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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Category: News
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 3:19 PM

Garfield students, teachers protest staff cut

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Garfield students left school early Thursday to protest the district’s plans to remove one teaching position from the school. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Hundreds of students and teachers at Seattle’s Garfield High School walked out of class early on Thursday over news that one of their teachers will be cut because the district says the school’s enrollment is lower than anticipated.

District leaders say they are reviewing the school’s headcount because school staff believe Garfield has more students than anticipated, not less.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: enrollment, Garfield High, Garfield High School

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 23, 2014 at 5:00 AM

King County outscores state, nation in opportunity for kids

Seattle-area students enjoy more opportunity than their peers in the rest of the state and nation, a new national report card suggests.

The study, compiled by two nonprofit research groups, measured economic, educational and other factors that affect the learning environment for children such as household income, violent crime and the proportion of students enrolled in preschool.

King County outscored the state in nearly every area, most notably the economic ones.

Median household income is higher and poverty and unemployment is lower in the Seattle area than statewide and nationally. In King County, a median family makes $67,587 a year and 11 percent of residents fall below the national poverty line. Statewide, an average family makes close to $55,000 and 14 percent of the population is living in poverty. In the U.S., average household income is $48,781 and the poverty rate is 16 percent.

The study gave King County a B grade overall and ranked Washington 22nd out of all states.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: early learning, graduation rates, higher education

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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October 22, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Record-high enrollment at WSU and UW’s three campuses

The WSU campus in Pullman. Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011.

The WSU campus in Pullman. Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times 2011.

Both the University of Washington and Washington State University are reporting record-high enrollments for this academic year, with UW enrollment up 3 percent from the previous year and WSU up 4 percent.

All told, the UW’s three campuses — Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma — now enroll 54,223 students. That’s almost as many people as live in Redmond.

The Seattle campus alone added more than 1,000 students, bringing its total to 44,786. In its most recent count, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked the UW 12th-largest among public universities that offer doctoral degrees, and that was based on 2012 figures when total enrollment at the Seattle campus was 43,485.

The UW had both the highest undergraduate student enrollment in its history (41,243 students) and also the highest graduate student enrollment (12,980 students) when all three campuses are added together.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, University of Washington, Washington State University

October 21, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Round-up: Study finds mentoring helps kids stay healthy, $16 million for UW foreign languages

Study finds mentoring can help kids’ health (Reuters): Research from the University of Georgia has found strong social support can have positive effects on the physical health of adolescents growing up in poverty. High levels of stress hormones are known to contribute to chronic illnesses among children.

$16 million will go toward UW foreign languages: The University of Washington has received a $16-million federal grant that will support up to 140 fellowships a year for students who study languages other than Spanish, French and German. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Education and is intended to help the nation enhance its international leadership role.

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October 21, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Into the fray: Charter high school targets low-income Seattle

During early rumblings about charter schools in Washington, many national chains backed away, taking a wait-and-see approach before wading into Seattle’s treacherous waters.

That wariness was understandable. The state’s charter school law squeaked by in 2012, weathering vigorous push-back from the teachers union, and in Seattle distaste among voters was particularly strong. Acknowledging the skepticism, Marco Petruzzi, president and chief executive officer of the California-based Green Dot chain, said his company did not want to “be in the situation of being intruders.”

But now, Green Dot is here, meeting with South Seattle parents, gaining approval for a middle school in Tacoma and winning authorization to open a combination middle-and-high school in Seattle.

So why the shift? Only one charter — First Place — has opened within Seattle’s city limits, and there has been little softening of anti-charter rhetoric in the blogosphere.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: charter schools, Green Dot

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