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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Caitlin Moran. Caitlin Moran is the community engagement editor for Education Lab. She joined The Seattle Times staff in September 2013 after three years running hyperlocal news websites at Patch. Contact Caitlin to find out how you can contribute to the local conversation surrounding education.

July 21, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Round-up: Seattle selects interim schools chief, Obama expands program for black and Latino boys

Seattle board names Larry Nyland as interim superintendent: Nyland, a longtime local educator who retired as superintendent of the Marysville School District last year, is set to take over as chief of Seattle Public Schools on Aug. 1. The Seattle School Board is expected to begin searching for a permanent superintendent in September and make a decision next spring.

Obama to expand initiative for black and Latino boys (The New York Times): Sixty of the country’s largest school districts will join an education initiative called My Brother’s Keeper, the White House will announce today. The effort targets black and Latino boys and calls for expanded preschool access, data-based interventions and better representation in AP and other advanced programs.

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July 18, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Round-up: Banda’s replacement will be named today, UW draws women into computer science

Announcement expected today on interim Seattle superintendent: The Seattle School Board will meet this afternoon to select a temporary replacement for outgoing chief José Banda. The Sacramento City Unified School District officially hired Banda as its new superintendent during a Thursday board meeting. Seattle’s interim superintendent will start work immediately and continue through at least June 2015.

UW finds success drawing women into computer science (The New York Times): The University of Washington is one of a few colleges leading the way in an effort to get more female students interested in studying computer science. Along with programs aimed at high-school students, a revamped introductory course is causing women who had not planned on being computer science majors to switch to the field.

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July 17, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Round-up: Schools start cooking from scratch, community-college students struggle to get loans

Spokane-area schools adapt to new food regulations (The Spokesman-Review): Since the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act went into effect, school districts around the country have had to re-examine the way they purchase and prepare food. In Cheney, school chefs switched to preparing meals from scratch, a move the district says has helped it save money and get kids to eat healthier.

Community-college students struggle to secure federal loans (NPR): Getting a federal loan to pay for school can be especially tough for community-college students. Many two-year schools opt not to participate in federal lending programs because high student default rates could cause them to lose other forms of federal aid, such as Pell grants and work-study funding.

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July 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Your voices: Students talk about experiences with for-profit colleges

Ashley Kyle of Everett said she found her pharmacy-tech teacher lacking and taught herself. Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times.

Ashley Kyle of Everett said she found her pharmacy-tech teacher lacking and taught herself. Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times.

Corrected version

Education Lab recently asked readers to share their experiences — positive or negative — with for-profit colleges and universities.

The request was tied to news that Corinthian Colleges, which operates a handful of Washington schools under the name Everest College, was under investigation from the U.S. Department of Education.

Since then, the two parties have reached an agreement that calls for Corinthian to put 85 of its campuses, including schools in Everett, Seattle, Bremerton, Tacoma, Renton and Vancouver, up for sale.

Several current and former students wrote to us saying Everest had misrepresented their chances of finding a job after graduation. One Everest student, Ashley Kyle, wrote in to say the school did little to help her prepare for the national pharmacy-technician exam. “They took advantage of me being really naive,” said Kyle, who will be paying $300 a month in student loans for the next 10 years.

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July 16, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Round-up: Seven groups file charter-school proposals, judges uphold affirmative-action ruling

Seven groups file charter-school proposals (AP): Tuesday was the deadline for the second round of charter-school applications in Washington state, and seven groups filed proposals for new schools. The state’s first charter school, approved along with six others in January, is expected to open this fall in Seattle.

Judges uphold U. of Texas affirmative-action ruling (The New York Times): A panel of federal appeals judges has upheld an earlier ruling allowing the University of Texas at Austin to use race as a factor in admissions decisions. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that public universities could consider race under certain conditions but sent the University of Texas case to the appeals court to ensure the school was using race narrowly enough.

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July 15, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Round-up: UW study finds babies practice speech at 7 months, schools brace for immigrant influx

UW study finds babies practice speech before they can talk: Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences are continuing to uncover new information about how babies’ brains work. Their latest finding: Children begin mentally working out the mechanics of how to speak starting at around 7 months old.

Urban schools brace for influx of unaccompanied minors (AP): Schools in metropolitan areas across the country are bracing for an increase in unaccompanied children immigrating to the U.S. The federal government estimates about 90,000 children from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and other countries could make the journey this fall.

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July 14, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Videos: Watch Lakeridge teachers in action

The Teaching Channel, a nonprofit organization that highlights different approaches to education, has featured several Lakeridge Elementary teachers on its website. Below is a sampling of a few of the teachers in action. (Go here for the full story on Lakeridge’s approach to math instruction.)

From top to bottom, Lynn Simpson teaches a lesson about division; Teresa Tse shares strategies for counting; and Drew Crandall helps students reason through the relationship between multiplication and division.

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July 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Video: Making math make sense at Lakeridge Elementary

Our most recent Education Lab story examines how a focus on ensuring students understand math concepts has helped raise students’ math skills at Lakeridge Elementary in the Renton School District.

With assistance from UW researcher Elham Kazemi and some of her colleagues, Lakeridge educators have design many math lessons as carefully guided conversations in which students talk through their reasoning and critique each other’s ideas. The results? In two years, the school’s performance on state math tests jumped from the bottom 5 percent to somewhere near average.

Check out the video below, and go here to read the full story.

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July 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Round-up: AG Ferguson defends lawmakers on McCleary, teacher-tenure fight gains momentum

WA attorney general defends Legislature on McCleary (AP): Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a brief on Friday arguing the Legislature should not be held in contempt of the state Supreme Court regarding its response to the McCleary decision. “The Court should not treat a legitimate policy disagreement in the legislative branch as disrespectful conduct worthy of contempt,” the brief said.

Teacher-tenure fight gains momentum (AP): A California judge’s June ruling on teacher-tenure laws in that state is already having a ripple effect elsewhere in the country. A lawsuit that also claims teacher job protections violate children’s civil rights has been filed in New York, and parent activists in Pennsylvania and Connecticut say they are preparing similar suits.

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