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News Links | August 15, 2017

August 15, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Photos: Back to school blessing

Misead Merino-Sanchez picks out a backpack full of school supplies Saturday during the Back to School Blessing held at Skagit Valley College. About 1,200 backpacks were given to students in grades K-12 and another 100 preschool packs were given out. Local church groups came together to put on the event that helps children and their families gear up for the new school year.
Skagit Valley Herald, Aug. 14, 2017

Nonprofit provider could speed up internet in rural Snohomish County

Slow speeds have plagued rural communities since the start of the internet. Now, a Darrington man has a plan to change that. Jacob Kukuk enjoys the slower pace of life at his home in rural Snohomish County – except for one thing: the glacially slow internet speeds. It can take more than 2 ½ hours to upload a single 10-minute video. In response, Kukuk launched the Darrington Internet User Association, a nonprofit internet provider he says will bring 10 times faster speeds to his underserved community for just $45 per month. ... Kukuk, a worker at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, patterned his plan after one that has been operating on Orcas Island for three years. He says the system could be operational in less than 12 months if there are no unforeseen slowdowns.
KING 5, Aug. 14, 2017

Governor appoints new CAPAA members

Gov. Jay Inslee recently announced the appointment of Donny Rojo and Ekkarath Sisavatdy to the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA). ... Ekkarath Sisavatdy is the project director for the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) at Highline College. He graduated from Western Washington University and completed his master’s at Central Washington University. He is an active, co-founding member of the Southeast Asian Education Coalition (SEAeD).
NW Asian Weekly, Aug. 14, 2017

New Grant County buses running between Ellensburg, Moses Lake

The Grant Transit Authority began running buses between Ellensburg and Moses Lake earlier this month. Routes 320 and 321 will run from Moses Lake to Ellensburg and back multiple times per day Monday through Friday. The new routes were made possible by a grant to help fund travel expenses for rural education. Many students in Moses Lake and the surrounding areas attend Central Washington University because of its proximity. The hope for the new bus lines is to make things easier for students traveling between CWU and Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, according to transit authority staff. While the routes were designed with students in mind, anyone is welcome to use them to get back and forth between the communities.
The Daily Record, Aug. 12, 2017

Cosmetology program helps local students “get ready to learn”

Sometimes a new haircut can make all the difference for a kid heading into a new school year. The Clover Park Technical College Cosmetology program helped make that possible for more than 100 local students, as CPTC students and alumni volunteered their services at the Caring for Kids Get Ready to Learn fair Saturday, Aug. 5, at Clover Park High School. The annual fair has been going on for more than 20 years, providing school supplies, clothing and more to students and families from Steilacoom, University Place and Clover Park School Districts who qualify for free or reduced lunch at school. The CPTC students, faculty and alumni have participated by providing free haircuts at the event for the past decade.
The Suburban Times, Aug. 12, 2017

In the Garden: Tips help homeowners transform existing landscapes

It’s fair to say that downsizing from 10 acres to a standard city lot would be an adjustment for anyone – but especially for two dedicated gardeners. Kurt Madison and his wife, Margot Casstevens, have turned that adjustment into a learning experience that others can benefit from. Madison and Casstevens are both professional artists and fine art instructors at Spokane Falls Community College.
The Spokesman-Review, Aug. 12, 2017

Opinion: We need leadership — pass the capital budget

By Joe Dolezal, member of the Centralia College Board of Trustees. You may have followed in these pages a series of stories about the negative local impacts related to the fact the Legislature has so far failed to pass a capital budget. The list is long, including $1.4 million in funding for building maintenance and repairs at Centralia College; a new intermediate school that is not currently being built in Chehalis; flood mitigation and fish habit restoration work that is on hold for lack of funding; industrial infrastructure development that is not happening in Winlock. No one knows when — or if — the Legislature will finally pass a capital budget for the biennium that started July 1. In the meantime, the construction contracts may impose penalties for delays, which drives up the cost of these public projects.
Centralia Chronicle, Aug. 11, 2017

Olympic College to dedicate new welding shop in Shelton

The John Bremer Welding Center at Olympic College Shelton campus recently opened and the college is celebrating the milestone with the community on Tuesday. The public is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony with special speakers at 4 p.m. on the Shelton campus, 937 Alpine Way. The welding center is a 2,600-square-foot facility that provides 16 welding stations, office space and storage. It allows the college to offer welding on-site and increase enrollment in this popular program.
iFiberOne News, Aug. 11, 2017

