education

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The number of students enrolled at public universities in Oregon has reached an all-time high. The Oregon University System announced Thursday that more than 101,000 people are taking classes.

WA Charter Schools Initiative Passing Narrowly

Nov 7, 2012

The initiative to allow charter schools in Washington state is narrowly passing with 51 percent of the vote.

Photo Credit: Jessica Robinson

Idaho voters delivered a resounding defeat to three new education laws. Voters said no to limits on teacher bargaining rights, to creating a pay-for-performance system and to ramping up classroom technology. Opponents were successful, in part, by billing the laws as an attack on teachers.

Backers Of Idaho Education Overhaul Blame Union Dollars

Nov 7, 2012
Photo Credit: Jessica Robinson

Idaho voters rejected a series of laws that overhauled education in the state. The three laws passed in 2011 at the urging of the Republican state schools superintendent.

Idaho’s Secretary of State wants a court to order a group campaigning for Idaho’s ballot referenda to reveal its donors. But making those names public before the election might be difficult. Adam Cotterell has more.

Northwest News Network

Both candidates for Washington governor have said “no” to higher taxes. But, outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire says she will propose a new source of funding for public schools before she leaves office in January.

Photo Credit: Matthew Bowden/Wikimedia Commons

Hewlett Packard now has an eight year 180 million dollar contract to get laptops into the hands of Idaho high school students and teachers. This meets part of the requirements outlined in the Students Come First education laws.

School Reforms Tested At Idaho Ballot Box

Oct 15, 2012
Photo Credit: Jessica Robinson

Idaho is considering whether to keep three education laws that overhaul everything from how teachers are paid to how kids learn in the classroom.

Border Collies are consistently named the most intelligent of all dogs. Is their intelligence simply a matter of nature, or is there some nurture involved as well? Dr. Kirsten Peters wonders about the answer.

Schools Chief Asks For 39% Budget Increase

Oct 5, 2012

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has asked for an additional four-point-one-billion dollars for basic education in his biennial budget proposal. Ann Dornfeld reports.

Lester Public Library / Flickr

A school district in southwest Idaho says the book “Like Water for Chocolate” is inappropriate for high school sophomores. It’s banning the book from the curriculum.

The latest community college enrollment numbers may hold a clue to what’s happening in the Northwest’s economy. Some two-year institutions in the region are seeing the first decline in class registration since the recession. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

Gideon Tsang / Wikimedia Commons

One of the key indicators of whether a student will go on to finish college shows up before the child even starts kindergarten. That’s the conclusion of new research from Oregon State University.

Washngton Courts website

A teacher or principal doesn’t need a warrant to search a student. But a police officer working in a school does, according to a new ruling from the Washington Supreme Court.

Immigrant advocates are kicking-off a series of statewide forums Thursday night about Obama’s new policy for so-called “dreamers”. The measure gives temporary legal protection to some undocumented immigrants who came here as children. Federal officials plan to open up the application process later this month, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

In June, federal officials announced a new policy aimed to halt the deportation of some young immigrants. It’ll allow qualified young people to apply for a renewable, 2-year legal protection… and a work permit.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Republican candidate for governor Rob McKenna proposes to increase funding for public schools by capping all non-education state spending. That’s just one piece of an education funding plan he unveiled Tuesday.

Courtesy StateImpact Florida NPR.

Oregon has joined Washington and 31 other states in getting a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law. The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday that it's approved Oregon's request for more flexibility. Oregon education officials say part of the aim is to shift away from penalizing schools for failing to meet rigid benchmarks. Ben Cannon is Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s the education policy advisor. He says the green light from the feds ends a period of uncertainty for school districts.

Young adults in the Pacific Northwest are becoming less likely to hold college degrees, according to a federal report released Thursday.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education shows that across the country, the share of 25 to 34-year-olds with college degrees crept up from 2009 to 2010. But that’s not the story in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

An initiative to redirect corporate tax rebates to public schools is on track to qualify for the November ballot. This rebate is called the kicker because it goes into effect when tax revenues exceed projections by more than 2 percent.

