education

Seatle School District
10:24 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Looking Ahead At The School Year With Superintendent José Banda

Seattle School District superintendent José Banda.

It’s been one week since the first day of school, and to say that the start was rocky would be an understatement. A highly contested teacher contract debate had parents worried whether schools would even begin on time last Wednesday. When school did open, software problems caused confusion all over the Seattle district. With all this news, it promises to be an exciting year. Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle Superintendent José Banda about the first week and what’s on tap for the school year.

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School Safety
3:45 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

After Newtown Tragedy, Some Schools Are All But Bulletproof

Dara Van Antwerp, an armed school resource officer, will be permanently stationed at Panther Run Elementary School in Pembroke Pines, Fla. Across the country, schools have increased security after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., last year.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:05 pm

As parents send their kids off to school this fall, many are wondering what's been done since last year to make sure they're safe.

Many schools have embraced new security measures since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, from uniformed police on hallway patrol to shatterproof laminated windows.

'How Could This Have Happened?'

Bob Gay of Newtown, Conn., has a tattoo on his arm of his daughter Josephine's footprints as a baby and the number "2560," for the number of days she was alive.

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Pre-K Education
12:41 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Should Seattle Provide Universal Preschool?

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

On Wednesday, the Seattle City Council held its first committee meeting to consider a plan for providing universal preschool for three and four year olds. The effort is being led by Councilmember Tim Burgess.

Burgess told KUOW that "we know from all of the academic research that preschool for three and four year olds is a key step to prepare them to enter kindergarten, so they can learn and thrive throughout their education process."

Not everyone finds that research so convincing. Liv Finne of the Washington Policy's Education Center said, "the research has been exaggerated," and if Seattle moves forward with a plan to provide universal preschool, "we're not going to get the results that are being promised."

The Seattle City Council will continue to meet in the coming months. 

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School Safety
1:49 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

In Thurston And Snohomish Counties, Different Approaches To Keeping Schools Safe

Last year’s violent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, put school safety at the forefront. As the new school year begins, we take a look at two approaches to school safety in Washington state. David Hyde speaks with Rainier School District Superintendent Tim Garchow and Snohomish County Executive John Lovick.

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Education
10:08 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Should School Board Members Be Paid?

Long hours. Little pay. And lots of public scrutiny.

Sounds like a dream job right?

Well it's often the very real experience of school board members, especially here in Seattle. But part of that job description could change. State Representative Reuven Carlyle is considering a proposal that would pay school board members $42,000 per year – the same as state lawmakers. As of now, school board members are only eligible for reimbursements of up to $4,800 per year.

What are the benefits of paying school board members? Does it lead to student improvement? Thomas Alsbury is professor of educational administration and supervision at Seattle Pacific University. He talked with Ross Reynolds about what the research says.

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3:04 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

More Teachers Pay To Stock The Classroom Supply Closet

Lead in text: 
You might consider office supplies provided by your employer a given -- but not if you’re a teacher. A survey this year by the National School Supply and Equipment Association found that virtually all teachers -- 99.5 percent -- use their own money to buy basic classroom supplies. Last school year, teachers shelled out an average of $485 over the course of a year.
One lesson virtually all teachers have learned: if you want your classroom up to snuff, you're going to have to spend your own money.
Puzzles
1:41 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

This Is Not Math, It's Love

Dan Finkel, perpetuating the joy of math.
Math For Love

You’ve heard that America must train its children for careers in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. But math is not just a stable, sensible career.

Seattle educator Dan Finkel says math is a joy. If it’s a drag, why would you inflict it on your child?

Finkel and his wife, Katherine Cook, run an education program called Math For Love. Long before he got his PhD in math from the University of Washington, he was a kid, wondering why he was learning math in school.


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School Starts On Time
8:09 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Seattle Teachers Agree To New Contract On Eve Of First Day Of School

Seattle Education Association union members listen to debate of their contract offers September 3 at Benaroya Hall.
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.

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Back-To-School Bargaining
4:48 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

The Seattle Teachers Union Votes Today On Tentative Agreement

Seattle's teachers union's vote tonight will determine if school will be in session tomorrow as scheduled.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

The Seattle teachers union and the school district have reached a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract. The union will vote on the agreement today, on the eve of the first scheduled day of school. Marcie Sillman talks with Ballard high school teacher, Noam Gundle and Chris Eide, executive director of independent teachers group Teachers United, to get their perspectives on the agreement.

 

Sillman also spoke with KUOW reporter Ann Dornfeld who explained the main issues surfacing in the contract negotiations.

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Back-to-School Bargaining
9:10 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Seattle Teachers, District Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

Seattle School District headquarters
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.

Union Showdown
8:46 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Seattle Teachers Reject District's Contract Offer

Seattle teachers voted against the district's contract offer on August 26 at Benaroya Hall.
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.

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Film and Books
6:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Isabella Rossellini, Creativity With Sir Ken Robinson And George R.R. Martin

Flickr Photo/Sharyn Morrow

Actor, Model Isabella Rossellini On Making “Green Pornos”

Isabella Rossellini became famous for high-fashion modeling and for her acting roles in over 60 films and television shows. But she also makes films about sex. Specifically, the sex lives of animals. From the elephant seal to the little anchovy — all erotic encounters are on the table. Isabella Rossellini joined us back in 2009.

Sir Ken Robinson On Creativity

"All children are born artists. The problem is to remain artists as we grow up," says Sir Ken Robinson, an international expert on creativity. School, he says, encourages us to become good workers, not creative thinkers. So how do we fix it? Marcie Sillman talked with Sir Robinson in 2009 about his book, "The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything," and the challenges of teaching creativity.  

A Conversation With "Game Of Thrones" Author George R.R. Martin

With HBO's "Game of Thrones," George R.R. Martin's world of Westeros is seducing TV viewers much as it captured readers. Martin began writing science fiction stories in the 1970s, and early on his stories were nominated for awards. Raised in a housing project in New Jersey, he used to write monster tales for the neighborhood kids. Steve Scher talked with George Martin in 2012.

Rural Medicine
3:25 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Rural Residency Shortage Means Doctors-In-Training Move Away

Vaughn Bullfinch. Medical resident Vaughn Bullfinch considers himself lucky to have residency spot in a rural Northwest hospital in an area where he hopes to settle down.

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:14 pm

For decades, rural parts of the Northwest have found it difficult to lure doctors to small towns. Community leaders in Yakima, Wash. went so far as to found a small medical school to train doctors to practice in these underserved areas.

The Pacific Northwest University opened in 2006. But there is a problem. Small towns throughout the region just don’t have enough residency programs. And that means many of these doctors-in-training may move away.

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Union Showdown
12:39 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Contract Talks Stall Between Seattle Teachers And District

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.

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Early Learning
10:46 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Seattle City Council To Consider Universal Preschool Proposal

Preschool students at the UW West Campus Children's Center.
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.

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