public education

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 Funding
7:45 am
Wed March 19, 2014

District Rescinds Planned Staffing Cuts At Seattle Schools

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Seattle Public Schools has rescinded staffing cuts it planned to make at schools across the district.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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Education Funding
4:52 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Budgets Voted Down In Protest Of Staffing Cuts At Seattle Schools

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.

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Education Reform
9:17 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Charter Commission Advised To Approve Only Six Schools Thursday

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.

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Education Reform
5:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Parents Pack Meetings With Charter School Hopefuls

Parents in a packed room listen to public testimony regarding proposed charter schools in the Seattle area at South Seattle Community College on Monday.
Ann Dornfeld KUOW

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

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K-12 Funding
9:01 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Supreme Court To State: Figure Out Education Funding By April

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.

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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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Watchdog
1:09 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

State Deal To Give Media Organizations Student Data Alarms Privacy Experts

Students in a PE class at Salmon Bay K-8 School in Seattle. KUOW has learned that the Washington state schools office in Olympia has signed agreements to share non-public student data with media organizations.
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.

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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
5:13 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

22 Contenders Vie To Become State's First Charter Schools

Thirty-one schools, as shown above, filed a notice of intent with the state to establish a charter school, over half of which would be in either King or Pierce county. Twenty-two schools completed applications by Friday's deadline.
Credit 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.

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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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Education
2:03 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Is Pitbull 'Mr. Education'? Rapper Opens Charter School In Miami

Pitbull is one of a growing list of celebrities who have opened their wallets or given their names to charter schools.
Jeff Daly AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 6:52 am

Rapper Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) is the latest in a long list of celebrities lending their star power to the flourishing charter school movement. Alicia Keyes, Denzel Washington, Shakira, Oprah — all support or sponsor charter schools.

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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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