Ann Dornfeld

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2008

Ann Dornfeld covers education for KUOW.

She previously worked as a roving freelance public radio reporter, focusing on environmental issues, for KUOW and national shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Environment Report and Marketplace. Ann has reported on a rare bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico, penguin habitat loss in South Africa, mangrove destruction in the U.S. 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.

Before that, Ann was a reporter and Morning Edition host at KLCC Public Radio in Eugene, Oregon, and had internships at KUOW and Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start spinning hip-hop records at the radio station of Oregon State University, where she majored in biology and environmental sciences.

She has won awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, The Associated Press and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. Ann has received both investigative and data reporting awards from the Education Writers Association for her coverage of ongoing recess cutbacks and physical education shortages in Seattle-area schools.

Ways To Connect

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.
Courtesy of Playworks

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

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.

Fourth-graders at Schmitz Park Elementary in West Seattle play capture the flag in their outdoor P.E. class.
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.

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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