education

Graphic courtesy of Idaho State Board of Education

It didn’t take long for supporters of the University of Idaho to raise the flagship issue again at the meeting of the Idaho State Board of Education in Moscow Wednesday.

During Washington’s recent legislative session, lawmakers briefly considered a bill to bring back parole for prisoners. The measure failed to move out of committee. But supporters already plan to try again next year.

The sentence of ‘life without the possibility of parole’ is steadily on the rise in U.S. prisons. Here In Washington, nearly 600 prisoners are currently serving ‘life without’. Most of them will grow old and die behind bars. It’s a prospect that’s tough to fathom.

In this collaboration with the Seattle Times, we take a look at how some ‘lifers’ come to grips with this reality….and how they search for meaning in a situation most people see as hopeless. KUOW’s Liz Jones has our story from Monroe prison.

The job of recovering the largest ethics fine in Washington state history just got tougher. State officials have been unable to locate a former Evergreen State College professor who skipped out on his six-figure fine. Even though Jorge Gilbert's whereabouts are unknown, he managed to sell off his condominium in Olympia last week before the state could seize it.

Photo courtesy of KTEC / Northwest News Network

An over-enrolled technical high school opening for the first time this fall in north Idaho indicates an unmet hunger for practical job training. The mutli-district collaboration in Rathdrum doesn’t even have a roof yet, and enrollment already exceeds capacity. Now, the school is on the hunt for more instructors.

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Korribot / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Teachers and Principals in Washington are going to get graded on a new four-tier evaluation system. That’s under a new law signed by Governor Chris Gregoire Thursday. It’ll judge teachers as unsatisfactory, basic, proficient or distinguished. The new rankings will replace the current pass/fail format. The change is estimated to cost $5.3 million , but Gregoire says it’s necessary.

Photo Source: Daily Evergreen

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that for the third year in a row there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people taking part in militias and what it calls the American radical right. In a new report, the Center says the increase is linked to economic issues, conspiracy theories, and the election of Barak Obama as President.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Transportation / U.S. Department of Transportation

Grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation will help fund ongoing studies looking at critical transportation issues in the Northwest.
Transportation issues affect all of us, whether it’s simply wondering why that red traffic light is blinking, or wondering why the commuter traffic is jammed up again.

Photo credit: Oregon Governors Office / Oregon Governors Office

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is keeping up the public pressure on lawmakers to pass some of his major policy proposals this session. For the second day in a row, the Democrat held a state capitol press conference to urge the legislature to pass bills that have been stuck in committee.

Photo courtesy University of Idaho

MOSCOW, Idaho -- University of Idaho President Duane Nellis says he’s disappointed in the decision made by the State Board of Education last week to remove the word ‘flagship’ from the university’s proposed mission statement. Northwest Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports.

Photo credit: Wikimedia User Visitor7 / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington State will apply for a waiver to the federal No Child Left Behind education law. Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn says the state will ask to set its own standards for student achievement. From KUOW in Seattle, Ann Dornfeld reports.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington state senate has approved a new four-tier teacher evaluation system. The bill that passed Tuesday also creates a mechanism for firing under-performing teachers who don’t improve.

SEATTLE, Wash. - Many school districts are switching to electronic payment systems in their cafeterias. Parents can fund their kids’ accounts online, and even see what their kids are buying for lunch. But kids can also charge food when there’s no money in their accounts. Now Seattle Public Schools is trying to collect $12,000 in unpaid lunchroom debt. From KUOW in Seattle, Ann Dornfeld reports.

Photo by Wikimedia User Jay8g / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – 41 states allow charter schools. But not Washington . Opponents in the legislature recently killed a bipartisan proposal to allow a limited number of under-performing schools to convert. But supporter of the idea haven’t given up. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

I Feel Better Now

Feb 7, 2012
Corinna Nicolaou / Northwest Public Radio

We all have our failures, the things we regret… and maybe don’t want anyone to know about. 

Northwest Public Radio commentator Corinna Nicolaou  talks about failing in her youth, and how that failure drove her to succeed.
 

You can read more of Corinna's commentary at her blog

Photo Source: University of Washington

This week, Washington state’s public university presidents met for a Seattle Town Hall discussion on the risks of continued cuts to higher education. The state now ranks 48th in per capita enrollment in public baccalaureate programs. Some say these cuts are permanently undermining our state economy and killing job creation.

Photo Source: Washington State University

Six college presidents from across Washington state met in Seattle Wednesday night to discuss funding higher education. Northwest Public Radio’s Bryan Buckalew has more.

University of Oregon faculty members are collecting signatures in an effort to establish a union. It would be comprised of all full and part time professors and instructors -- about 2,000 members. KLCC's Rachael McDonald has more.

The group United Academics of the University of Oregon has been gathering support for the union effort this month. But it's a process that began in the fall according to Michael Dreiling, an Associate Professor of Sociology.

Another Believer / Wikimedia Commons

University of Oregon faculty members are collecting signatures in an effort to establish a union. It would be comprised of all full and part time professors and instructors -- about 2,000 members. KLCC's Rachael McDonald has more.

The group United Academics of the University of Oregon has been gathering support for the union effort this month. But it's a process that began in the fall according to Michael Dreiling, an Associate Professor of Sociology.

Wash. Lawmakers Consider Budgeting Education First

Jan 30, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For years, Republicans in the Washington legislature have demanded that state lawmakers vote on the education budget first. Democrats have generally rejected that idea. But this week, for the first time, a “fund education first” proposal will get a public hearing. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

What’s fueling the decision to consider the education budget first is a ruling earlier this month by the Washington Supreme Court. In McCleary v. Washington, the justices said state lawmakers are not adequately funding education.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For years, Republicans in the Washington legislature have demanded that state lawmakers vote on the education budget first. Democrats have generally rejected that idea. But this week, for the first time, a “fund education first” proposal will get a public hearing. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

What’s fueling the decision to consider the education budget first is a ruling earlier this month by the Washington Supreme Court. In McCleary v. Washington, the justices said state lawmakers are not adequately funding education.

Miners’ Prospects Reverse Of Economic Downturn

Jan 25, 2012
Wikimedia user: Plazak / Wikimedia Commons

SILVER VALLEY, Idaho - They say the days when you could go from high school to a high-paying, blue collar job are long gone. But there are places in the Northwest where those days still exist -- that is, if you’re willing to work a mile underground.

For gold and silver miners, it looks like boom times right now. Rising salaries, more job opportunities. Even a recent layoff in north Idaho doesn't look like other layoffs. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has this story on a job that's seeing the reverse side of the economic downturn.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Enough school districts have signed on, so Washington will submit an application for federal Race to the Top dollars. The governor made that announcement. All but 44 of Washington's 295 districts are on board. Race to the Top is President Obama's incentive program to spur education reform. The next question is whether Washington has a shot at winning the nationwide competition. Lisa Macfarlane  is with the non-profit League of Education Voters. She says Washington started out a dark horse in the race.

Eugene, Ore.- Representatives from the US Department of Agriculture will visit two Eugene, Oregon school districts next week. Bethel and 4J were chosen along with a dozen other districts across the nation as models for their farm to school programs.

Farm to School teaches students about local food. Megan Kemple is Farm to School Coordinator with the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition. She says many children don't know where their food comes from.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Idaho and Oregon are out. Washington is likely in. We're talking about the competition for the next round of federal Race to the Top education grants. Monday is the deadline for school districts in Washington to say whether they're on board.

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