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Education Lab Blog

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

Topic: your voices

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February 8, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Tell us: Who should be the next UW president?

Michael Young. Photo by Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times.

Michael Young. Photo by Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times.

Last week’s announcement from University of Washington president Michael Young caught just about everyone by surprise. Young, who will take the top job at Texas A&M this spring, had only been at the helm at UW since 2011.

Several commenters on seattletimes.com criticized his early departure and urged the university to select a new president who has local ties and is more likely to stick around.

“When are they going to hire someone who wants to be the president of the UW? Leading the UW should be the pinnacle of a career not a stepping stone to something else,” wrote one.

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Comments | More in Your voices | Topics: higher ed, Michael Young, University of Washington

December 12, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Tell us: What should top Nyland’s to-do list for Seattle schools?

Larry Nyland

Larry Nyland

If there’s one thing Larry Nyland has, it’s experience.

The new leader of Seattle Public Schools, offered the permanent job on Wednesday, started his first superintendency in 1982, in Pasco. He’s also held administrative positions in Alaska, Shoreline and Highline, before becoming Marysville superintendent in 2004.

Seattle School Board member Sharon Peaslee said Nyland’s ability to lead districts through tough times is one of the key reasons she recommended the board extend his contract through June 2017. The motion was approved with a 5-2 vote on Wednesday.

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Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: Larry Nyland, Seattle Public Schools, your voices

December 6, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Your voices: Teachers share thoughts, best practices on student discipline

Education Lab recently reached out to a handful of teacher groups in an effort to gather educators’ thoughts and experiences with student discipline, as part of our Sunday story about the issue. What follows in a sampling of the responses we’ve received so far.

Are you a teacher, parent or student? Have something to say about this important topic? Join the discussion by filling out our reader questionnaire or weighing in in the comments section.

How do you approach student behavior in your classroom? Has your strategy or technique changed at all during your career? If so, how?

I try to deal with children one on one. If that fails, then I call home. If the behavior continues, then I use the progressive discipline (guidelines) in our school.

At Kentlake (High School), we have been doing a freshman retreat for all ninth-grade kids. We also have been doing a Breaking Down the Walls community building exercise for the past four years. As a result, the number of fights at Kentlake are the lowest in the district. Does this kind of success translate to the classrooms? I like to believe it does.

–Theresa Turner, Kent

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

November 5, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Guests: Seattle schools need formal policy on recess time

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Dayna Provitt

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Jana Robbins

Seattle parents, do you know how much recess time your children get each day?

In many schools, students return after summer break to learn that recess has been further reduced. Who is most impacted? According to a recent KUOW investigation, schools with the shortest recess times have more low-income students and students of color.  KUOW also reported that in the past four years, schools with 20 minutes or less recess time per day have increased from just one school to 11 schools in the Seattle district.

Recess is a valuable and essential learning time for children. Research has proven what we’ve also known for years: Children need recess to develop social skills, hone problem-solving skills, explore their own ideas, recharge their minds after periods of structured activity, and simply exercise.

Furthermore, research has shown that adequate recess time actually improves student behavior and academic goals. Children who have recess are better able to manage their behavior and focus on learning in the classroom.

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Comments | More in Guest opinion, Your voices | Topics: guest opinion, recess, Seattle Public Schools

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.

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

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

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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:

[do action=”custom_iframe” url=”http://www.bbc.co.uk/emp/embed/smpEmbed.html?playlist=http%3A%2F%2Fplaylists.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fmagazine-27891488A%2Fplaylist.sxml&title=Dress%20code%20debate%20over%20schoolgirls%20’distracting’%20boys&product=news” width=”630″ height=”500″ scrolling=””/]

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

June 14, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Your voices: What does STEM mean to you?

 

 

Armando Bravo

Armando Bravo


STEM for me is an opportunity for success.
What better way to experience the work field or major you would like to be in? Consider taking a STEM class — you won’t regret it.

Armando Bravo, Toppenish High School (Toppenish)

 

 

 

Daniel Doan

Daniel Doan

STEM is unity. It is that awareness of knowing who has what to offer — and everyone has something to offer. Simply put, it’s this idea of coming together as a whole to contribute that final product or that final play or that final grade.

—Daniel Doan, Cleveland High School (Seattle)

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Christina Lindberg

STEM is the part of my education that is preparing me for the real world. As science expands, so should the material being taught in order to make kids ready for future jobs. It doesn’t help to teach the same curriculum they had 10 years ago because science has expanded since then, and so should the curriculum.

—Christina Lindberg, Inglemoor High School (Kenmore)

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Comments | More in Question of the Week, Your voices | Topics: STEM, Toppenish High School, your voices

June 10, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Graduation photo contest

Update: This contest was canceled due to lack of participation. Photos are no longer being accepted. — Original post: Graduation season is here again, and young people throughout our region are celebrating major milestones and transitioning to new and exciting experiences. But amid all the Pomp and Circumstance, graduation can stir up a wide range of emotions. Are you…

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

May 17, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Tell us: How did you figure out which career was right for you?

Many students begin college not knowing what sort of career they’d like to pursue after graduation. Many schools, meanwhile, lack the resources to help them figure it out or direct them to the appropriate coursework.

To combat low degree completion rates, Walla Walla Community college, the focus of our front-page Sunday story, has implemented a system that helps students zero in on their interests and stick to a strict academic schedule so they can quickly earn the credentials they need.

Our question this week: How did you figure out which career you wanted to pursue, and how to get the necessary training? Was college a pivotal point for this decision making, or did the process continue after you graduated? If you did not attend college, how did you end up with the job that you have?

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Comments | More in Question of the Week, Your voices | Topics: Community colleges, higher ed, Walla Walla

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