Rob Manning

Reporter/Producer, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Rob Manning has been both a reporter and an on-air host at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Before that, he filled both roles with local community station KBOO and nationally with Free Speech Radio News. He's also published freelance print stories with Portland's alternative weekly newspaper Willamette Week and Planning Magazine. In 2007, Rob received two awards for investigative reporting from the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and he was part of the award-winning team responsible for OPB's "Hunger Series." His current beats range from education to the environment, sports to land-use planning, politics to housing.

Oregon Department of Transportation / Flickr

Northwest forests are extremely dry, but this fire season so far hasn't been as bad as last year. Spokesman for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, Tom Knappenberger, says there were 79 large fires at this point a year ago. This season, there have been 65 fires of at least 100 acres.

Benjamin Chun / Flickr

The top education official in Washington State said teachers could face investigation and schools could lose funding - if the number of students refusing standardized tests keeps rising. 

Washington superintendent Randy Dorn doesn't like the phrase "opt-out."

"It's really a refusal to take an assessment that's required by the federal government," Dorn said.

He said low participation rates could cost schools federal money.

albertogp123 / Flickr

Oregon's House Education Committee heard testimony Monday on high-stakes exams. A work group of teachers and administrators has recommended less emphasis on end-of-year state exams and more focus on classroom-level assessments.

One House bill would delay using the new "Smarter Balanced" exam results to judge schools and teachers. Another would make it easier to opt out of the tests. Portland parent and teacher Elizabeth Thiel argued that bill should go further - and prohibit sanctions against schools like hers, where students are opting out.

Rick Obst / Flickr

A University of Oregon task force on sexual violence proposed 23 recommendations at a university senate meeting Wednesday.

The task force report is called "Twenty Students Per Week." That refers to about how often undergraduate women at U of O experience unwanted sexual contact. The same survey with those numbers also found most student-victims don't report being sexually assaulted.

"The University of Oregon can become a leader in addressing this problem," Carol Stabile said.

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have agreed to a contract with grain handling companies at Northwest ports. The vote concludes two years of bargaining, and lockouts at the ports of Vancouver and Portland, last more than a year.

Rob Manning / EarthFix

It's three weeks until school starts in Oregon. It can't come too soon for parents who are struggling to keep their kids fed, supervised, and learning, over the summer.

OPB has been following a cohort of Oregon kids in the Class of 2025. They'll be in second grade soon. Rob Manning will visit with a few of those kids - as part of a broader look at what summer means for students in Oregon.

Amy Ross / Flickr

Russian president Vladimir Putin's ban on food imports from the US could cost Northwest growers millions of dollars. But Russian imports are a thin slice of our region's multi-billion-dollar farm economy, as Rob Manning reports, from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

biologycorner / Flickr

This summer in Oregon, education leaders brought together teaching professors and school officials to improve teacher training. The June institute followed a national report, critical of training programs. And new teachers will soon be asked to pass a new standardized test. Think of it as a Common Core for teachers in training. Rob Manning has more.

Michael Clapp / OPB

It's summer vacation for students - and teachers - across the country. Administrators often use the summer to take a bigger look at how schools are doing, and that can mean a critical look at teachers. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning looks at evaluations for current teachers - and the role of student test scores in those evaluations.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

President Obama often talks about making sure American students graduate high school ready for college. But one program in Oregon is reaching out to the shop class crowd of students who would rather learn a paying trade right away than stay in a classroom. Manufacturers there are using a new internship program to recruit and train teenagers straight out of high school to be machinists, welders and painters. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning reports.

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