An Alarming Racial Disparity in Seattle Public School Reading Scores

Between 60 and 70 percent of BIPOC students in Seattle can’t read effectively. You don’t need dozens of academic studies to know that any weak reader will continue to do poorly in school.

Independent No More: A Notre Dame Alum Laments Changed Leadership

Long kept at arm’s length, the Catholic right is using its money to establish a beachhead at Our Lady’s University in ways unthinkable in its history.

Disconnect: Missteps Over an Intruder at a Seattle Elementary School

On June 2nd, a series of events occurred in the Sand Point neighborhood including an incident at Sand Point Elementary School where an intruder...

Tom Robbins’ Long Lost Commencement Address: “Adults are Nothing but Tall Children Who Have...

“The only advice I have for you tonight is not to actively resist or fight the system, because active protest and resistance merely entangles you in the system. Instead, ignore it, walk away from it."

Why Is Seattle School Board Director Chandra Hampson Suing Her Own District?

Hampson is a passionate, no-holds-barred type of director and she threw herself into this work.  Mounting tensions between two school board members and two staffers came to a head.

Seattle’s Next Big Thing? College!

One key to a city's resilience is an ability to recognize when a past paradigm is fading and another needs to take shape.

What You Pay For: Lessons from Swiss Schools

But at heart the Swiss program is very different. School for first graders is roughly 8 a.m. to noon which includes a 25-minute snack-time/recess. Then it’s walk home for lunch and back to school just two afternoons a week for classes between 1:45 and 3:20.

A New Downtown Elementary School?

Some Belltown activists want the former tunnel entrance to be a park, not a school or a park-cum-school. But at last the city-schools negotiators finally have a specific site and the outline of a deal.

Why It’s Time for Higher Ed to get rid of Tenure

Proposals for reform, some coming from faculty members themselves, include re-institution of a mandatory retirement age and the creation of rolling or renewable contracts for all faculty.

A Kinder, Gentler High School?

The secondary school system in Italy, not unlike some other European countries, offers options to students when they are about to enter high school. Eventually attending a university and making a plan to do so is one option. But there is another, equally good one. That is to enter a high school that specializes in specific talents and skills. There are a several types. They include technical, pre-professional, and cultural tracks. 

Back to College While COVID: A Tale of Two Schools

Thousands of colleges and universities have required that all incoming students be fully vaccinated, barring medical exception. But that's where the similarities end.

How Bogus History was used to Save Whitman College

What Whitman College President Penrose did not know—or did not care to know and would never be interested in learning— was that the book he had fallen in love with was an error-riddled recapitulation of Henry Spalding’s fabrications about Marcus Whitman. A fundraising narrative soon arose that saved the college.

How can America Succeed if its People don’t know How it Works?

Most citizens are unaware of how their government works. Only 36 percent of those surveyed could name all three branches of the U.S. government, and 35 percent could not name a single branch.

How do you Know? Our Epistemic Crisis

Any breach of the great wall of misinformation will require a painfully slow process of attrition. In this effort the mainstream media will play a key role. Also vital will be the role of academics, with their standards of research methodology, of rigor in argumentation, and of careful peer review.

Cue the Bulldozers: View from a Hearing on an Expanded Northgate School

The meeting went on until 5:30 pm. To me it was sad and disturbing. Arborists had been called in earlier to determine if trees were healthy or worth saving, and I felt that trees elicited higher regard than neighborhood residents.

Washington Has Spent Billions Fixing Schools. Here’s How the Money’s being Spent

These changes to school funding led to substantially increased revenues for school districts, even with the new limits to school district levy authority. Total per-pupil revenues to districts increased by 49.7% from SY 2010–11 to SY 2018–19.

Dept. of Unintended Consequences: McCleary Funding Reforms force Big San Juan School District Budget...

The pandemic has reduced student enrollment for districts like San Juan Island, and reduced funding as more students are homeschooled. The inability to collect the full amount of the district’s last enrichment levy adds to the shortfall.

History Ph.D: When to Call Myself Doctor?

In Vietnam, doctorates declare their honorific to fulfill a social expectation. In more collectivist cultures, a person’s education is the result of a community’s shared contributions and, in turn, that degree honors the whole community. In America, my choice changes depending on the context.

The Audacity of Hope… in a Thousand College Admission Essays

A student’s first instinct seems always to be to philosophize in a boring, pedantic way about how he or she would make a Real Difference in the World; my job was beat that out of them. I’d give my standard advice: please don’t pontificate or philosophize—it puts your tired, put-upon readers right to sleep.

Senior Scholar Show-Off: The UW at $25-a-Class

The legislature in 1975 authorized state colleges and universities to waive tuition and other fees for would-be scholars aged 60 and up. Today, the UW’s ACCESS Program opens a wide range of classes to olds like me for the absurdly low price of $25 per five-credit course, up to two courses per quarter.

Dynamo Tries to Shake Up the Seattle School Board

Hampson expresses a "high" degree of frustration with the District, and has drawn board president Zachary DeWolf and fellow member Brandon Hersey into her impatient camp.

Coming: Changes in the ways Universities Choose Students

An overdue change could be the decline in standardized testing. The UW has already dropped SAT requirements, and other institutions are moving in this direction.

Tutor Corps: Can We Make Distance Learning More Equitable?

Volunteers helping out in schools is nothing new. Most districts like Seattle Public Schools have well established programs. But the SPS page says it is not accepting volunteer applications at this time.

Respect? Ethics? Shame? A Philosopher Writes About the Motivations Of Wearing A Mask

People in certain communities are subject to anti-mask standards, even as their larger society’s standards require masks. Their dignity is therefore in a precarious and conflicted position. Ethically speaking, then, any respectful engagement with them calls for a recognition of that fact, not a blunt attempt at persuasion.

Distance Learning Will Increase Inequity in Schools. Here’s How to Fix It

The potential for inequity, for continuing the systemic racism already – and for decades – built into public schools (all schooling, really), is staggering.

Opportunity: New Options to Improve Seattle Schools?

These obstacles to reform point to a key political problem -- the lack of leverage to force reform in big-city districts.

One Teacher’s Guide To Teaching: Get Out In The World

Education Reform? Teach what you know and how you know it. Get their attention; challenge minds; open hearts. Trust me, they are eager, and it can be done.

When The UW Returns: Best To Bet Online

The science of learning, and how it can be applied in a digital-intensive environment, should become the central focus of the academic enterprise. But few institutions have given these efforts the resources and sustained emphasis that they will need moving forward.

Conventional Wisdom Says College Promotes Diversity of Thinking. New Studies Suggest It Doesn’t

A study published in the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education investigated how recent graduates’ experiences in what the authors called “ideological bubbles” consisted of few meaningful, effective efforts that prepared them for the ideological divides they faced after graduation.

The Glaring Gap In Reading Skills In Seattle Schools: Systemic Racism Writ Large

Basically, in 50 years, we’ve gotten nowhere. Here’s the 2017-18 data for Seattle: students proficient in reading at grade level, 3rd grade, whites 80 percent; blacks 35.5 percent. That’s what systemic racism looks like.