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

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Seattle Public Schools has rescinded staffing cuts it planned to make at schools across the district.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

The staff at 31 Seattle public schools have voted down their schools’ proposed budgets to protest job cuts the district is calling for this fall.

Ingraham High School administrative secretary Mary Smith said her school's staff rejected a budget that would turn the assistant secretary, attendance specialist and fiscal specialist from full-time to half-time positions.

From Highline Public Schools' Facebook page

When you were a kid, your mom probably insisted you eat breakfast before school.

Studies show she was right; students who eat breakfast do better academically. Still, many kids go without – especially those living in poverty.

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

School bus drivers in Seattle said they’re close to striking after talks broke down with their employer, First Student, a Seattle School District contractor.

More than 27,000 students depend on the yellow buses to get to school.

Flickr Photo/Rico San (CC-BY-NC-ND)

It’s 6:35 a.m. on a recent school day: time for Wendy VanKoevering to do the rounds. Anyone who’s had to wake up a teenager in the morning knows it can be a struggle.

Seattle City Council

For all of Seattle's economic and population growth in the past few decades, its city limits have remained static. That could change after the City Council advanced a plan Monday to expand Seattle's boundaries for the first time since the mid-1980s.

Flickr Photo/www.audio-luci-store.it

The Washington State Charter School Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on the 19 charter applications it received.

The commission hired outside evaluators, who advised that only six out of the 19 applications be approved.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The only thing motivating Freda Crichton to finish high school was the prospect of joining the Marines with her twin sister after graduation.

Her twin got in. But Crichton didn’t.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

The Washington State Charter School Commission is wrapping up three weeks of public hearings for 19 proposed schools.

A bill introduced in the state Legislature this week calls for a study into how much student data is being released without families’ knowledge or consent.

The Washington state Supreme Court has found that state lawmakers have once again failed to make significant progress toward fully funding basic education, and ordered the Legislature to submit a K-12 funding plan by April 30.

Ross Reynolds talks to KUOW education reporter Ann Dornfeld about the federal government's new recommendations for classroom discipline.

The Washington State Charter School Commission will host nine public forums around the state this month regarding the 19 charter school proposals it is considering. The first one is  Monday afternoon in Spokane.

Each forum will focus on up to three proposals, and begin with a presentation from the charter applicants.

Chloe Burton

Chloe Burton had a great year in kindergarten.

Although she has autism, she had no problem learning in a general education classroom alongside her peers.

But in first grade, things went downhill. Chloe wandered the classroom instead of finishing her work.

KUOW Photo/Jake Warga

When Shannon Kelley started a free worker retraining program last summer, he was 43 years old and had been laid off for five years.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Editor’s Note: This story has been changed to strengthen its focus on student data privacy. The original version, which contained more specifics from an agreement between the state schools office and The Seattle Times, left some of our readers mistakenly believing that their children’s names and Social Security numbers had been released to the Times. While the story did not say that, we want to remove any doubts. The agreement can be viewed below.

KUOW has learned that the Washington state education department has signed agreements to share non-public student data with media organizations including The Seattle Times and The Associated Press.

Flickr Photo/everyday Zoid

A King County Superior Court ruling Thursday will allow the introduction of charter schools in Washington, but struck down part of the law as unconstitutional.    

In her ruling, Judge Jean Rietschel upheld much of the charter school law, and the state attorney general said the state will continue to implement it.

Flickr Photo/WarzauWynn (CC BY-NC 2.0) http://bit.ly/2e4FXO7

Proposals for Washington state's first-ever charter schools include a wide range of educational models, from a focus on team sports to a military school.

Kara McDermott

A military school for at-risk youth.

A high school that uses sports to teach life lessons.

A school focused on special education.

These are three of the 22 proposals for Washington state’s first charter schools that made it in by last Friday’s deadline.

Courtesy of Rebecca Nelson, RavennaBlog.com

At a seven-hour meeting on Wednesday night, the Seattle School Board approved controversial new boundaries – to the chagrin of parents, teachers and students who packed the room to beg the board to reconsider.

Tom Jackson

At 6:55 a.m. last Friday, wearing a red backpack and holding an apple fritter, 11-year-old Arlo Jackson trudged out the door to Mercer Middle School.

"The cold air kinda wakes you up," Arlo said as he walked to his first stop, his friend Nico Binuya’s house. After Nico got a kiss from his mom, the two friends were on their way, chatting about “school, sports and, like, girls.”

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

Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn is calling on the Legislature to add more than half a billion dollars for K-12 education over the next two years.

KUOW/Kara McDermott


Supporters of last year’s charter schools initiative in Washington state promised the law would bring successful charter models from across the country and improve academic outcomes for public school students.

Flickr Photo/Rocky Lubbers

Correction 10/24/2013: This story has been changed to correct the number of schools that can be approved in the first round of applications.

More than two dozen organizations say they’ll apply to start the state’s first charter schools.

Included among them: A school for gifted early elementary students in Spokane Valley; a Tacoma branch of the national charter chain Green Dot; and a Seattle elementary for kids who have experienced extreme trauma.

Candidate Websites

Seattle school board candidate Suzanne Dale Estey and her supporters are poised to raise more money than any other school board candidate in state history – even though a Washington state law passed last year put a cap on campaign contributions in school board races.

Candidate Websites

One of the hottest races on Seattle’s fall ballot isn't for mayor or city council, but a seat on the Seattle School Board.

Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf

Eleven students have been suspended from Garfield High School while the district investigates their roles in a September 27 hazing incident.

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