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schools and education

Matthew and Mariah Hicks attend Lowell Elementary School in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, where they are just two of the school's many homeless students.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Lowell Elementary School sits across from million-dollar houses on a quiet street in Capitol Hill. But this school serves some of the poorest children in the city.

At first glance, Mu Delta Alpha might seem like any Greek organization on UT-Austin’s campus.

It has letters, colors – teal, white and peach – and had rush week last month. While that may be pretty typical for a sorority, Mu Delta Alpha is different. It’s the first Muslim sorority on the University of Texas campus.


Petula Lou of Bellevue stands with other protesters outside of the Hyatt Regency where Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at the Washington Policy Center's annual gala on Friday, October 13, 2017, in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Hundreds gathered outside of the Hyatt Regency hotel on Bellevue Way on Friday, October 13 to protest Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was speaking at the Washington Policy Center's annual gala. 

Why was I taught sex ed by a man who uses the word 'slut'?

Oct 12, 2017
Credit: Prelinger Archives. https://archive.org/details/parent_to_child_about_sex

Sex is everywhere. But many people still think teens aren’t ready to handle the #Truth.

RadioActive takes a look into how we value and define virginity, and the push for abstinence-only education.


The recess bell rings at the Akha elementary school in Mosul and children come thundering out of the classroom. It's the first day of school.

An ordinary scene, except it hasn't happened for three years in this city. Iraqi forces drove ISIS fighters out of Mosul earlier this year in a battle that destroyed huge parts of the northern city, including hundreds of schools.

"None of us went to school when ISIS was here — we stayed at home," says Ali, who is in sixth grade. "It feels good to be back."

Claire Dederer and Vanessa Grigoriadis at University Lutheran Church
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

This talk by and discussion with author Vanessa Grigoriadis explores the complicated politics of modern sexuality. It pushes the conversation toward the establishment of healthier, more informed attitudes about sex and consent in an often confusing social landscape.

There are nearly 700,000 people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and Thursday is the final deadline for them to renew their DACA status, which the Trump Administration announced would be discontinued unless Congress steps in to save it.

Bill Radke talks to Chris Quintana, reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, about protests on college campuses like the ones at Evergreen State College that lead to the sanctioning of 80 students. 

Did Washington’s prepaid Guaranteed Education Tuition program give VIP service to state lawmakers with accounts?

Suzanne Bouffard's new book, The Most Important Year, may be just what parents of preschoolers have been waiting for: a guide to what a quality pre-K program should look like.

Bouffard spent a lot of time in classrooms watching teachers do some really good things and some not-so-good things.

What are some of the things you learned?

Dulce Palma, right, and classmates join a walkout to support undocumented students.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Students at several high schools in Seattle staged a walkout Thursday in support of their undocumented classmates.

This comes in response to the Trump administration’s phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and a looming October 5 deadline for current DACA recipients to renew their temporary waivers one last time.

Who, exactly, is a university teacher? What defines teaching? And how should the profession evolve in an age of rising tuition, worldwide connectivity, and fast-changing job markets?

Surprisingly, a recent federal audit of Western Governors University raises these questions.

The school was founded 20 years ago by a consortium of states; it's a nonprofit, online-only institution that has racked up accolades, becoming a national role model for its innovative and low-cost focus on working adults.

University of Washington campus at night.
Flickr Photo/Alireza Borhani (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/GgzJYf

Sexual assault has been “a scourge on American (college) campuses” for generations, according to Vanessa Grigoriadis, the author of "Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus."

The Trump Administration announced Friday it's revoking federal guidance on how campuses investigate sexual assault.

Schools now have the option to require clear evidence that what an accuser says is true, called "the clear and convincing evidence" standard. That's a higher burden of proof than the Obama-era rules.

When Alexia Boggs was applying to law school, she initially considered all the big specialties, but none of them seemed quite right.

"I was looking for a field of law where none of my family could ever seek my help," she says, sarcastic but also not really joking.

