for superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District. If Banda accepts the position, he would be leaving Seattle after two years, with two years left on his current contract.

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Twists And Cornrows
9:46 am
Wed June 18, 2014

African Hair Braider Sues Washington Over License Dispute

Salamata Sylla demonstrates African hair braiding on her daughter while her son watches on.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

An African hair braider is suing the Washington State Department of Licensing after an investigator told her she needs a cosmetology license to stay in business.

The suit is one of several filed across the country on Tuesday by hair braiders protesting state regulations they say don’t apply to them.

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Math Curriculum
2:46 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

In Surprise Move, Seattle Schools Approve 'Singapore Math'

Seattle Public Schools has adopted a new math curriculum, the first in five years.
Credit Flickr Photo/Wanda Dechant

Last week, the Seattle School Board voted 4-3 to adopt a new elementary curriculum, Math in Focus.

Parents and teachers had lobbied the district for years to use Math in Focus, described as “Singapore math.” Singapore has been consistently ranked as the highest-achieving country in the world.

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Hunger
8:07 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Sen. Murray Proposes Summer Food Benefits For Low-Income Kids

Many families depend on lunch and breakfast provided by schools, making the summer months a struggle.
Flickr Photo/USDAgov (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Nearly half of public school students in Washington state receive free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school – about half a million children. But when school’s out for summer, it can be a struggle for low-income families to make their food budgets stretch.

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Student Privacy
9:57 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Proposed Sale Of Seattle Student Data Site Worries Officials

Student data is increasingly being stored on cloud computing services, raising new security and privacy concerns.
Kjetil Korslien Flickr

The potential bankruptcy sale of a company that stores online student data – including personally identifiable information for about 20,000 Seattle middle and high school students – has concerned the Federal Trade Commission and Seattle Public Schools. 

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No Time For Play
8:05 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Recess, Once Free Time, Gets An Overhaul

The nonprofit organization Playworks has trained several dozen schools in Washington -- including Bellevue Public Schools -- how to turn recess from the traditional free time into an organized activity period.
Credit Photo Credit Playworks

The recess for the youngest students at Ardmore Elementary School in Bellevue doesn’t look like your typical recess.

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No Time For Play
7:29 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Recess Shrinks At Seattle Schools; Poor Schools Fare Worst

Flickr Photo/Joe Shlabotnik (CC-BY-NC-ND)

In decades past, elementary students had recess several times a day.

Today, parents and teachers across the country report dramatic cutbacks to that free time. In Seattle, the length of recess varies dramatically from school to school – from an hour to just 15 minutes.

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No Time For Play
7:21 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Seattle-Area Kids Don’t Get Enough P.E., But Who Is Keeping Track?

Fourth-graders at Schmitz Park Elementary in West Seattle play capture the flag in their outdoor P.E. class.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

At a playfield in West Seattle, physical education teacher C.J. Sealey referees with a piercing whistle. Sealey aims to get these kids moving – after all, state law demands that elementary and middle school students get at least 100 minutes of P.E. every week.

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Environment
5:59 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Climate Change Could Mean Good News, Bad News For Seattle-Area Gardeners

John Mullen gets his soil ready for spring at a Seattle P-Patch. Climate science experts say he shouldn't start planting pineapples anytime soon.
Ann Dornfeld KUOW

Washington farmers can expect longer growing seasons, drier summers and increased risk of disease and pest outbreaks, according to some of the predictions in the National Climate Assessment released Tuesday.

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