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News Links | January 31, 2017

January 31, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Washington state taking on Trump over immigration ban

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson launched a legal fight Monday to stop President Donald Trump from keeping residents of seven Middle East and North African countries from visiting or immigrating to the United States. ... Van Dinh-Kuno, who directs Refugee and Immigrant Services Northwest from offices at Everett Community College, said her clients from affected countries such as Somalia and Iraq are fearful of talking publicly about the executive order.
Everett Herald, Jan. 31, 2017

Radio station KSVR works to serve Spanish-speaking audience

Seated in a studio at KSVR 91.7 FM last week, Francisco Farias pulled off his headphones as he took a break from recording his weekly Spanish-language music and news radio show. Farias, who started volunteering at the station a few months ago, believes the station’s Spanish-language programs have a big impact on Skagit County’s Latino community. ...The station, which is on the Skagit Valley College campus, went on the air in 1973.
Skagit Valley Herald, Jan. 31, 2017

Local college presidents pledge to protect immigrant students

The presidents of all three colleges based in Thurston County have pledged to continue protecting students covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which is at risk of being eliminated as part of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. ... The Olympia-based South Puget Sound Community College and Saint Martin’s University in Lacey aren’t being referred to as sanctuaries either, although both of their presidents signed letters in support of DACA as well. ... SPSCC president Tim Stokes signed a letter with other leaders from the state’s community and technical colleges, urging Trump to continue DACA, stating there already has been an “enormous investment” in DACA students’ K-12 education.
The Olympian, Jan. 30, 2017

Gov. Jay Inslee tours Skagit Valley College

For a few hours Friday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee got to see what it is like to be a Skagit Valley College student. “It’s very impressive what I saw today,” Inslee said during a tour of several programs. “They’re not training just for the jobs of yesterday, but the jobs of tomorrow.” Skagit Valley College President Tom Keegan was happy to show Inslee around.
Skagit Valley Herald, Jan. 30, 2017

Wanted: Factory workers, degree required

When the German engineering company Siemens Energy opened a gas turbine production plant in Charlotte, N.C., some 10,000 people showed up at a job fair for 800 positions. But fewer than 15 percent of the applicants were able to pass a reading, writing and math screening test geared toward a ninth-grade education. ...Ditto at John Deere dealerships, which repair million-dollar farming machinery filled with several dozen computers. Fixing tractors and grain harvesters now requires advanced math and comprehension skills and the ability to solve problems on the fly. “The toolbox is now a computer,” said Andy Winnett, who directs the company’s agricultural program at Walla Walla Community College in Washington. These are the types of good-paying jobs that President Trump, blaming trade deals for the decline in manufacturing, has promised to bring back to working-class communities. But according to a study by Ball State University, nearly nine in 10 jobs that disappeared since 2000 were lost to automation in the decades-long march to an information-driven economy, not to workers in other countries.
The New York Times, Jan. 30, 2017

Tri-Cities brace for immigration changes

The Mid-Columbia is bracing for possible disruptions in everything from scientific research and education to agriculture and aid to refugees following a series of executive actions by President Trump. ... About 200 refugees, including men, women and children, settle in the Tri-Cities annually because of the efforts of World Relief Tri-Cities and its local church partners. The humanitarian efforts include aiding families as they find housing, jobs and education in unfamiliar territory. The Family Learning Center, serving refugee students, was thrilled in 2016 when four of its students graduated from high school and enrolled at Columbia Basin College.
Tri-City Herald, Jan. 30, 2017

Students in YVC's winery program drink in the knowledge

One of the first things students learn in science class is to not eat or drink anything in the lab, but that’s not the case here. On a recent Thursday, Bonnie Wescott sipped a glass of Chardonnay poured straight from a beaker to determine if her wine blend was acidic enough. Wescott is one of about 40 students in Yakima Valley College’s Vineyard and Winery Technology Program, now entering its 10th year.
Yakima Herald, Jan. 30, 2017

Waterfront building becoming a hub for new business ideas

If fostering creativity is a key to economic development, Bellingham appears to be taking a step in that direction with a new partnership. The Foundry Bellingham Makerspace is close to opening in its new spot at the Technology Development Center at 1000 F St. on the Bellingham waterfront. It should be ready for community use in early February, said Mary Elliott Keane, executive director of the nonprofit organization that provides equipment and support to independent inventors and tinkerers. The organization previously was downtown near Bellingham Grocery Outlet. The move is significant because a connection is being formed among the community, Western Washington University and Bellingham Technical College.
The Bellingham Herald, Jan. 30, 2017