The federal government is just beginning to enforce the Obama-era education rule called Every Student Succeeds Act. The measure replaces the No Child Left Behind Act.

The letters "CFPB" may not be much more than alphabet soup to your average student loan borrower. They stand for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new-ish federal agency — created in 2011 — with a unique mission and a big effect on student lenders and for-profit colleges accused of defrauding or otherwise mistreating Americans.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect in a shooting at Freeman High School outside Spokane, Washington, that left one student dead and three others injured Wednesday was “obsessed” with school shootings. 



Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich wore two loops of powder blue and white ribbon—the school’s colors—pinned to this chest as he briefed reporters in front of the courthouse. He said the 15-year-old suspected gunman got “sucked into a counter culture of violence.” 



Aaliyah Konick, a senior at Nova, poses for a portrait on Thursday, September 7, 2017, outside of Nova high school in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

“Punk isn’t dead,” said Mariam Elbortoukaly, a sophomore at The Nova Project, an alternative Seattle high school in the Central District.

The Department of Education will change its approach to campus sexual misconduct and begin a public notice and comment process to issue new regulations, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced today. In a speech at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, DeVos decried "a system run amok," "kangaroo courts" and repeatedly emphasized the plight of the accused. "One rape is one too many ... one person denied due process is one too many," she said. Outside, protesters yelled, "Stop protecting rapists!"

A bit of background.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Tuesday formally announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also called DACA — putting an expiration date on the legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 people known as "DREAMers," who entered the country illegally as children.

President Trump issued a statement, saying, "I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."

The Evergreen State College in Olympia begins this school year with a drop in enrollment and an imminent hiring freeze. The conservative blogosphere is crowing that it's fallout from recent campus unrest, but the university administration disagrees.

Kent schools act after Muslim staffers get hate mail

Aug 31, 2017

Hate mail sent to Muslim staffers at Kent schools prompted a response from the district this week as students returned to class.

This past weekend a Muslim woman who is an assistant principal at an elementary school received a hateful email.

As Washington state prepares to reopen its popular pre-paid college tuition program, a recently terminated employee is alleging “gross mismanagement.”

Michael Bennion served as the associate director for fiscal planning at the state’s Guaranteed Education Tuition program until he was let go earlier this month.

College Money
Flickr Photo/SalFalko (CC BY-NC-ND)

Last year Bernie Sanders made free college tuition the centerpiece of his presidential campaign. Now, a candidate for Seattle mayor wants to make that idea hers.  

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan is calling for "free college tuition for every graduate of Seattle public high schools.”


Flickr Photo/USDAgov (CC-BY-NC-ND)

With the new school year just around the corner, one Seattle school lunch advocate has plenty to celebrate. 

There are more than 60 schools in the U.S. with names tied to the Confederate South. One school, Robert E. Lee Elementary, is right here in the Northwest.

Flickr photo / JoeinSouthernCA http://bit.ly/2wlFEJW

On the surface, the city of Seattle seems to celebrate diversity, but Seattle's Garfield High School tells a different story.

From the effects of historic housing discrimination, to the current academic tracking program that separates Advanced Placement from "regular" classes, and the drama department's production of a Latinx play with a non-Latinx cast, current and former students talk about how racism manifests at the school. 

Washington lawmakers passed a budget this summer that aims to fully fund basic education.

But some argue it may hurt teacher recruitment in more rural districts, where teacher attrition is high and the local pool of candidates is often small. 

In Cowlitz County, school districts often recruit teachers from places as far away as Vancouver or Portland.

Longview Schools Superintendent Dan Zorn said he relies on hiring teachers from outside counties to fill the 450 teaching positions in his district.

Graduates of the International Rescue Committee summer school program, including Ikran Osman, 5, center, sit in the cafeteria before a graduation ceremony on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at Showalter Middle School in Tukwila.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last year more than 1,700 refugees entering Washington state were school aged children. But many of them were not ready for the classroom.

For nearly a decade, a resettlement program has been running summer school in Tukwila for refugee kids to help them get ready to learn.

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