Local prof receives excellence in teaching award

The NEA Foundation will present a California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence this fall to Susan Palmer, a professor of sociology at Walla Walla Community College. She’s one of 38 public educators nationwide who will receive the honor. Awardees are nominated by their peers for dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity and advocacy for fellow educators, said WWCC writer in residence Abra Bennett in a release. A $650 award will go to WWCC.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Aug. 11, 2017

Opinion: Campus diversity part of path to fairness for all, despite what conservative strategists say

Affirmative action is back on the table for further examination. The Trump administration is making some noise about investigating bias in admissions at high-ranked universities. There is a constant tug of war in this country over who gets access to a good education, to jobs, to all kinds of resources, and the arguments are about merit, fairness, history and the present. It’s a mess created by not treating everyone fairly in the first place. It’s easy enough to tie a knot in a length of thread, but just try untying it. Monday, I wrote that untangling some of today’s problems would be easier if we had a better understanding of our history. I want to share a note from a reader whose response to that column included a mention of affirmative action. Jerry Bunce identified himself as a white man who is aware of the privilege that goes with being part of that demographic. He retired from a long career at Boeing, then taught leadership classes at Bellevue College before retiring from that job.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 10, 2017

Sherilyn Fenn of ‘Twin Peaks’ visits Bellevue College

Actress of “Twin Peaks,” Sherilyn Fenn visited Bellevue College to lead an acting class and a Q&A session on July 31. Assistant English professor, Dr. Craig-Hurd McKenney, heard that Fenn would be attending the 25th annual Twin Peaks Festival held in Snoqualmie and North Bend over the weekend. McKenney reached out to Tammi Doyle of the theatre department and Michael Korolenko of the BC Film Club, and they decided to see if she would be interested in holding a class and a Q&A at the college. They believed it would be a great opportunity for students to get an insider’s view of the film industry and learn more about acting. Bellevue College was thrilled when she graciously accepted the invitation.
Bellevue Reporter, Aug. 10, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

Survey: Adults see college as path to better career

A recently released survey from the University of Phoenix finds the majority of working adults view college as a way to improve their careers. The online survey of more than 1,000 adults who are employed at least 20 hours a week found that 38 percent are very satisfied with their current employed position. Forty-three percent said they were very satisfied with how their skills and abilities were being utilized by their employers, and 46 percent said they were fairly compensated. The survey also found that two in five adults are very satisfied with their current level of education and 65 percent of Americans anticipate their current salary would increase if they were to achieve a higher level of education.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 15, 2017

White nationalists rally at University of Virginia

Hundreds of white nationalists marched and rallied at the University of Virginia Friday night. They carried torches and chanted, "You will not replace us and "Jews will not replace us." They also chanted "blood and soil," a Nazi slogan. A major rally by various white nationalist groups — under the name "Unite the Right" — had been planned for Charlottesville Saturday. The city is progressive and not at all a center of white nationalism. But various groups have made Charlottesville a target because the city plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a local park. The Ku Klux Klan and supporters rallied in the city in July, causing concern at the university, but Friday night's march was on campus and ended at the Rotunda, a hallowed space at the university.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 14, 2017

Supremacists on campus

The events in Charlottesville this weekend have worried educators nationwide. But they are not typical of how white supremacists are turning up on campus. The last academic year saw more of a visible white power movement on campus than ever before, according to the Anti-Defamation League and others. Much of the activity, however, came in the form of racist posters and leaflets that appeared on campuses, most of the time anonymously and without any link to a person on campus. The last year also saw, however, a campaign by the National Policy Institute to hold events on campus — and that effort may be picking up this fall.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 14, 2017

Opinion: Why Charlottesville?