Jes Burns / KLCC

The State Board of Higher Education has formally hired Michael Gottfredson to lead the University of Oregon. He was appointed president Friday.

Dr. Gottfredson has been a senior administrator at the University of California, Irvine for 12 Years. He says his first order of business is to get to know the University of Oregon better.

“There’s one overwhelming impression, great enthusiasm for the University of Oregon from every quarter: faculty, students, community," Gottfredson says. "I had very high expectations and they have been exceeded in every way.”

University of California Irvine

Dr. Michael Gottfredson has been selected as the finalist for the new president of the University of Oregon.

Gottfredson has served as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of California Irvine since 2000. He is an expert in criminology. Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner calls Gottfredson an academic leader of distinction.

"That's a great combination for Oregon," Pernsteiner says. "Somebody who is committed to higher education and has a track record of real success and is able to work collaboratively with the other elements of education in this state for the betterment of the state and its citizens."

Photo courtesy of OPB

Oregon's elected state schools superintendent is leaving her job. Susan Castillo announced Monday that she'll step down by the end of this month to work for an education non-profit.

Castillo is a former Democratic state lawmaker who's in her third term as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Her current term doesn't end until 2015, but she had no chance of winning re-election.

Oregon lawmakers decided last year to do away with the office of state school superintendent. They chose instead to give the governor more direct authority over schools.

Oregon's Board of Higher Education voted Friday to raise tuition for most students at state supported schools. The increases vary from place to place. And for Portland State University, for example, the adjustment means a 1.4 percent reduction in tuition and fees. But for Southern Oregon University, it's a 9.9 percent increase in tuition.

University system staff pointed out that the state has cut funding for higher education by 16 percent for the coming fiscal year.

Board members like Lynda Ciafetti say they saw few options.

A state panel will vote Thursday on Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s choice to oversee a dramatic shift in the way the state runs public education. The governor selected Rudy Crew after a nationwide search. Crew is the former head of public school districts in New York, Miami, Tacoma and elsewhere. The head of Oregon's largest teacher's union thinks it's a good choice.

Photo courtesy Oregon governor's office

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber's pick for the state’s new education chief is so far winning praise from school leaders. But Rudy Crew’s lengthy career includes many clashes with local school officials. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports:

Kitzhaber wants Crew to be in charge of re-shaping the state's education system from pre-school through college. Crew has worked in some of the nation's largest school districts, such as New York, Miami and Tacoma. Crew says he knows he has a challenge ahead of him in Oregon.

Washington House of Representatives

Washington teachers are woefully underpaid. That’s the conclusion of a draft legislative task force report. Now a key Washington state lawmaker says teachers and other school employees deserve at least a cost of living pay raise next year.

Twelve years ago, Washington voters approved Initiative 732. It requires annual pay increases for K-12 employees. The initiative didn’t come with any funding. In recent years, because of the Great Recession the legislature has suspended those pay raises. But now state revenues are starting to recover. House Ways and Means Chairman Ross Hunter says the state should make it a priority to ensure teacher pay keeps up with inflation.

Oregon Bans American Indian Sports Mascots In Schools

May 17, 2012
Photo Credit: Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Native American-themed sports mascots will no longer be allowed in Oregon public schools. That's the decision Thursday by the state Board of Education. The vote was 5 to 1.

Honorary Degree: What Is It Good For?

May 10, 2012
Photo credit: Helen Graham / Northwest News Network

At graduation ceremonies across the Northwest this spring, a handful of people will receive what are known as “honorary degrees.” Typically, they’re awarded to distinguished humanitarians, writers and entrepreneurs. But correspondent Jessica Robinson wanted to know what, if anything, you can actually do with an honorary degree.

Photo credit: Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

A group that's against logging on state owned forest lands drew a crowd of onlookers at the Oregon State Capitol Thursday morning. A member of Cascadia Forest Defenders climbed a flagpole and draped a large banner that read "Schools versus Trees? We want both!”

Photo credit: Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Just in time for another anniversary of the catastrophic Mount St. Helens eruption, the U.S. Forest Service is reopening an architecturally striking visitor center. The Coldwater Ridge facility has been closed for the last four seasons. the center reopens next week with a new mission and purpose.

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