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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.

October 30, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Round-up: Feds put new restrictions on for-profit schools, MPHS teacher issues statement

Feds announce ‘gainful employment’ rule for for-profit schools (AP): The Obama administration announced new regulations today for for-profit colleges and universities that benefit from federal student-aid programs. Under the new rules, schools must show that the annual loan payment of a typical graduate is less than 20 percent of his or her discretionary income or 8 percent of total earnings.

Bloomberg aims to improve college access (NPR): Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced his charitable group is investing at least $10 million over the next two years to help more low-income students access and complete college. His plan focuses on building a network of advisers who can work with high-achieving students through the college application and financial-aid process.

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October 30, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Video: Watch a replay of LiveWire early learning panel

Did you miss The Seattle Times’ first LiveWire event? On Oct. 15, a panel of scientists and public officials gathered at Microsoft for a panel discussion about early learning and the brain research behind it.

TVW will air a full replay of the event at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 31, and 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1. TVW airs on Comcast channel 23 throughout western Washington.

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Comments | More in News, Video | Topics: early learning, I-LABS, livewire

October 29, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Round-up: Reclaiming school space part of healing, Truth Needle takes on pre-K mailers

Reclaiming school space part of healing process: After the shooting last spring at Seattle Pacific University, the school remodeled Otto Miller Hall, installing new carpet and furniture. Discussions about what to do with the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School are just beginning.

State Supreme Court will determine future of charter schools (AP): Justices heard arguments Tuesday on the state’s charter-schools law, prompted by a lawsuit from a coalition of teachers, parents and community groups. The case centers around the question of whether charter schools meet the constitutional definition of “common schools.”

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October 28, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Round-up: Tacoma student charged with tweeting threats, SPS will reassign Garfield teacher

Tacoma student charged with tweeting threats: A 16-year-old student at Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma has been charged with felony harassment after allegedly threatening on social media to “shoot up”his school. The teen told police he intended the announcement as a joke.

Seattle schools stick to plan to reassign Garfield teacherDespite protests by students and staff, Seattle Public Schools says it will still reassign one teacher from Garfield High School, which is overstaffed. PTA leaders at Garfield say they disagree with the decision but do not plan a fundraising effort to keep the teacher.

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October 27, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Round-up: SPS mulls cost of ‘free’ downtown school, high court will hear charter-school arguments

Seattle board mulling cost of ‘free’ downtown school: The Seattle school board will vote Nov. 5 on whether it will commit to acquiring a downtown federal building and turning it into an elementary school. The district would not pay anything for the building, but it estimates that renovation costs would total around $53 million.

State high court will hear charter-school arguments (AP): The Washington State Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether the state’s charter-school law is constitutional. A King County judge ruled last year that certain parts of the law were unconstitutional, and both sides opted to skip the appeals-court process and asked the Supreme Court to review the matter.

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October 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Tell a story about how you got into college at our Nov. 15 Storytellers event

Bellevue College student Melody Salcedo speaks on stage at a previous Education Lab storytelling event. Photo by Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times

Bellevue College student Melody Salcedo speaks on stage at a previous Education Lab storytelling event. Photo by Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times

Do you have an interesting story to share about getting into college? Education Lab is recruiting current students and recent grads to share short, inspirational tales about how they made a successful transition to higher education.

Selected speakers will get coaching and appear at our Nov. 15 event, Storytellers: How I Got Into College, at the University of Washington.

To send us your pitch, call 206-464-2057 and tell us about an obstacle you overcame to get into college. Your recording should be no more than two minutes and include your full name, phone number and email address.

The deadline to call in your pitch is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3. We will follow up with you by Thursday, Nov. 6, if we are interested in your story.

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Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: Dream Project, higher ed, storytellers

October 24, 2014 at 11:09 AM

How I Got Into College: Students will share stories Nov. 15

UW-Tacoma student Marcus Affleje shares his story at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photo by Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times.

UW-Tacoma student Marcus Affleje shares his story at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photo by Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times.

Are you a student dreaming of a degree but wondering how to get there? A parent wondering how to help your child get into college?

Education Lab is partnering with the University of Washington’s Dream Project to present Storytellers: How I Got Into College. The event is a revival of an inspiring Storytellers program we hosted last spring at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

This time around, the event will take place Saturday, Nov. 15, in Mary Gates Hall auditorium on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Current students and recent grads will deliver powerful individual stories on the theme: “How I overcame an obstacle to get into college.”

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Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: Dream Project, higher ed, storytellers

October 24, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Mystery no more: Kent’s superintendent headed to AVID

Edward Lee Vargas. Photo by Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times (2009)

Edward Lee Vargas. Photo by Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times (2009)

Outgoing Kent Superintendent Edward Lee Vargas is leaving the district to serve as executive vice president for AVID, a national non-profit that aims to turn average high-school students into college material.

AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is active in several Seattle-area districts, including Kent.

Vargas, who spent six years at the helm in Kent, announced his departure earlier this month but left his destination a mystery. He has been recognized for his efforts to increase the use of technology in Kent classrooms and was named state superintendent of the year for 2014.

A Kent spokesman said Vargas wasn’t granting interview requests until he gets closer to leaving.

His departure was announced not long before the resignation of a superintendent with a higher profile: Los Angeles’ John Deasy, who stepped down Oct. 16 after several clashes with the local school board and teachers’ union.

As the Los Angeles Times noted, Deasy is one of several urban school leaders facing intense pressure amid changes with standardized testing, charter schools and other controversial matters. One study, from the Council of the Great American Schools, says his 3 1/2 year tenure is about average for urban superintendents.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Edward Lee Vargas, Kent school district

October 23, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Round-up: National attention for Seattle preschool measures, Neb. district OKs guns in yearbook

National attention for competing preschool measures: Seattle’s city-sponsored preschool initiative is attracting attention from the other Washington, where an advocacy organization called Save the Children Action Network is sending tens of thousands of mailers supporting Proposition 1B to Seattle mailboxes. Backers of Proposition 1A, meanwhile, say their proposal is grassroots and has widespread support among local parents and teachers.

New York state to review immigrant enrollment procedures (The New York Times): State officials in New York are reviewing the enrollment policies of several suburban districts near New York City, after a New York Times report found some schools were excluding undocumented students from classes. Dozens of children on Long Island have stayed home more than a month into because of the legal dispute.

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October 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Round-up: Report finds academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill, short tenure common for schools chiefs

Report reveals academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill (The New York Times): An internal investigation by the University of North Carolina has uncovered new details in an academic scandal that first came to light three years ago. According to the report, two faculty members at UNC-Chapel Hill ran a “shadow curriculum” within the school’s African and Afro-American Studies department and awarded unearned grades to student athletes for nearly 20 years.

Role of curriculum is a sticking point on pre-K plans (KPLU): Curriculum is key to a “high-quality” pre-K program, say backers of Proposition 1B, the city-sponsored preschool proposal. Officials say play would have to be a central component of programs that receive city funding — but such a mandate rubs many existing preschool instructors the wrong way.

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