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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: Your voices
August 27, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Back to school: Share your photos from the first day

Back-to-school season is here, and kids (and parents) across our region are busy picking out first-day outfits and making sure all their pencils, notebooks and colored markers are in order.

Does your family line up for photos on the front stoop? Got any throwback photos from your own first days of school?

Whether you’re a parent who is currently shuttling the kids out the door, or someone whose time prepping for the back-to-school rush has (thankfully) passed, we want to see your first day of school photos. Awkward family poses and old-school fashions will get an extra gold star.


Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: first day of school

August 26, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Tell us: Is hazing a problem at your school?

edulab_icon_perspectivesA year after seven students were suspended in a freshman hazing incident, Garfield High School in Seattle has set up a mentoring program to help new students feel welcome and supported by their peers.

Are you a student, parent or educator? Do you have any experience with hazing? If you were in charge, how would you help ninth-graders make the transition to high school?


Comments | More in Question of the Week, Your voices | Topics: hazing

August 11, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Tell us: What’s the most vexing education jargon you’ve heard?

With summer in full swing, it’s time to have little fun on the Ed Lab blog. As an education blog, we offer a bit of educational fun.

All you have to do is help us define education jargon in plain English.

Submit a term you don’t understand — or don’t fully understand — by typing it into the form below. We’re looking for terms that frustrate, exasperate or confuse you — or all three. Terms that you would like to ban forever. Terms that might as well be written in Martian — if they were Greek, they would be easier to understand.

Here are a few possibilities: Authentic assessment, child-centered, competency-based, alignment, critical thinking, differentiated instruction, mastery learning, constructivist, inquiry, direct instruction, developmentally appropriate, benchmarks, criterion-reference test, formative assessment, phonemic awareness, rubric, teacher leadership, research-based, best practices, stakeholders.


Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: jargon, your voices

July 23, 2014 at 9:00 AM

5-minute recap: Video chat on what’s working in math education

Last Thursday, the Education Lab team hosted a Google+ Hangout about elementary math education and the successful strategies used at Lakeridge Elementary in the Renton School District. The discussion stemmed from our July 15 story about how the school’s use of cognitively guided instruction and ongoing teacher training has led to a turnaround in student math scores.

Miss the live video chat? The five-minute recap below shows some of the highlights. What you’ll see:


Comments | More in Math and science, Video, Your voices | Topics: Google Hangout, instruction, Lakeridge

July 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Your voices: Students talk about experiences with for-profit colleges

Ashley Kyle of Everett said she found her pharmacy-tech teacher lacking and taught herself. Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times.

Ashley Kyle of Everett said she found her pharmacy-tech teacher lacking and taught herself. Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times.

Corrected version

Education Lab recently asked readers to share their experiences — positive or negative — with for-profit colleges and universities.

The request was tied to news that Corinthian Colleges, which operates a handful of Washington schools under the name Everest College, was under investigation from the U.S. Department of Education.

Since then, the two parties have reached an agreement that calls for Corinthian to put 85 of its campuses, including schools in Everett, Seattle, Bremerton, Tacoma, Renton and Vancouver, up for sale.

Several current and former students wrote to us saying Everest had misrepresented their chances of finding a job after graduation. One Everest student, Ashley Kyle, wrote in to say the school did little to help her prepare for the national pharmacy-technician exam. “They took advantage of me being really naive,” said Kyle, who will be paying $300 a month in student loans for the next 10 years.


Comments | More in Opinion, Your voices | Topics: for-profit colleges, higher ed

June 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Attend a for-profit college or university? Tell us about it

For-profit colleges and universities can an attractive option to students who want to pursue technical training in a specific field and are looking for the convenience of an online program or a campus that’s located close to home.

But for-profits, which include familiar brands such as the University of Phoenix and ITT Technical Institute, have also faced intense scrutiny over the high cost of tuition and the rate at which graduates default on their student loans.


Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: Corinthian Colleges, for profit, higher ed

June 27, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Your voices: Dealing with dress codes

Last week, we posted a video report from BBC America featuring a group of New Jersey students and parents who are pushing for a change to their school dress code, saying the traditional rules unfairly target female students and promote stereotypes about gender and sexuality. 

Most of the readers who responded to our question “Is it time to rethink student dress codes?” felt differently. Here is a sampling of their responses (some have been edited for length or clarity):

Dress codes seem fine, but the rules should be the same regardless of gender, e.g. shirts shall have sleeves of at least 1 inch, bottoms may only be X inches above the knee (would cover shorts, skirts and dresses). No profanity, no racial or gender slurs — that sort of thing.

Kudos to these young ladies for their efforts.

 —Terri Latendresse, Renton

Schools that have adopted uniforms avoid a whole list of distractions — the least of which is sexuality. When all students wear simple slacks and tops (easily laundered and non-specific as to gender), students are free from the constant reminder of who has the money to wear expensive clothing and who doesn’t.

—Barbara Kroon, Vancouver


Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: dress codes, your voices

June 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Your voices: Is it time to rethink student dress codes?

A group of New Jersey parents and students are pushing for a change to their school dress code, arguing rules about skirt length and tank tops unfairly target female students and promote stereotypes about gender and sexuality.

Echoing the sentiments of the #yesallwomen Twitter campaign, some are using the hashtag #iammorethanadistraction as a rallying point for those who feel that school dress codes are “normalizing the notion that girls’ bodies are a distraction.

“We begin to associate these ideas of girls: bad, need to cover up, (and) boys: animalistic, can’t control themselves,” student Sofia Petros, 16, says in a BBC America video report. The full video is posted here:


Comments | More in Question of the Week, Your voices | Topics: dress codes, your voices

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