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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.

November 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Round-up: Nyland considered for permanent job, pension policy could be behind sub shortage

Seattle school board considers Nyland for permanent job: The Seattle school board is planning to vote early next year on a proposal to give interim superintendent Larry Nyland an offer to remain in his job through June 2017. Nyland, who previously served as superintendent in Marysville, came out of retirement four months ago to take the place of José Banda.

Substitute shortage could be a result of state pension policy: State lawmakers are considering changing a controversial 2007 law that makes hefty cuts to the pensions of certain retired teachers who work for a public employer. Currently, 1,003 retired teachers statewide cannot substitute for a single day without losing their pension for an entire month.


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November 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Round-up: Nyland apologizes for signing off on Gates grant, Oregon charter enrollment hits 5 percent

Seattle schools chief apologizes for signing off on Gates grant: Interim Superintendent Larry Nyland apologized last week for breaking district policy and signing off on a $250,000 grant from the Gates Foundation before the school board had voted on the matter. Nyland said he did not know he was supposed to get others’ signatures before approving the contract.

Oregon charter school enrollment hits all-time high (The Oregonian): Five percent of public-school students in Oregon currently attend one of more than 100 charter schools operating there. Oregon legalized charter schools in 1999.


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November 25, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Round-up: Seattle students walk out of class, Georgia schools get creative with school lunches

Seattle high-school students walk out to join Ferguson protests: Seattle Public Schools says approximately 1,000 students from Garfield High School walked out of class Tuesday afternoon to join ongoing protests surrounding Monday’s grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo. About 250 students from Roosevelt High School also walked out Tuesday morning but were reportedly heading back to the school.

Georgia schools get creative with cafeteria lunches (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution): Across the country, fewer students are opting for cafeteria lunches following the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and an uptick in meal prices. The decline has prompted some schools in Georgia to offer more meal choices and cook more food from scratch in a effort to get more students in the cafeteria line.


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November 24, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Round-up: Corinthian Colleges sells off local schools, UVA suspends all fraternities

Corinthian Colleges sells off schools (AP): Corinthian Colleges, a chain of for-profit colleges facing scrutiny from federal and state regulations, is selling most of its campuses operating under the name Everest or WyoTech, including six campuses in Western Washington. A non-profit company called ECMC Group is buying 68 schools for $24 million and plans to close 12 of them after their current students graduate.

UVA suspends all frats amid sexual-assault allegations (Bloomberg): The University of Virginia has suspended all fraternities until Jan. 9 after a story appeared in Rolling Stone that reported several students there had made accusations of sexual assault that were not pursued by the university. The student at the center of the story says she was raped by seven men at a Phi Kappa Psi party in 2012.


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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.


Comments | More in News, Video, Your voices | Topics: Dream Project, storytellers, University of Washington

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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