When a group of angry and rock-throwing white supremacists descended on the city of Charlottesville on the afternoon and evening of Aug. 11, 2017, the community and the University of Virginia seemed less than fully prepared. Although there had been at least one earlier skirmish, the full force and fury of these events could not fully have been anticipated. By the end of the next day, a car had killed at least one bystander, while many others were injured — some severely — not to mention two state troopers died instantly when their helicopter crashed during surveillance of the conflagration. Yet many observers, in Virginia and elsewhere, might well have anticipated a “perfect storm” on that particular weekend.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 14, 2017

Opinion: Charlottesville: American tragedy redux

Evil marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Va., this weekend, leaving murder and mayhem in its wake. Young white men marched around carrying torches and sporting symbols of some of the most murderous regimes in human history. The racist malevolence we behold on our screens is not some inconsequential fringe element but a cancerous metastasis of a sickness that has infected and degraded our body politic for centuries. The latest eruption of the infection might be the coalition of white supremacist, KKK and neo-Nazi elements that helped to elect a president with no apparent moral center, but the roots of the disease extend to the very birth of this republic. Charlottesville was yet another act in the long-running saga of the American tragedy of racial hatred.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 14, 2017

Social and emotional skills: Everybody loves them, but still can't define them

More and more, people in education agree on the importance of schools' paying attention to stuff other than academics. But still, no one agrees on what to call that "stuff." I originally published a story on this topic two years ago. As I reported back then, there were a bunch of overlapping terms in play, from "character" to "grit" to "noncognitive skills." This bagginess bugged me, as a member of the education media. It bugged researchers and policymakers too. It still does. If anything, the case for nonacademics has gotten even stronger since then. In fact, it has been enshrined in federal law. The Every Student Succeeds Act mandates that states measure at least one nonacademic indicator of school success.
NPR, Aug. 14, 2017

Missing the mark on consent

Many institutions have launched what they consider to be effective affirmative consent campaigns based around the idea that only “yes means yes” when it comes to sex. Some states require such a view. Findings from a new study presented here this week at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association challenge the success of such campaigns, saying that college men are still using ambiguous physical cues to secure what they think is consent before sex.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 14, 2017

Beyond a president’s worst fears, a mob with torches arrived

Two nights before a throng of white nationalists descended upon the University of Virginia, carrying lit torches toward what would become a violent melee, Teresa A. Sullivan described her ominous misgivings to a colleague over dinner. ... The prospect of a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville had loomed over Ms. Sullivan, the university’s president, for weeks. The event had all the makings of a powder keg: neo-Nazis in Emancipation Park, where the city has been seeking to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, clashing with progressive-minded locals and students, who were just beginning to arrive for the fall semester.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 13, 2017

As white supremacists wreak havoc, a university becomes a crisis center

Several days before white nationalists and neo-Nazis were slated to descend upon Charlottesville, Va., the University of Virginia planned a response: what it called "a day of events displaying its commitment to mutual respect and inclusion." As a march proceeded in the town, the university would hold dozens of sessions. The university's provost would lead a talk called "intolerance of intolerance." A student would train others on how to ally with undocumented immigrants. There would be a potluck. It all came to naught.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 12, 2017

When white supremacists descend, what can a college president do?

he University of Virginia became the latest public-college campus to be thrust into political discord and deadly violence when white supremacists paraded through the streets of Charlottesville, Va., this weekend. Carrying torches, protesters supporting a so-called Unite the Right rally gathered Friday night around the statue of Thomas Jefferson on the Charlottesville campus. The evening ended in physical clashes that continued on Saturday, which resulted in the university canceling numerous activities it had planned to respond to the protests. Virginia’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, declared a state of emergency. At least one person was killed when a car crashed into a crowd, and skirmishes played out between extremist groups and counter-protesters. ... It brought to light questions about what college leaders can do when extremists descend on campuses, at a time when presidents may draw fire — as Teresa A. Sullivan, UVa’s president, did initially — for not speaking out as strongly as some people want.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 12, 2017

What happens when a regular high school decides no student is a lost cause?

Brandan started it. He chucked an orange at Mason, who grabbed it and threw it back across the classroom. Zak, who’d been in a funk, started laughing. So did the girls, Dustin and Sierra, who’d been doing schoolwork. Jordan and Brayden, who’d been watching BMX bike videos on their phones, started laughing too. Then the weirdest thing happened. The adult in this high-school classroom, teacher Bridget Shingleton, did not start shouting. “That’s the nature of this job — one minute you’re talking to a real person, then they’re chucking oranges at each other,” Shingleton said later. This is Hope Academy, an alternative program inside Sequim Senior High School, which sits in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. The goal is to offer an alternative for ninth- and 10th-graders who struggle in standard classrooms.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 11, 2017

