Ann Dornfeld | KUOW News and Information

Ann Dornfeld

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2008

Ann Dornfeld reports on issues of racial inequity for KUOW.

She previously covered education for the station. Before that, Ann was 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.

Ann also worked as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KLCC Public Radio in Eugene, Oregon, after 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 also 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. Her photography has appeared in exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. 

Ways to Connect

Mercergov.org Photo

Mercer Island schools reopened Tuesday as officials said the city’s water supply was safe again after increased chlorination over the weekend. But they advised residents to first run cold water from every tap in their homes for five minutes, starting on the highest floor.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Although the tunnel boring machine known as “Bertha” is at a standstill, work is still underway to replace Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct.

This fall, Seattle voters will choose between two early childhood education ballot initiatives. If you want to weigh in on the issue, you'll have to pick a favorite – even if you want neither to pass. KUOW Education Reporter Ann Dornfeld gives us the latest on the two competing ballot initiatives .

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

There’s more discussion this week about a potential new school in downtown Seattle. As KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld reports, the idea is controversial.

Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The backers of an initiative to increase pay and training for child care workers in Seattle have filed suit against the city for the way the measure will appear on the fall ballot.

KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld reports.

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.

Three candidates remain in the running to become Seattle’s next police chief.

Search committee co-chair Ron Sims says the short list became shorter by one candidate after the committee gave the four original finalists a written exam, conducted reference and background checks, and did intensive site visits.

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

The state Supreme Court will not get the K-12 education funding plan it demanded from the state Legislature by the end of April.

The court called for the plan in January after finding that state lawmakers had not made enough progress toward amply funding basic education as required by the state Constitution.

Flickr Photo/Christos Tsoumplekas

School districts across Washington are examining how they’ll be affected by the state’s loss of its No Child Left Behind waiver and resulting loss of flexibility over how they spend $38 million in federal funding. That amount represents 20 percent of the federal Title 1 funding for the state's highest-poverty schools.

Washington’s No Child Left Behind waiver has been revoked as a result of the state legislature not approving changes to teacher evaluations in order to stay in compliance with federal requirements.

The loss of the waiver means that districts will no longer have control over how $38 million dollars of federal education funding will be spent. Governor Jay Inslee said public schools will definitely feel the impact of the lost funding, and that it could mean layoffs.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

For young salmon and steelhead in the Lake Washington watershed, there is only one way to get to sea: through the Ballard Locks.

The city of Seattle is scaling back plans for its subsidized preschool program.
Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC BY-NC-SA)/http://bit.ly/1LQhs3d

Ross Reynolds sits down with KUOW's education reporter Ann Dornfeld to talk about the new changes to learning standards in Washington state public schools.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

As school districts across Washington integrate the new Common Core State Standards in reading and math into their curricula, some kindergarten teachers say the standards are squeezing out other important lessons that young children need to succeed in school – and life.

Test pencil
Flickr Photo/mammal (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The state’s largest teachers’ union has passed a motion to support parents and students who opt out of statewide standardized tests. The union also promotes opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium state test coming next school year to align with the new Common Core State Standards.

Courtesy of Daniel Jung

Doctors say the man severely burned in the news helicopter crash in Seattle Center two weeks ago is in serious but stable condition and improving.

Flickr Photo/Chris Blakeley (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattle Public Schools has rescinded staffing cuts it planned to make at schools across the district.

Superintendent Jose Banda said after analyzing the supplemental budget the Legislature passed last week, the district won’t need to reduce the hours of many secretaries, counselors and other employees.

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