schools and education | KUOW News and Information

schools and education

As students prepare to go back to school, more and more parents are thinking about school safety. A recent poll found 34 percent of parents fear for their child's physical safety at school. That's almost triple the number of parents from 2013.

Back to school in the age of school shootings

Aug 14, 2018
KUOW Photo / Braeden Swanson

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida sparked a youth movement for change across the nation. In part two of our School Shootings in America podcast, we speak to teens in Seattle to see how they’ve been inspired to take action, and why this event was different than the ones before.

Why now? What inspired these students to get involved in one of the nation’s most controversial policy debates, and what keeps them going? 


How To Make A Civics Education Stick

Aug 14, 2018

How do you teach kids to be active participants in government? Or to tell the difference between real news and fake news?

In their last legislative sessions, 27 states considered bills or other proposals that aim to answer these questions. Many of those proposals are rooted in popular ideas about the best ways to teach civics, including when kids should start, what they should learn and how to apply those lessons. Here's a look at some of those concepts.

Six months after Parkland: 'Even to this day, it doesn’t feel real'

Aug 9, 2018
Kaylee Nezwek (left) with Danielle Gilbert (right), ready for senior year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Courtesy of Danielle Gilbert

School shootings have been a horrifying reality in the United States for far too long. However, after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, things began to change.

In the first episode of this two part podcast, we will hear what happened on the day of the Parkland shooting from two survivors, Danielle Gilbert and Monique Miquel. They share humanizing details that push us to remember that even though this is their story, it could have been any of ours.


For Many College Students, Hunger 'Makes It Hard To Focus'

Jul 31, 2018

As students enter college this fall, many will hunger for more than knowledge. Up to half of college students in recent published studies say they either are not getting enough to eat or are worried about it.

Esperanza Yanez can spot a sick cow just by looking at it.

"The head hangs down and they don't eat," says Yanez, who immigrated from Mexico two decades ago and has been caring for cattle ever since.

While learning to communicate with animals takes years of patience, Yanez says the true language barrier exists between the dairy workers and the veterinarians who rarely speak Spanish. Medical terminology can be confusing, and to avoid embarrassment, Yanez says she and other workers may feign comprehension.

Look people in the eye. Smile. Shake hands. Sit up tall. Speak clearly and confidently.

That's the last-minute advice professor Paul Calhoun gives a handful of college students before they head off for a series of job interviews. The Skidmore College juniors and seniors he's talking to are dressed in suits and button-downs; dresses and heels. They stand out in a college library swimming with other finals-takers, most in sweatpants or leggings and T-shirts.

School buses
Flickr Photo/JohnPickenPhoto (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/a2MPnK

Ross Reynolds talks to Rob Glaser, founder of RealNetworks, about the company's software called SAFR, that offers free facial recognition software to schools. It's currently being piloted at the University Child Development School.

Do you remember the day you decided you were no good at math?

Or maybe you had the less common, opposite experience: a moment of math excitement that hooked you for good?

Thousands of studies have been published that touch on the topic of "math anxiety." Overwhelming fear of math, regardless of one's actual aptitude, affects students of all ages, from kindergarten to grad school.

Jenny Durkan at her election night party on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2017
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is reiterating her plan to cut the budget of every department in the city.

Speaking on KUOW's The Record on Thursday, Durkan declined to specify how steep the cuts will be, but she did say spending reductions will vary depending on department.


Jenny Durkan
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan joins Bill Radke in studio to answer listener questions. We talk about the education levy on the ballot this November, next year's budget, the streetcar delay, her fondness for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and the city's homelessness crisis.

Display with system code.
Flickr Photo/Yuri Samoilov (CC BY 2.0)/https://bit.ly/2N9a7jN

Bill Radke talks to Stuart Reges, principal lecturer at the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science about his essay, "Why Women Don't Code," saying women are underrepresented in computer science because of personal preferences. We're also joined by Nicole Buchanan, executive director of Ada Developers Academy.

In our conversation, Reges and Buchanan discuss what they see as the factors that do or do not lead women to go into computer science and tech, and the work they're both doing to bring women into the field and ensure they're supported.

"For the last 14 years I had been a stay at home mom and a soccer mom of three kids," says Lori Alhadeff. "On Valentine's Day my daughter was brutally shot down and murdered and I became a school safety activist."

That day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, when a 19-year-old former student killed Alyssa Alhadeff and 16 other people, changed many lives.

