Tag Archives: Education

A South Seattle School Fundraiser Is Questioning School Fundraising Itself

by Ben Adlin


When parents and teachers from a dozen southeast Seattle elementary schools introduced an experimental fundraiser last year, the goal wasn’t merely to raise money for education but also to challenge the very practice of PTA fundraising. This year, even more South End schools and community groups are uniting behind the event and its growing emphasis on equity.

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Seattle Colleges Professors Protest Stagnant Salaries While Inflation Soars

by Ari Robin McKenna

The Emerald blows loudly as the royal trumpet, signaling that there is indeed life abundant. It’s the sound of information, the sound of challenge, the sound of change and — maybe most importantly — the sound of hope. Join me in supporting the Emerald as a recurring donor during their 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28. Become a Rainmaker now by choosing the “recurring donor” option on the donation page!

—Marcus Harden, Educator, Author, & Rainmaker

On Tuesday, April 24, a group of Seattle Colleges professors protested outside the Broadway Performance Hall before walking to their district headquarters, Siegal Center. Inside, union leaders, who professors say aren’t fully representing their needs, were bargaining. Their salaries for the next three years hung in the balance between the 0% raise professors say was initially offered by Seattle Colleges, the 15% raise the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Seattle Local 1789 is bargaining for, and the 40% raise they say is necessary to keep them afloat during historic national inflation in a city where the cost of living is over 50% above the national average.

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OPINION: Our Kids Deserve Better Than Our Broken Busing System

by Danielle Marie Holland


As a single parent of a child in Seattle Public Schools, I am particularly sensitive to the hardships many families have faced returning to in-person learning.  While many of the hidden pains and challenges stemming from the pandemic are leading the news, our broken busing system seems to be going completely unnoticed. 

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South Seattle Students Eye Third Consecutive National Solar Car Championship

by Ben Adlin


For hours before and after classes, a group of high school students in Tukwila can be found hunched over laptops and soldering stations, welding and angle grinding, and occasionally driving circles in the parking lot. Their goal: to design and build a solar-powered car capable of defending the group’s back-to-back championship titles this summer at the National Solar Car Challenge in Texas.

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Ballard Students of Color Say $10K Ad in the Seattle Times Makes Them Feel Less Safe

by Ari Robin McKenna


Students of Color who attend Ballard High School (BHS) say they felt less safe at school after an ad hoc group called “Friends of Keven Wynkoop” ran a full-page ad in the Sunday Seattle Times in February calling on the district to reinstate the former BHS principal. Wynkoop had been put on paid administrative leave after the district found he had retaliated against a student.

The ad, which cost $9,850, suggests that their concerns about Wynkoop’s treatment of Students of Color have been dismissed, six Students of Color told the Emerald.

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Application Period Opens for Newly Expanded, Affordable Seattle Preschool Program

by Elizabeth Turnbull


On a blustery Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Bruce Harrell and other City leaders announced the expansion of the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) and the start of the 2022–2023 application period.

“Today’s a great day … Educating these kids looks like what you see here with Susan and her staff, making sure these kids have an opportunity to succeed,” Harrell said, referring to Susan Yang, the executive director of the Denise Louie Education Center, an organization that provides early-learning services to nearly 1,000 children.

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OPINION: Bringing Affirmative Action Back to Washington State Is a Step in the Right Direction

by Maryam Noor


Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order to rescind Directive 98-01, a part of 23-year-old legislation in Washington banning affirmative action policies in public sector employment and education. Inslee called the Directive “overly restrictive.” He also announced a new executive order that calls for increased diversity in public sector contracting and institutions of higher education. 

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How SPS’ Equity Tiers Are Used to Address Educational Debt

by Ari Robin McKenna


There has been a series of historically cascading phrases to describe racial inequity in public school systems nationwide. “Achievement gap” was preferred for a while — but that phrase was inseparable from standardized tests proven both to consistently favor white students and to delineate “achievement” that actually just mirrored the family income levels of test takers. Then, “opportunity gap” began to replace it, but reeked of well-meaning na​​ïveté. The phrase leaves room for the “gap” to have been arbitrarily created, and for a deficit perspective to persist about Communities of Color, when structural racism impacting educational opportunity is well-documented nationwide. Lately, the phrase “education debt” has gained traction, and puts the onus squarely on school districts to actively address past disparity.

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Black Educators Closing Equity Gaps for African American Students and Teachers

by Kathya Alexander


The academic achievement gap between white and BIPOC students has been well documented. Black and Hispanic students trail their white peers by an average of more than 20 points in math and reading assessments, a difference of about two grade levels. Black males, in general, fare even worse, a situation that has not changed much for the past 40 years. 

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SPS’ ‘Let’s Go’ Program Prepares South End Students to Become Bike Commuters

by Ari Robin McKenna


In early November, a big green trailer pulled up, parked, and disgorged dozens of blue kids’ bikes at Louisa Boren STEM K–8 (LB STEM) in West Seattle, the first of Seattle Public Schools’ (SPS) 71 elementary schools that will benefit from the Let’s Go bike program this year.

For the next three weeks, third to fifth graders will learn everything they’ll need to know about how to bike to school by themselves. An SPS press release states, “In addition to the physical fundamentals of helmet safety, balancing, steering, pedaling, and stopping, Let’s Go teaches kids the rules of safe and courteous riding along with skills to cross a street at intersections.”

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