Education

Mayor's Office

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday plans to create a cabinet level department that will focus on closing the achievement gaps in Seattle Public Schools.

“Ninety percent of white fourth graders read at grade level, compared to 56 percent of African-American students,” Murray said at a press conference. “And when you open up those numbers by gender, they actually get worse.”

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

In low income schools where parents might not speak English, it’s common for parents to not show up for meetings.

And it’s common for educators to throw up their hands and say, “Well, they must not care.”

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Ross Reynolds talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the ongoing showdown between the Washington State Supreme Court and state lawmakers over funding public education.

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What job are you qualified for after 12 years of public education in the U.S.?

“Not many, maybe minimum wage,” said Robert Bentley, 20, who lives on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Even as the national unemployment rate has fallen, youth unemployment remains high. The youth unemployment rate in July was over 14 percent. For black youths, it was nearly 25 percent.

An Autistic Teen's Guide To Impersonating Michael Jackson

Aug 27, 2014
Courtesy of Lorenzo Manuel

It was homecoming dance at Roosevelt High School, and the Roosevelt football team had just been crushed. As it started getting late, the energy sunk even lower. People were mostly slow dancing; it was all Taylor Swift at that point.

Just then, a familiar tune started to play. The thinning crowd began to roar. A spotlight came on. As the first lyrics of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" shook the room, a skinny kid with short brown hair and a sparkly glove began to dance.

This fall, Seattle voters will choose between two early childhood education ballot initiatives. If you want to weigh in on the issue, you'll have to pick a favorite – even if you want neither to pass. KUOW Education Reporter Ann Dornfeld gives us the latest on the two competing ballot initiatives .

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with University of Washington President Michael Young for an annual check-in. In this installment, he discusses a planned $124 million underground animal research laboratory on the Seattle campus and the expansion of the university's five-state medical program in Spokane. 

Last week, he discussed sexual assault policies and the state of athletic compensation at the university.

Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with University of Washington President Michael Young for an annual check-in. In this installment, he discusses sexual assault policies and the state of athletic compensation at the university.

Call it a sign of the times that right along with required writing core courses, incoming freshmen at most schools this fall will also face a mandatory crash course on the subject of sexual assault.

Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC-BY-NC-ND)

There’s more discussion this week about a potential new school in downtown Seattle. As KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld reports, the idea is controversial.

Teacher effectiveness is a hot topic in education circles right now. How do you measure it, and how can you improve it? What type of teachers should schools keep, and who should they let go?

Elizabeth Green says that it's not, as some people assume, a question of personality or charisma. Great teachers are not born, they're made, she says — and there's much more to teaching than being "good" or "bad" at it. Her book, Building a Better Teacher, explores teaching as a craft and shows just how complicated that craft can be.

Some doctors in the state of California will soon be able to practice after three years of medical school instead of the traditional four. The American Medical Association is providing seed money for the effort in the form of a $1 million, five-year grant to the University of California at Davis.

Student Ngabo Nzigira is in his sixth week of medical school and he's already interacting with patients during training with a doctor at Kaiser Permanente in Sacramento.

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

More and more research suggests that healthy playtime leads to healthy adulthood.

Childhood play is essential for brain development. As we've reported this week, time on the playground may be more important than time in the classroom.

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