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

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.

KUOW Photo/Jake Warga

Welding torches have sizzled at the Vigor Industrial shipyard on Seattle’s Harbor Island for a century. But the men and women behind the welding masks in this particular warehouse have only been at it for two weeks. The demand for skilled welders is so high that the shipyard and the state are now paying to teach the skill to displaced workers.

Washington Education Association/Rich Wood

UPDATE: 9/4/13, 10:31 a.m. PT

About 1,800 teachers cast their votes in the Seattle Education Association general membership meeting at Benaroya Hall. Members voted first by voice, then by standing to clarify the count. One member moved to call for a ballot count, but there wasn't enough support from fellow members. Teachers present estimated that at least 60 percent of the votes were in favor of the contract.

From Washington State Department of Ecology site.

Seattle School District and its teachers' union have reached a tentative agreement on a new, two-year contract.

The district and Seattle Education Association (SEA) bargained for more than 12 hours Saturday. The deal was finalized early Sunday morning.

The district and union are waiting to publicly release details of the contract until SEA has been able to relay the offer to teachers. 

Last-minute sticking points involved teacher pay, work hours and using student test scores in teacher evaluations.

Seattle teachers will vote on the contract Tuesday evening. 

School is scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Seattle Education Association's Facebook page.

Correction 8/27/13: In a previous version, the length of the district's contract offer was stated as three years. The current offer is for a two-year contract. The length of the contract is negotiable.

Seattle's teachers' union voted down the school district's two-year contract offer Monday night at Seattle Education Association's general membership meeting at Benaroya Hall.

Reporters were not allowed inside the meeting, but teachers said that the voice vote was nearly unanimous, with only several teachers of the hundreds present supporting the contract offer.

Seattle's Department of Transportation is providing $2.3 million to go toward a change in start times for Seattle Public Schools.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

UPDATE: 8/24/13, 9:41 a.m. PT

In a letter to the community Friday evening, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda outlined key elements of the district's latest contract offer, including a four percent pay increase over two years, hiring extra support staff including school psychologists, nurses, speech pathologists, and occupational and physical therapists, and improvements to the special education delivery model.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The city of Seattle would create a plan to let all children attend preschool for free or on a sliding scale under a resolution proposed by City Councilman Tim Burgess.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

School doesn't start for two weeks, but it was standing room only at the Seattle School Board meeting Wednesday night as hundreds of community members turned out for a host of issues they want settled before school begins.

Washington state has been given one year to change its teacher evaluation law or risk losing $38 million in federal education funding.

In a letter Wednesday to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, US Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle said the state was being granted a one-year extension of its conditional waiver from the requirements of the federal law known as No Child Left Behind.

From Washington State Department of Ecology site.

Tension is building during contract talks between Seattle School District and its teachers’ union.

The two sides need to agree on a new, three-year contract before school begins in less than a month.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Twice as many Washington kids will get free, full-day kindergarten this fall.

The new state budget pays for all-day kindergarten in 269 more schools across the state, including eight schools in Seattle.

Flickr Photo/sidewalk flying (CC BY-NC-ND)

Class size appears to be the main sticking point between Seattle School District and its teachers’ union as they bargain a new, three-year contract before school is scheduled to start next month.

Seattle Education Association President Jonathan Knapp says the district’s latest proposal, made last week, would increase class sizes in Seattle by two students per class in grades four through twelve.

From Washington State Department of Ecology site.

According to a letter KUOW has obtained from Seattle Public Schools to the Washington State Auditor’s Office, the district faces $29 million in claims and settlement demands from current or former students who say they were sexually abused by a teacher or fellow student.

Suzanne Dale Estey

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Suzanne Dale Estey

Candidate for Seattle School District 4: Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown

Occupation: Economic development consultant

Website: http://suzanne4schools.com

Top priorities:

  • Keep district focused on student outcomes.
  • Secure and maintain adequate levy and state funding.
  • Stabilize district leadership.

Dean McColgan

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Dean McColgan

Candidate for Seattle School District 4: Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown

Occupation: Director of development at the Museum of Flight, former City Council member and mayor of Federal Way

Website: http://www.deanforseattleschools.org/

Top priorities:

  • Re-instill community trust in the school district.
  • Emphasize STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education.
  • Allow teachers to innovate.

Sue Peters

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Sue Peters

Candidate for Seattle School District 4: Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown

Occupation: Freelance writer and communications strategist, founding member of Parents Across America

Website: http://suepeters4schoolboard.org/

Top priorities:

  • Improve curriculum and reduce standardized testing.
  • Include community in making decisions.
  • Revamp special education and advanced learning services.

Stephan Blanford

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Stephan Blanford

Candidate for Seattle School District 5: Capitol Hill, Central Area, Leschi, Beacon Hill, Downtown

Occupation: Educational policy consultant

Website: http://blanfordforseattleschools.com

Top priorities:

  • Close the achievement gap.
  • Boost school performance.
  • Improve School Board functionality.

LaCrese Green

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy LaCrese Green

Candidate for Seattle School District 5: Capitol Hill, Central Area, Leschi, Beacon Hill, Downtown

Occupation: Retired, volunteer tutor for Ethiopian immigrant children

Website: http://www.lacresegreen.com/

Top priorities:

  • Reduce racial inequity.
  • Stop school closures and reopen closed schools.
  • Increase community involvement with the School Board.

Olu Thomas

Jul 15, 2013

Candidate for Seattle School District 5: Capitol Hill, Central Area, Leschi, Beacon Hill, Downtown

Occupation: Unemployed social worker

Top priorities:

  • Reduce inequitable discipline of students of color.
  • Train teachers on cultural competency and other equity issues.
  • Convert unused school buildings to community centers.

iagoarchangel / Flickr

Bringing new meaning to "student orientation," Washington community and technical colleges will start asking students their sexual orientation and gender identity when students register for classes this year.

Laura McDowell, spokeswoman for Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges, said it was students who proposed the colleges start tracking the data.

Nalini Prasanna / Flickr

Thirteen Washington districts formally expressed interest in being charter authorizers this spring, but only Spokane applied to the state by the July 1 deadline.

Flickr Photo/javacolleen

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to spend $500,000 to relocate residents of the south Seattle tent city called "Nickelsville." The council has given residents of Nickelsville until September 1, 2013 to move out or be evicted.

Envios / Flickr

The United States Supreme Court decided Thursday that a Colville man received an excessive prison sentence when a federal judge overstepped his bounds.

The high court’s ruling was welcome news to Matthew Descamps’ family.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

As educational practice catches up with federal law that requires students learn in the least restrictive environment, an increasing number of students with autism and other disabilities are learning alongside their typically-developing peers in mainstream classrooms.

Pages