Education

LA Schools To Apple: You Owe Us

Apr 16, 2015

The Los Angeles Unified School District is demanding that Apple Inc. refund millions of dollars for Pearson software that had been loaded onto iPads for the district's 650,000 students.

If an agreement on the dispute cannot be reached, the nation's second-largest school district could take Apple to court.

Two years after the district launched the most expansive school technology initiative in the country, its attorney said it is "extremely dissatisfied" with the work of Pearson, the publisher of the Common Core learning software.

Students at the Fiddleheads, an outdoor school at the Washington Park Arboretum.
Fiddleheads Family Nature School

Seattle is beginning to experiment with an unorthodox concept – outdoor preschool.

All day, all year round. Three- and 4-year-old kids would learn outside and in parks. It's more than recess – it's an outdoor classroom.

Test pencil
Flickr Photo/mammal (CC-BY-NC-ND)

If you don’t like standardized tests, how should we assess our kids’ learning? Do we really want to ban all cell phone use in the car, or do we just say we do? And can a flotilla of kayaks block a giant oil derrick-pulling cargo carrier?

Bill Radke debates this week’s news with KIRO 7’s Essex Porter, Crosscut’s Knute Berger and Seattle Channel’s Joni Balter.

Test pencil
Flickr Photo/mammal (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Seattle Superintendent Larry Nyland about the new state standardized test. 

Also, RadioActive reporter Ahlaam Ibraahim asks students what they think about the new test. 

Memorials for six students of the Seattle Interagency Academy who have died in recent months.
Courtesy of Kaaren Andrews

Marcie Sillman speaks with Katy Sewall about six students who in the last six months have died as a result of suicide or murder. All six students were members of the Seattle Interagency Academy, a network of several small high schools in the Seattle Public Schools. Sewall interviewed Kaaren Andrews, the principal of Interagency Academy for Crosscut.

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KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s the day before state testing, and the Dimpsey and Rasche kids gather for a playdate in Kirkland.

Pearl, a third-grader at Peter Kirk Elementary, won’t take the test. “If people didn’t know it was such a big test then I think they would actually do a better job,” she says.

Scantron test
Flickr Photo/biologycorner (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Katie Brown, an English language learner teacher at Shuksan Middle School in Bellingham, and Ross Reynolds talks to Lyon Terry, a fourth grade teacher at Lawton Elementary school in Seattle, about the challenges and advantages of the new Smarter Balanced Assessment test that students across Washington state will take this spring. 

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Kim Ward, the dean of communication and transitional studies at Tacoma Community College, about High School 21+, the state's new GED alternative program.

At an Institute for Family Health center near Union Square in New York City, medical student Sara Stream asks a new patient named Alicia what brings her in. The 34-year-old woman arrived last summer from Guatemala, and says she hasn't been seen by a doctor in many years.

Her list of ailments is long.

"I have trouble seeing, headaches, problems with my stomach," says Alicia, who declined to use her full name, because she is in the country illegally. "I feel depressed."

Mexican-American toddlers born in the U.S. do not develop nearly as fast as white toddlers when it comes to language and pre-literacy skills. That's the main finding of a new study by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley.

Why Does Seattle Have So Few Kids?

Apr 7, 2015

Marcie Sillman speaks with journalist Alan Greenblatt about the lack of children in Seattle. Greenblatt recently wrote about the issue for Governing Magazine.

The Oregon Senate voted Thursday to lower the age that children have to enroll in school from age seven to age six.

A department at UW uses reverse engineering to improve flight technology based on nature.
Flickr Photo/Steve Edwards (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Tom Daniel, director of the University of Washington Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas, about how reverse engineering biology can improve flight technology.

No school wants to be on this list.

It was just released by the Department of Education. On it are the names of 556 colleges and universities that failed the department's "financial responsibility test."

Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell says that each school's finances are now being placed under a microscope because the government "had serious concerns about the financial integrity of the institution or its administrative capacity."

The Youth Services Center on Capitol Hill in Seattle.
Howard S. Wright/King County

The county is proceeding with its plans to develop a new family justice center, despite ongoing protests. 

The building includes a juvenile detention center, and that’s upset a lot of people who say we shouldn’t be locking up kids, a disproportionate number of whom are African American. Criticisms by protesters have inspired the county to try to reform the system.

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