Three schools are failing federal standards

August 25, 2015

NEW — 5:55 p.m. Aug. 25, 2015

Parents from three Issaquah elementary schools received letters last week informing them their schools were failing under federal standards.

Briarwood, Clark and Issaquah Valley elementary schools have failed to meet the standards established under the No Child Left Behind act. The school principals explained, however, the standards are nearly impossible to achieve — 100 percent of students must meet proficiency standards in schools this year to meet their Adequate Yearly Progress under NCLB, regardless of special needs or English language mastery.

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Guest Column — End high-stakes tests as graduation requirement

July 2, 2015

Thousands of students did not graduate from Washington high schools with their classmates this month — even though they successfully completed the same courses — solely because they failed one or more state-required, high stakes tests.

Some students are simply not good at taking high-stakes tests, even when they know the material and did well in their courses. There are students who earn As in courses only to freeze up on the day of a high-stakes test. This is not a test of knowledge; it’s a test of who tests well.

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Mariner emissaries — Players speak to Cougar Ridge students about pursuing dreams

June 10, 2015

The cheer went up from one side of the room like a jet engine firing to life: “Go!”

By Greg Farrar Seattle Mariners (from left) Brad Miller, Tom Wilhelmsen and Carson Smith get a kick out of the player introductions by broadcaster Rick Rizzs, who also presented Seth Smith, James Paxton and Kyle Seager to the Cougar Mountain Elementary School students and teachers.

By Greg Farrar
Seattle Mariners (from left) Brad Miller, Tom Wilhelmsen and Carson Smith get a kick out of the player introductions by broadcaster Rick Rizzs, who also presented Seth Smith, James Paxton and Kyle Seager to the Cougar Mountain Elementary School students and teachers.

It was immediately answered with an equally emphatic cheer from the other side of the room: “Mariners!”

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Off The Press — When does a life’s phase become an obsession?

June 10, 2015

I’ve been through many phases in my life, but nothing as dramatic as Bruce Jenner’s new phase, mind you.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

There was that 10-year period right out of high school where I served my country in the Navy.

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Donations fuel unique, powerful options for Issaquah students

March 10, 2015

At Maywood Middle School, a robotics club allows students to build motorized submarines that are tested in an above-ground pool before they enter a competition this spring.

Up the road at Liberty High School, technical education teacher Gary McIntosh has a room filled with students learning to make guitars. They’ll not only shape, paint and polish the guitars before the end of the semester, they’ll also make them fully functioning electric instruments.

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Never too busy to read

December 9, 2014

By Lynn Juniel Ron Thiele, Issaquah School District superintendent, and his wife Jill read to more than 30 students Dec. 3 at Pajama Storytime at the Issaquah Barnes & Noble. Children enjoyed hot chocolate and sugar cookies while listening to classics old and new. Among the books Thiele read included his favorite, ‘Carrot Seed.’

By Lynn Juniel
Ron Thiele, Issaquah School District superintendent, and his wife Jill read to more than 30 students Dec. 3 at Pajama Storytime at the Issaquah Barnes & Noble. Children enjoyed hot chocolate and sugar cookies while listening to classics old and new. Among the books Thiele read included his favorite, ‘Carrot Seed.’

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Officials discuss controversial Common Core education

September 23, 2014

The Common Core State Standards, designed to create a consistent set of learning standards for K-12 students, are among the most contentious topics in public education these days.

Politicians, school administrators and public policy experts discussed various aspects of Common Core during a town hall-style meeting Sept. 15 at Pacific Cascade Middle School. About two dozen audience members participated and provided feedback to a seven-person speaking panel.

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Let’s Talk About It

February 25, 2014

Homework: What does Finland do that we don’t?

Students, how many times in the past week have you complained about your workload? What if I told you that this workload might be detrimental?

This is not the opinion of a mere high school senior frustrated by the amount of homework assigned by teachers. In fact, recent studies show the United States is consistently outscored in terms of academic ability by countries such as Finland, with radical differences in their educational systems, including — you guessed it — significantly less homework.

By Helen Wang Skyline High School

By Helen Wang
Skyline High School

So, how are their students so successful? There are many explanations, one of which is that they have more free time. I know I speak for many when I say that having 30 minutes of homework a day, rather than three hours, would make me feel less stressed. Instead of drowning in pointless papers, we would be able to do more things that we truly cared about.

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