Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.
You are currently viewing all posts written by Katherine Long.
December 9, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Can a practice that was popular in the Middle Ages help improve worker training and education today?
A new national report is urging states and the federal government to expand the use of apprenticeships — work that couples on-the-job training with class work, usually at a community or technical college.
“Apprenticeships have been a tried and true method of educating and training workers since the Middle Ages,” says the report by Ben Olinsky and Sarah Ayres, researchers with the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress. They’re the authors of “Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States.”
An apprenticeship is both a job and an education. Under the “earn while you learn” model, apprentices take community or technical college classes while also working side-by-side with skilled employees to learn the trade or skill.
December 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Leadership in rural school districts is very personal, and often a force for progress or stagnation.
That’s among the early observations of Paul Hill, founder and former director of the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education, who is leading a consortium that’s studying innovations in rural communities.
In his preliminary work, Hill said he’s found that some rural schools have made imaginative use of money and technology. And many rural districts are eager to guide their high-school students into dual enrollment programs, for college credit or to acquire vocational skills.
He’s also found that leadership can be an especially powerful force in a rural school district.
November 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM
For many years, some of the lowest college completion rates in the country have been at community colleges, where more than half the students who start never finish their degree.
What can colleges do to improve the numbers?
There’s a renewed focus on trying to answer that question at Bellevue College, the state’s largest community college and the third-largest higher-education institution in the state.
It’s focusing on closing the gap for students who usually fare poorest — including low-income students and underrepresented minorities, said Ata Karim, vice president of student services for the college.
Of those Bellevue students who say they’re seeking an associates degree, 83 percent return to school after the first quarter, Karim said. But only 76 percent of students who enrolled in the fall return for the spring quarter. And fewer still — about 64 percent — are still in school after a year has passed.
November 25, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Gov. Jay Inslee will convene with regents for both the University of Washington and Washington State University during the joint annual meeting of the two boards Nov. 29.
It’s a short, one-hour meeting with a discussion of the future of higher education as the centerpiece of the agenda.
The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Jim Houston Stadium Boardroom in the new UW Husky Stadium, and is open to the public.
Regents for both schools meet every year, just before the two football teams meet on the field for the Apple Cup, and the meetings are usually punctuated by good-natured ribbing about the football rivalry.
Worth noting: Inslee is a Dawg, not a Cougar; he graduated from the University of Washington in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
November 5, 2013 at 4:06 PM
November is a big month for college-bound high school seniors. As college applications open up and some deadlines near, students who need help will find a smorgasbord of options.
College application completion events: These provide one-on-one support for high school seniors filling out college applications, with much of the help coming from college counselors.
Students will get help researching colleges, filling out applications and drafting personal statements. This program travels from high school to high school throughout the month and into December; for example, there’s an event at Seattle’s Cleveland High this Wednesday and one at Roosevelt High on Thursday.
Go to the Road Map to College website for more details and to check the schedule.
October 31, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Going to college has never been more important — or more expensive — says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The federal Department of Education is working on a college rating system, expected to go live next fall, that will promote college affordability and value.
In a telephone press conference with reporters Wednesday, Duncan discussed elements that will likely be part of the rating system.
He was deliberately short on specifics, emphasizing that the ratings system doesn’t exist yet, and won’t be drafted until after a series of four public forums and other meetings to determine what measures should be included. (Only one of the forums will take place on the West Coast, in California on Nov. 6. More details are available here.)
Duncan called the nation’s higher-education system “the best system in the world, but a very inefficient system (with) a tremendous lack of transparency.”
October 30, 2013 at 3:47 PM
Using data-mining techniques and a close read of college transcripts, a national research organization has helped more than 4,500 students receive associate’s degrees retroactively — students who had enough credits to earn an associate’s degree, but never got one.
Washington did not participate in the project, which started in 2009. But state education leaders “are aware of the project and think it has some lessons for us,” said Marty Brown, the executive director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, by email.
The study highlights red tape and institutional policies that often stand in the way of a student earning a diploma, said Clifford Adelman, a senior researcher for the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
October 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Junior Achievement, the nonprofit that educates students about workforce readiness, has teamed up with the global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to offer a free phone app that helps students learn about career options.
The app, JA Build Your Future, gives information about more than 100 different careers, and shows users the level of education they’ll need to get a job in that field, how much that education will likely cost, and how much they’ll make when they get a job.
At the end of the exercise, teens get a “return on investment” score that tells them if they’ll be able to pay off the debt accrued to earn the education needed based on future income.
But if you want to try an old-school approach to finding a job that pays, you might want to take a look at this recently-released University of California-San Diego Extension report, which considers the hottest careers right for mid-career and recent college grads.
The number-one career? Software developers.
October 24, 2013 at 2:23 PM
Do elementary school students learn math and science skills better when they’re taught by teachers who specialize in math and science?
Determining that is the aim of a new study being conducted over the next three years by faculty members at Western Washington University.
Traditionally, most elementary school teachers are required to teach all subjects to their students, but they often lack a strong foundation in math or science subjects. Western has been awarded a $449,957 National Science Foundation grant to study different ways that math and science are taught by specialists — teachers who specialize in math or science content.
There are several different models for using specialists in math or science in elementary schools. In one model, a science teacher moves between different classrooms to teach science. In another model, a team of teachers provides math or science instruction to rotating groups of students.
About the authors
Katherine Long has been a reporter for The Seattle Times since 1990, focusing for the past three years on higher ed, with stories that have ranged from the complexities of prepaid tuition programs to nontraditional ways to earn a degree.
Claudia Rowe joined The Seattle Times’ reporting staff in 2013. She has written about education for The New York Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among other publications.
Mike Siegel has been a news photographer at the Seattle Times since 1987. His photography was used in a series titled "Methadone and the Politics of Pain," which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for investigative reporting.
Janet Horne Henderson is The Times’ education editor. She has directed award-winning stories and projects examining race, immigration, religion and health, in addition to education
Caitlin Moran is community engagement editor for Education Lab. Her role is to help foster constructive dialogue online and in person
Read extended bios.
Trending with readers
Aw, shucks. To keep reading, you need a subscription.
We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access! Our introductory rate, starting at only 99¢ a week, includes:
- Unlimited access to seattletimes.com
- Seattle Times smartphone and tablet Web apps
- Daily Print Replica -- an exact digital copy of the newspaper