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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.

September 18, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Coming Sunday: The promise and pitfalls of universal preschool

Starting Sunday, Education Lab presents a three-part series on early education. The stories will dive into the latest research on the benefits of preschool and offer an in-depth look at pre-K programs in Tulsa, Okla.  one of the few places in the country that provides universal preschool.

Look for the stories in print and online this coming Sunday and Monday. In the meantime, here is a video highlighting Tulsa’s approach to pre-K.


Comments | More in News, Video | Topics: early education, pre-K, preschool

September 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Round-up: Kids encouraged to bring phones to school, students talk Ferguson at Rainier Beach

Report points to promising college completion strategies (The Chronicle of Higher Education): A new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas has outlined several things community colleges can do to boost their completion rates. Among the suggestions: offering more accelerated remedial courses, getting students to register on time, and establishing clear attendance policies.

D.C.-area schools encourage kids to bring devices to class (The Washington Post): Teachers near Washington, D.C, are increasingly adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy when it comes to technology in the classroom. Advocates say the approach is more practical and sustainable than forking out funds to equip every student with a laptop or other device.


Comments | More in News | Topics: round-up

September 17, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Round-up: Poll finds Americans support teacher exams, group buys out Everest College debt

Poll finds Americans want teachers to pass certification exams (The Atlantic): A new Gallup poll found 81 percent of respondents say they would favor a certification exam for teachers. Sixty percent also said they would like admissions requirements for teacher colleges to be more rigorous.

Activist group buys out debt of Everest College students (NPR): A group called Rolling Jubilee has erased the debt of about 3,000 Everest College students by collecting donations and then scooping up delinquent loans on the secondary market. Everest College is part of a network of for-profit schools that is being sued by the federal government over alleged predatory lending practices.


Comments | More in News | Topics: round-up

September 16, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Round-up: UW says WSU med-school plan is flawed, tech CEOs limit kids’ screen time at home

UW says WSU med-school plan is deeply flawed (AP): The University of Washington has released a statement criticizing Washington State University’s analysis into the feasibility of a new WSU medical school in Spokane. The state Legislature would need to approve funding for the project.

Why tech CEOs limit kids’ electronic usage at home (The New York Times): Executives and founders of companies ranging from Twitter to Apple are known for limiting their kids’ screen time. One common restriction: no devices allowed in the bedroom.


Comments | More in News | Topics: round-up

September 15, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Round-up: WSU regents OK med school plan, Portland volunteers seek dropouts door-to-door

WSU regents approve medical-school plan (AP): Washington State University’s board of regents has approved a plan to create a new medical school in Spokane, citing a need for more doctors outside the Seattle metro area. The proposal is opposed by the University of Washington, which operates the only medical school in the state.

In Portland, volunteers go door-to-door seeking dropouts (The Oregonian): Portland Public Schools’ Reconnect to Your Future campaign trains volunteers to go door-to-door encouraging high-school dropouts to return to the classroom. On Saturday, their list included the names of about 200 former students.


Comments | More in News | Topics: round-up

September 12, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Round-up: Contempt ruling in school-funding fight, Common Core town hall next week

Contempt ruling ups the ante in school-funding fight: A unanimous order handed down by the Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday gives state lawmakers until the end of the 2015 legislative session to hammer out a plan for school funding. If legislators do not comply, they could face fines or be barred from funding non-education programs.

California study shows deep racial divide in attendance rates (AP): A new study on school absences from the California Attorney General’s office found 37 percent of black elementary students in a sample were considered truant during the 2013-2014 school year, compared to about 22 percent of students overall. Truancy was defined as being absent or arriving more than 30 minutes late without a valid excuse three or more times a year.


Comments | More in News | Topics: round-up

September 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Round-up: Utah teacher shoots self in leg, profs read mean student feedback aloud on YouTube

Utah teacher shoots self in leg at school (AP): A Utah teacher is recovering at a hospital after accidentally shooting herself in the leg in a faculty bathroom. In related news, Missouri lawmakers passed legislation Thursday giving specially trained school employees the option to carry concealed guns on school campuses.

Professors read mean student feedback aloud (The Chronicle of Higher Education): Taking a cue from late-night comedy, college professors around the country are now creating YouTube videos where they read critical student reviews of their courses out loud. Most of the comments come from, a site where students give instructors anonymous feedback and ratings.


Comments | More in News | Topics: round-up

September 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Supreme Court finds Legislature in contempt on education funding

By Joseph O’Sullivan

03_OlyThe Washington state Supreme Court is holding the Legislature in contempt for not making enough progress toward fully funding public education but, for now, won’t issue sanctions.

In an  order Thursday on the McCleary case, the court  said it will hold off on sanctions until at least the close of the 2015 legislative session. After that, action could be swift.

“On the date following adjournment of the 2015 session, if the State has not complied with the court’s order, the State shall file in the court a memorandum explaining why sanctions or other remedial measures should not be imposed,” reads the order, which was signed by Chief Justic Barbara Madsen.


Comments | More in News | Topics: McCleary, school funding

September 10, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Round-up: Textbook scam targets Granite Falls schools, four more arrests in Kingston threats case

Textbook scam targets school districts (The Herald): District officials in Granite Falls recently spotted a fake invoice for math workbooks, a scam that has generated Better Business Bureau complaints from people in at least 22 states. The fake company has attempted to use the name Scholastic School Supply, similar to publisher Scholastic, to trick school employees into sending it money for textbooks.

Four more arrests in Kingston High School shooting plot (AP): Three people were arrested at Kingston High School and a fourth in Bremerton for allegedly threatening witnesses via social media in a school threat case. Former Kingston student Matthew Allen Smiley, 18, is accused of threatening to “shoot up” the school and is being held on $2 million bail. 


Comments | More in News | Topics: round-up

September 9, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Round-up: Americans saving more for college, Kitsap teen held in school-shooting plot

Americans saving more for college as costs soar (AP): A new report from the College Savings Plans Network has found the average college savings or prepaid tuition account is now worth about $20,671, a significant rebound since the height of the recession. Unfortunately, that amount isn’t enough to cover one year of tuition at many schools.

Report shows how 3 colleges narrowed graduation gaps (The Chronicle of Higher Education): A report released today by the Center for American Progress tracks how three public, four-year universities have developed new support programs for first-generation and minority students. All three schools have significant narrowed gaps in graduation rates between white and black or Latino students.


Comments | More in News | Topics: round-up

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