education

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.

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.

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