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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.

November 21, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Videos: College students share struggles, triumphs at Education Lab event

On Nov. 15, five local college students appeared before an audience at the University of Washington to share their journeys of achieving college access despite significant challenges and set-backs. “Storytellers: How I Got into College” was hosted as part of the UW Dream Project’s Admissions Workshop Weekend, an annual event that brings dozens of high-school students from throughout King County to UW for assistance completing their college applications.

Go here for a written recap and photos from the evening’s program. Videos of each storyteller are posted below.

Jenée Myers Twitchell, director of the Dream Project, kicked off the event by sharing the story of her own upbringing in Yakima. “My story is filled with addicts,” she said. “Pretty much everybody in my family had gone through or needed to go through rehab.”

Her own struggles inspired her to begin working with local youth and start the Dream Project.

“I didn’t want it be about luck. I didn’t want getting to college to be about, ‘I just hope I meet the right person,'” she said.

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November 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Round-up: Seattle pre-K program won’t include transportation, shooting at Florida State

Seattle preschool program won’t include transportation: Mayor Ed Murray says Seattle remains committed to a diverse mix of students in its subsidized preschool program, despite a lack of funds for bus transportation. Murray’s new Office of Education and Early Learning is set to present a detailed implementation plan for the program to the city council by Feb. 23.

Alumnus shoots three at Florida State University (AP): Three people were injured early Thursday morning after a Florida State University alumnus opened fire in the school’s library. The gunman was shot and killed by police.

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November 19, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Round-up: Whitman investigated over Title IX compliance, college applicants clean up digital profiles

Whitman College joins list of schools investigated under Title IX: The private, liberal-arts college located in Walla Walla is one of 86 schools around the U.S. being investigated over the handling of sexual-violence and harassment complaints. A student who called The Seattle Times said she made the complaint after the college did not take disciplinary action against a student whom she accused of sexually assaulting her.

College applicants cleaning up their act on social media (The New York Times): College admissions officers say they are finding less incriminating material in the social-media pages of applicants. In a survey of 403 admissions officers, 35 percent said they had visited an applicant’s social-media profile, but just 16 percent said they found something that hurt the potential students’ chances of being admitted.

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November 18, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Round-up: Common Core brings changes to reading lessons, mayor calls for collaboration with district

Common Core brings changes to reading instruction (NPR): Teachers like Amy Wertheimer in Washington, D.C., are shifting the way they teach reading in response to the new Common Core standards. In Wertheimer’s fifth-grade classroom, students read through nonfiction, “informational texts” together and answer comprehension-based questions as a group.

Mayor Murray calls for collaboration with district officials (KPLU): The Seattle City Council is set to approve a plan next week that would create a city Department of Education and Early Learning. “This isn’t about turf,”  Murray said during a “State of the District” speech Monday evening.

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November 17, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Round-up: Report finds 1 out of 30 U.S. children homeless, Dorn wants to ax graduation testing

One in every 30 U.S. children is homeless, report finds (AP): The number of homeless children is now at an all-time high in the U.S., according to a report released Monday by the National Center on Family Homelessness. The report cites lack of affordable housing and pervasive domestic violence as two main contributors to the increase.

State education chief wants to do away with graduation testing (The News Tribune): Randy Dorn, Washington’s superintendent of public instruction, wants the Legislature to move away from its plan to require high-school students to pass Common Core tests in language arts and math in order to graduate. Dorn said he doesn’t think Common Core tests should be used for graduation because they are designed to measure students’ readiness for college, not their basic high-school proficiency.

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November 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Round-up: State ed board says it needs new revenue for McCleary, college tuition climbing upward

State education board says it needs new revenue to fund McCleary (The Columbian): Ben Rarick, executive director of the Washington State Board of Education, says it’s unlikely that projected revenue growth will give the state enough money to comply with the Washington Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. “New revenue is going to have to be part of the picture,” he said.

College tuition continuing to creep upward (AP): Undergraduate students attending a four-year school in state are now paying $18,943 each year, on average, including room and board. Adjusted for inflation, that rate is more than triple what students paid 30 years ago, according to a report from the College Board.

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November 12, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Round-up: Feds direct states to examine teacher quality, students study from home on snow days

Feds direct states to focus on equity in hiring teachers (The New York Times): The Obama administration has issued a letter to state superintendents directing them to develop plans to bring high-quality teachers to schools with a high proportion of poor students and racial minorities. Federal officials are also asking states to examine teacher evaluations and whether higher-rated teachers are more concentrated in affluent areas.

Schools begin to install ‘active shooter’ technology (AP): An elementary school in Methuen, Mass., is one of the first few schools to receive “active shooter” systems from Shooter Detection Systems, a Massachusetts-based company. The technology includes audio sensors that can detect the sound of gunfire and instantly alert emergency personnel.

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November 11, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Round-up: Community colleges enroll influx of veterans, UW regents change meeting location

Washington community colleges enroll influx of veterans: In the past four years, Washington’s community colleges have enrolled 19,702 military veterans — more than all the state’s four-year schools combined. Many are studying under the post-9/11 GI Bill while also working part-time and raising families, and some founder as students while trying to keep up with all their other responsibilities.

UW regents change dinner meeting spots amid public-access concerns: Regents at the University of Washington will no longer hold regular dinner meetings at the off-campus home of UW President Michael Young after a lawsuit was filed over the practice. The meetings are now being held at the UW Club, a nonprofit campus social club.

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November 10, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Round-up: UW maxed out on computer-science space, class-size initiative widens lead

UW seeks more space for computer-science students: An influx of students has filled the University of Washington’s Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering to capacity just 11 years after the building opened. Now, the university is seeking private and public funding to build a new computer-science facility on the Seattle campus. Class-size…

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November 7, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Round-up: Class-size initiative takes narrow lead, man charged in UW threats case

Center School principal found not at fault in explosive incident: The principal of a small public Seattle high school is back on the job after being put on administrative leave while district officials investigated her actions during a recent safety incident. A 15-year-old student who allegedly brought a Molotov cocktail to class on Oct. 27 has pleaded guilty to possession of an incendiary device.

Class-size initiative takes narrow lead: Initiative 1351 is now leading by 4,660 votes out of 1.62 million that have been counted. State officials say they have 337,703 ballots in hand that still need to be tallied.

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