An anti-hate group has this advice for when the alt-right comes to campus

For universities, the new academic year has nearly arrived. If it’s anything like last year, controversial speakers will be a consistent challenge for administrators and students alike. More often than not, the speakers that generate the most controversy are those labeled right-wing reactionaries by their critics. ... The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that monitors hate groups, wants to reduce the number of these protests gone awry. To that end, the center, which also monitored cases of anti-immigrant and race-based harassment after the presidential election, has issued a 20-page report with advice for students on how best to respond when a controversial speaker from the alt-right comes to campus.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 10, 2017

Fewer Washington students who go to college need to take remedial courses

The rate of Washington students who attend two- and four-year colleges after graduating from high school has remained steady in the past five years, but newly released numbers suggest students who enroll are better prepared for college courses than students in the past. About 60 percent of Washington students who graduated in the class of 2015 enrolled in postsecondary public and private colleges both in and out of the state, according to data released Thursday by the state superintendent’s office. That rate has remained about the same since 2011.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 10, 2017

Washington state middle schoolers’ code will control robots in space

On Friday morning, about three dozen middle schoolers will gather at the Museum of Flight in Seattle to take part in an unusual competition. They’ll get to watch as an astronaut on the International Space Station controls robots using computer code the kids have developed. The students are taking part in a competition developed by MIT called Zero Robotics. Four groups of kids in Tacoma, Seattle, Tukwila and Eatonville have been working this summer to develop computer codes to move robots around and pick up objects.
KNKX, Aug. 10, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

Narrowing the partisan divide

About two-thirds of U.S. adults would want their child to attend a four-year university if they had a child of college-going age, but significant variations exist based on income, educational attainment and partisan affiliation, according to new polling released today. Support for a child attending a university to earn a four-year degree was substantially higher among Democrats than it was for Republicans, according to a survey being released today by the opinion and research journal Education Next. But the gap narrowed if the partisans were given more information, to the point where it disappeared if survey respondents were given information on both the cost of college and the likely lifetime earnings benefits of a four-year degree. That information made Republicans more likely to want a university education for a child than they had been previously — but it had the opposite effect on Democrats.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 15, 2017

Washington schools see bilingual students as future bilingual educators

In Highline Public Schools, district officials have set an ambitious goal of graduating all students as bilingual by 2026. ... Highline is one of the districts that plans to compete for a new state grant aimed to help them recruit, prepare and mentor bilingual high-school students to become future bilingual teachers and counselors. As part of a larger bill to expand dual-language instruction in the state, the Washington Legislature this year approved $400,000 for districts — at least one on each side of the Cascades — to design and start “grow-your-own” teacher academies for bilingual positions.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 14, 2017

Feds ask court to delay Title IX case

Attorneys for the Department of Education asked a federal district court Friday to hold off on a challenge to Obama administration Title IX guidelines for 90 days while it completes its own review of the guidance. The guidance, issued in a 2011 Dear Colleague letter, advised colleges and universities that they should do more to prevent and investigate sexual harassment and assault.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 14, 2017

Here’s what Betsy DeVos told the Associated Press about higher ed

Since being confirmed as Education Secretary in February, Betsy DeVos has not regularly spoken with the media. Last Wednesday, however, she sat down for a 30-minute conversation with the Associated Press to discuss a range of topics, including campus sexual assault and whether or not the department plans to take action on race-conscious admissions.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 14, 2017

Opinion: Has Legislature solved McCleary? Not so fast

In court papers filed last month, lawyers for Washington state argue the state has met its obligation to amply fund public schools in response to the Washington Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary decision. Not so fast. The Supreme Court should be reticent to pronounce “mission accomplished” on school funding reform until school officials have time to fully analyze the new system the Legislature passed in a whirlwind more than a month ago.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 11, 2017

2-pronged strategy against ‘gainful’ rule

When the Department of Education gathered comments this summer ahead of an overhaul of its gainful-employment rule, it heard a litany of familiar refrains from representatives of the for-profit college sector. They argued that the rule, which holds career programs accountable for graduating students with debt they can’t repay, should apply to all programs regardless of tax status, that it should reflect long-term earnings, and in some cases that it should not be tied to federal aid. Whether the department crafts a new gainful-employment rule that reflects those broad goals will have implications for the accountability measures currently in effect for career programs and the kind of data it would provide students.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 11, 2017

Last Modified: 9/20/17 3:57 PM
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