Ann Dornfeld

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2008

Ann Dornfeld covers education for KUOW.

She previously worked as a roving freelance public radio reporter, focusing on environmental issues, for KUOW and national shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Environment Report and Marketplace. Ann has reported on a rare bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico, penguin habitat loss in South Africa, mangrove destruction in the U.S. Virgin Islands, coral reef conservation in Bonaire and invasive lionfish in the Bahamas. She covered a major earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, for NPR News and The World.

Before that, Ann was a reporter and Morning Edition host at KLCC Public Radio in Eugene, Oregon, and had internships at KUOW and Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start spinning hip-hop records at the radio station of Oregon State University, where she majored in biology and environmental sciences.

She has won awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, The Associated Press and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. Ann has received both investigative and data reporting awards from the Education Writers Association for her coverage of ongoing recess cutbacks and physical education shortages in Seattle-area schools.

Ways to Connect

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Many Seattle elementary schools are doing away with homework this fall, citing a growing body of evidence that take-home assignments tend not to help elementary and middle school students.

Seven-year-old Rilo is a first-grader at Whittier Elementary in Ballard, where the school year began with an announcement from the principal that the teachers had voted to do away with nearly all homework.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Most teens in Seattle Public Schools get to sleep in this year - at least, relative to years past. After years of pressure from parents, teachers and sleep experts, the district flipped its bell times so that nearly all middle and high schools start at 8:45 a.m., and most elementary schools begin at 7:55 a.m. That's the opposite schedule from years past, when many elementary students didn't start until 9:30.

Parents in Washington state may notice another measurement along with their students’ state test scores this year. The student growth percentile (SGP) is meant to compare a child’s learning to their peers. 

The King County Council has unanimously approved the master plan for the $400 million Best Starts for Kids initiative voters passed last fall.

Half of the Best Starts for Kids funding will go toward early childhood efforts, like programs that send nurses on regular home visits with low-income moms and babies, a new system for infant and young child mental health, and increased spending on public health services for pregnant women and children.

John Muir Elementary in Seattle, where 48 percent of the students are black.
Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf http://bit.ly/2cLugNE (CC BY-ND 2.0)

An event at a South Seattle school aimed at inspiring students of color has been canceled after John Muir Elementary received an online threat.

Erin Jones, left, and Chris Reykdal are running for state schools chief in Washington state. Jones has been under fire for her comments on gender curriculum.
Campaign photographs

Q. Erin Jones and Chris Reykdal are the two candidates for state schools chief. So let's get to know them. What do you know about Reykdal?

Reykdal is a three-term Democratic state representative from Tumwater.

He’s been a teacher, and he’s vice-chair of the House Education Committee.


School supplies
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW education reporter Ann Dornfeld about why Washington asks its students to help supply their schools. 

Washington requires traditional supplies meant for individual use, like a 24-pack of crayons and some spiral bound notebooks, as well as more unusual supplies meant to be shared by the classroom, like one jumbo pack of napkins, two bottles of hand sanitizer and two reams of copy paper. 

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW economy reporter Carolyn Adolph about Joe Sutter, the Boeing engineer who led the development of the 747, the biggest airplane the world had ever seen.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum called Sutter "the father of the 747," and gave him the 2013 Lifetime Achievement award.

Scantron test sheet
Flickr Photo/COCOEN daily photos (Cc-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW education reporter Ann Dornfeld about the most recent Washington State report card.

Students who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a statewide test for public school students, did better on average this year. Still, approximately half of elementary school students are not meeting the standard in math, and they're not doing much better in English language arts.

Sylvia and Ernie would have made a prettier pie, but this one, made by a crust novice, was amazingly delicious.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

My parents almost always have a pie in the cupboard: apple in the fall, pumpkin in the winter, rhubarb in the spring and blackberry in the summer. My mom makes the crust. My dad makes the filling. I’ve never had a pie approaching the quality of theirs.

Audio Pending...

Growing up in Seattle I spent summer evenings like this picking blackberries.

These days I spend more time trying to fend off blackberry vines in my garden.

If you’ve tried to do that, you’ve probably found that following one long blackberry vine to the source leads to another heading a different direction.

A Satanist group said it’s planning to start after-school clubs at two Washington schools this fall.

The Satanic Temple said it’s bringing the After-School Satan club to schools across the country that now host the evangelical Christian Good News Club, including Centennial Elementary in Mount Vernon and Point Defiance Elementary in Tacoma.


A coalition of groups and lawmakers in Washington state is calling for a statewide ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, the type of gun used in recent mass shootings in Dallas, Tex., Orlando, Fla., Roseburg, Ore., and San Bernardino, Cal.

Washington state schools superintendent Randy Dorn filed a lawsuit Tuesday in King County Superior Court against seven school districts for using levy dollars to boost teacher salaries.

Dorn said the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision was clear: Under the state Constitution, teacher salaries must be funded by the Legislature, not levies. 

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Tim Burgess chat over playdough with preschoolers at Causey's Learning Center, one of the first Seattle Preschool Program providers.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Parents tend to get sticker-shock when it’s time to pay for child care.

Now it’s the city’s turn.

The city of Seattle is scaling back plans for its subsidized preschool program, one year into the four-year pilot, citing the need to pay providers more than expected.


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