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July 25, 2014 at 12:01 PM

When we fail to educate our children, our future is bleak

Head shot Frank Blethen, publisher, SEditor’s note: These are remarks Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen made to the Rotary Club of Seattle, which is also known as Rotary Club No. 4, on Wednesday.

Good afternoon.

As a former member and program chair of Rotary No. 4, speaking to you is a privilege. A privilege that brings with it an obligation to use this forum constructively, which is precisely what I intend to do.

I will address the most important public policy issue in my 34 years as a newspaper publisher in Washington state: the sad condition of our state’s public education system,  a system that fails a shocking number of our children, and imperils our state’s economic future and quality of life. It is a system that fails us at every level: K-12, early learning, post-secondary.

Consider these unacceptable outcomes:

K-12:

We graduate only 18 percent of our high-school students work-ready or college-ready. Let’s break that number down: One-quarter of our high school students fail to graduate.  Of those who do graduate, barely half enter post-secondary education, such as college or workforce training. Of those, half of them require remedial help. The result?  Only 18 percent are

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June 23, 2014 at 6:22 AM

Frank Blethen: When we fail to educate our children we are destined for failure

Editor’s note: Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen gave a commencement speech to City University of Seattle on Saturday about the importance of education. His prepared remarks are below the video.

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Head shot Frank Blethen, publisher, S

Congratulations on your degree!

What a wonderful accomplishment.

This will be one of the major determinants of your future.

This seminal step in your life is an important beginning. The beginning of the lifelong learning essential to maintain your economic and intellectual health in today’s uncertain and ever-changing world.

One hundred years ago, a high school education was our country’s primary path to a better life.

Fifty years ago, that path began to also require post-secondary education or technical training.

Today, a baccalaureate degree and life-long learning are essential.

In the future, two-thirds of new jobs will require a college degree.

How ironic that our state’s shameful disinvestment in higher education has resulted in 20,000 well-paid, high-skilled jobs going unfilled at this very moment, while our state’s wealth and opportunity gaps grow.

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Comments | Topics: Education, Frank Blethen

May 7, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Publisher Frank Blethen reflects on Billy Frank Jr.’s passing

One black eye in The Seattle Times’ 117-year history is our coverage of minorities through the years. Most troublesome for me was the coverage of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Things began to improve slowly after the Vietnam War debacle. Billy Frank Jr. and our focus on the treatment of Indian fishing…

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Comments | Topics: Billy Frank Jr., fishing rights, Frank Blethen