education reform

Education Reform
7:30 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Is Common Core A Good Fit For Kindergarten?

Marissa Zellers reads a new Common Core-aligned text with her kindergarten students at Albert Einstein Elementary School in Redmond, Wash.
Credit 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.

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Education Reform
1:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Public Hearings On Charter School Proposals Begin Today

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.

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Charter School Law
7:04 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Ruling Allows Charter Schools To Move Forward In Washington

King County Judge Jean Rietschel found charter schools ineligible for some state funds.
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.

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Education Reform
7:59 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Charter Schools' Volunteer Demands Could Deter Poor Families, Critics Say

Charter schools are not legally allowed to discriminate against children, but many are setting high expectations of volunteer time from family members as part of their enrollment standards.
Flickr Photo/WarzauWynn

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.

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Education Reform
8:59 am
Wed October 23, 2013

A Look At Washington's First Charter School Contenders

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.

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Charter Schools
8:02 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Spokane Only School District Seeking Charter Authorizer Status

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.

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Olympia
11:28 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Olympia Update With Austin Jenkins

Flickr Photo/Harvey Barrison (CC BY-NC-ND)

Washington state’s proposed marijuana rules were released yesterday, and critics are already weighing in. Plus, Republican legislators are pushing for education reform. David Hyde gets all the details from Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins.

Standardized Testing
6:00 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Seattle Schools Chief Scales Back Controversial MAP Test

COCOEN daily photos Flickr

The standardized test that inspired boycotts by teachers across Seattle School District will be scaled back next school year.

In a letter to district staff today, Superintendent Jose Banda announced that the Measures of Academic Progress test will still be required in kindergarten though eighth grade, but it will be optional at the high school level.

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Education
11:04 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Should Principals Have Veto Authority Over Teacher Transfers?

Flickr photo/Enokson

State senate leaders plan to revive a bill in the upcoming special session that would allow school principals to veto teachers’ school assignments.  Education “reformers” support the change.  Teachers’ unions are opposed. Ross Reynolds interviews both sides.

High School Education
12:15 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Pass A Citizenship Test To Graduate?

It’s not just math anymore, students are falling behind in history and civics too. A new report by independent, non-partisan research organization — the Pioneer Institute — says the state of US history and civics education is so abysmal that it makes “reading, mathematics and science achievement seem robust by comparison.” Washington state’s record isn’t any better. The state received a D grade from educational excellence organization, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, for its quote “meager” US history standards.

To reverse this trend the Pioneer Institute report recommends a simple policy: require high school graduates to pass the US citizenship test. Ross Reynolds talks with Sandra Stotsky, professor of education reform and one of the authors of this report.

Education Reform
7:35 am
Wed April 3, 2013

12 Wash. Districts File To Become Charter School Authorizers

derekbruff Flickr

Twelve Washington school districts have formally announced they’ll apply to become charter school authorizers. Bellevue, Highline, Kent, Tacoma, Spokane and Port Townsend are among the districts seeking the power to approve charter school applications in their regions. Those districts met the State Board of Education's April 1 deadline for notices of intent to apply for authorizer status.

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Education Reform
6:11 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Washington Charter School Commissioners To Be Announced This Week

The first members of Washington state’s new Charter School Commission are due to be appointed Wednesday. The commission will be able to approve some of the 40 charter schools allowed under the law voters passed last fall.

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Education
12:00 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Wash. Teachers' Union President On How To Improve State K-12 Education

Flickr Photo/ccarlstead

This week we’ve been taking a closer look at the battle over how to improve state education.  Today we get another perspective from Mary Lindquist, president of the state’s largest teachers' union, the Washington Education Association.

Education
12:10 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Are Republicans Washington's Mavericks In Education Reform?

Education mural at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle campus.
Gates Foundation

Former gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna supported charter schools, and some are arguing that his grand old party is leading the way on education reform while democrats in Olympia simply tout old policy. Ross Reynolds talks with Tacoma News Tribune columnist Peter Callaghan.

Education Reform
9:04 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Reform Vs. Funding: Battle Shaping Up In Washington Legislature

Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:32 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – One of the key battles shaping up in Olympia this year is over education reform. The Senate’s new majority coalition is proposing a series of measures aimed at getting better results in the classroom. Among the ideas: a state takeover of failing schools. Meanwhile, a key Senate Democrat says the focus should be on school funding – and proposes a new capital gains tax.

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