And it pushed the question of school safety once again to the front and center.

Courtesy of Jacob Wesley Sutton

In the wake of school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida this year, parents are asking: "How do I talk to my child about mass shootings?"

KUOW helped answer that question with a story we did in March.


What should a 21st century public school system look like? Washington’s superintendent of public instruction says it’s time to have that conversation now that the state’s decade-long school funding legal fight is over.

"Sometimes we take for granted that kids know how to wash dishes," says Susan Turgeson, president of the Association of Teacher Educators for family and consumer sciences. "I never thought I was going to have to explain, step by step, how to put the drain plug in, the amount of soap to be used."

The author, Alivia Thrift. In her junior year, Livi and her mom struggled to pay rent. She left school so she could work more.
KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

It's graduation season, and while many are donning their caps and gowns, others are taking a different path. Like me.

I've spent the spring trying to learn how getting a GED may impact my future.


Jud Yoho, who sold Craftsman houses at the turn of the century, lived in this 1911 bungalow in Wallingford. The house was recently listed for $599,000.
KUOW File Photo/Isolde Raftery

It's that time of year again when King County sends out property value assessments to homes and businesses.


The stars-and-bars of the Confederate flag painted onto a Juanita senior's face in 1999. Two years earlier, Juanita students shouted racial slurs at the mostly black Garfield High School football team. They sent an apology banner and students had to atten
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

The Rebel remains.

Students at Juanita High School, in Kirkland, have voted overwhelmingly to keep their controversial mascot.

The student comes in for a pregnancy test — the second time she's asked for one in matter of weeks.

She's 15. She lives with her boyfriend. He wants kids — he won't use protection. She loves him, she says. But she doesn't want to get pregnant. She knows how much harder it would be for her to finish high school.

At many schools, she would have gotten little more than some advice from a school nurse. But here at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C., she gets a dose of midwife Loral Patchen.

Savannah Blackwell, a freshman, performs a song during an assembly on Friday, June 8, 2018, at Franklin High School in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last Friday was the last time Ryan Dela Cruz's classmates saw the 17-year-old student alive.

The stars-and-bars of the Confederate flag painted onto a Juanita senior's face in 1999. Two years earlier, Juanita students shouted racial slurs at the mostly black Garfield High School football team. They sent an apology banner and students had to atten
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

A Kirkland high school voted today, Thursday, on whether to drop their mascot: the Rebels.

The author, Maya Konz. She is a high school senior with ADHD and anxiety.
KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

I am 18 years old, and I have a condition where I am very hyper aware of things. I have ADHD and anxiety, so my attention span is very limited.

I'm not really sure how to describe anxiety, but I know the feeling.


"Koinonia," a Greek word meaning Christian fellowship or communion that appears a number of times in the Bible, put 14-year-old Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Texas, over the top at the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night.

Arguably, these eyebrows are on fleek.
Public Domain

We all have those words. The ones you hesitate to say because you've only ever seen them written (which have a large overlap with the ones you realize you've been using wrong for your entire life). Where do you go to be enlightened? To the dictionary, of course.

Merriam-Webster editor-in-chief Peter Sokolowski says the data from those lookups can move words onto a list of ones to watch - a status recently achieved by "thirst trap." 

"I want The Three Bears!"

These days parents, caregivers and teachers have lots of options when it comes to fulfilling that request. You can read a picture book, put on a cartoon, play an audiobook, or even ask Alexa.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

It's a financial nightmare for public school teachers across the country: Federal grants they received to work in low-income schools were converted to thousands of dollars in loans that they now must pay back.

Updated 8:47 a.m. ET

After the chaos of a deadly school shooting, parents, relatives and friends scramble to find their loved ones, while authorities set about the work of providing medical attention to the wounded and identifying the bodies of those who are killed.

Eight students and two teachers died during the 15-minute assault at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday. Thirteen others were wounded in the worst school shooting since 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., two months ago.

Updated at 10:45 p.m. ET

At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a small-town Texas high school, in what Gov. Greg Abbott called "probably the worst disaster ever to strike this community."

Ten others were wounded in the morning attack at Santa Fe High School.

Left to right, Rachel Park, Sonali Coehlo, Brooke Lell and  Judith Prado are part of the school's Green Team. They sort and organize the collected food before storing them in the fridge.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

A Bellevue school has saved 4,000 pounds of food – enough that a nearby food bank no longer has to ration milk for its families.

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