education

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Idaho parents who don’t want their child to have to pass the state’s standardized test for graduation would be able to opt-out under a bill in the state Senate.

Students would instead be allowed to go through an alternative assessment developed by districts.

Republican Senator Steven Thayne is sponsoring the bill.

“There are some parents that are very concerned by more and more testing. And one reason we’re bringing this bill forward is we’re trying to give a voice to those parents who have concerns,” Thayne said.

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.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Starting salary for Idaho teachers is lower than in Washington, Oregon, and three other surrounding states. Superintendents in Idaho border towns say that’s left them with shortages. Idaho lawmakers in both parties want to raise teacher salaries during the legislative session.

The Graduate Teaching Fellows at the University of Oregon called off their strike today after reaching a tentative agreement with administration. Bargaining teams worked through the night. the GTFs were on strike for 8 days.

Rick Obst / Flickr

It's finals week at the University of Oregon and Graduate Teaching Fellows are in their second week of a labor strike.

University of Oregon spokeswoman Julie Brown said with Graduate Teaching Fellows on strike the school is giving faculty options for administering finals and giving grades.

"In some cases, finals are continuing as have been planned all term. In other situations, students may have the option to be able to take the grade earned on coursework to date," Brown said.

HBarrison / Flickr

The Washington State Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday regarding the constitutionality of the voter-approved charter school law.

The primary issue in the case is whether certain tax dollars can go to the privately-run but publicly-funded schools.

State law dictates that certain funding is only for so-called “common schools” - traditionally, K-12 public schools.

Last year, a King County Superior Court judge ruled that funding charters with money that’s restricted for common schools was unconstitutional.

Adam850 / Wikimedia

The Graduate Teaching Fellows at the University of Oregon have issued a strike notice. Both parties must submit their final contract offers to the state mediator Monday.

The main sticking point is paid leave.

The strike notice places the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, or GTFF, and the University at an impasse, a 30 day cooling off period.

If a strike does take place, it would be a huge work stoppage at the University of Oregon. Joe Henry is a Graduate Student in Anthropology and the President of the GTFF, which has 1,500 members.

Christopher Sessums / Flickr

Wednesday night, the Spokane Public Schools board authorized a second charter school for the district: Spokane International Academy. The board approved its first charter school Pride Prep in January.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

It’s a showdown between the state of Washington’s legislative and judicial branches. The Supreme Court will consider Wednesday whether to penalize the state for not complying with a 2012 ruling on school funding. 

U.S. Army RDECOM / Flickr

Most of the public schools in Washington state have to send letters home to families notifying them that their children’s school is failing to meet state standards.

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