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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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Seattle School Board
9:18 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Crowds Turn Out For Board Meeting Weeks Before School Begins

Umojafest P.E.A.C.E. Center founder K. Wyking Garrett addresses the Seattle School Board Wednesday.
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.

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Education Reform
6:00 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Washington Schools At "High Risk" Of Losing No Child Left Behind Waiver

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.

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Big Science Cash Prize
6:17 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Retired UW Professor Wins International Cash Prize For Ecology Work

UW Biology Professor Emeritus Robert T. Paine poses with the starfish that were the subject of his International Cosmos Prize-winning research.
Credit Courtesy of the University of Washington

Ecologists worldwide credit the work of a University of Washington biology professor for advancing the way we understand the importance of so-called “apex species” in nature. Now Professor Emeritus Robert T. Paine’s work is being recognized with Japan’s International Cosmos Prize this year.

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Contract Negotiations
8:16 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Seattle Teachers’ Union, District Still Far Apart In Contract Talks

Seattle School District headquarters.
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.

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