Stan Boreson, ‘King of Scandinavian Humor,’ dies at 91

Stan Boreson, the beloved entertainer from Everett who won hearts with his wacky songs and upbeat accordion playing, died Friday. He was 91. In the 1950s and 1960s, local children watched Boreson sing silly lyrics and play his accordion on KING-TV’s “KING’s Klubhouse,” later “The Stan Boreson Show.” He performed on national and international stages as well. Whether it was the king of Norway or a crowd at the Everett Sausage Festival, he adored his audiences. ... Boreson graduated from Everett High in 1944 and was rejected by the Army because of an arm injury that had hospitalized him as a child. He joined the USO and traveled in Europe, performing on makeshift stages, before returning home and enrolling at Everett Junior College, now Everett Community College. He went on to study at the University of Washington.
Everett Herald, Jan. 30, 2017

Tiny Lynnwood camp helps homeless students stay in college

The tents in the church’s backyard are shielded from view by a 6-foot fence. A group of five community college students, all of whom are homeless, started moving in earlier this month to the new camp at Good Shepherd Baptist Church. ... The tenants at Shepherd’s Village are required to be registered at a community college, such as nearby Edmonds Community College.
Everett Herald, Jan. 29, 2017

Ukrainian couple celebrates freedom to worship and fail

As a girl attending school in the Soviet Union, Tatyana Chubenko was singled out for her Christian faith. ... She and her husband, Nikolay, both came from religious families and had been denied education and good jobs in the communist country. So about 20 years ago, they decided to take their three sons and search for a better life in the United States. ... After arriving, Tatyana briefly attended classes at Spokane Falls Community College, which helped her pick up the language. Nikolay was working full-time, so his wife did her best to teach him what she learned in the evenings.
The Spokesman-Review, Jan. 29, 2017

Immigrant student thanks South Seattle College’s Gifts From The Earth sold-out crowd for helping education dreams come true

It was a striking coincidence that while more than a thousand people were at Sea-Tac Airport protesting the President’s immigration crackdown, a teenage immigrant was onstage at the annual South Seattle College “Gifts From The Earth” benefit, telling her story. ... Blanca Olivera was 11 when she and her family came here from Mexico. Two years ago, she graduated from Chief Sealth International High School, and became the first member of her family to attend college, via the 13th Year Promise Scholarship – which offers one free year at SSC for graduates of Sealth, Cleveland, and Rainier Beach.
West Seattle Blog, Jan. 28, 2017

Edmonds Community College program provides support for veterans

A cluster of rooms in Lynnwood Hall has the feel of a small military command. It’s a place on the Edmonds Community College campus where Air Force veterans can crack jokes about the Navy’s bad coffee. Burial flags, a photo of a soldier carrying a buddy and old combat boots tell stories from years of service. The Veterans Resource Center opened in 2012. It is where student veterans can go for guidance, support and friendship.
Everett Herald, Jan. 28, 2017

Sparks fly at heated competition among top high school welders

For the second year in a row, North Thurston High School’s Natasha Weiss won the regional SkillsUSA welding competition Friday. “My papa and my uncle both are master welders, so it’s just something that I took into interest,” said Weiss, 18, a senior at the Lacey school. “And now I love it.” About 20 students from four high schools — North Thurston, Rainier and Elma high schools, and West Sound Technical Skills Center in Bremerton — participated in the daylong event at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia.
The Olympian, Jan. 27, 2017

Chateau Ste. Michelle’s old vines find new success

Each year, the 300,000 people who visit Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville drive past several long rows of grapevines lining the dramatic approach to the manor. Some visitors are under the impression these are the source for Ste. Michelle’s wines. While the vines serve only an ornamental purpose for the château, the resulting grapes are donated to the winemaking program at South Seattle College, where the students and faculty turn them into award-winning wines.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 27, 2017

EvCC, WSU students lend a hand

More than 50 students from Everett Community College and Washington State University North Puget Sound celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by volunteering at the Imagine Children’s Museum, HopeWorks Station and EvCC’s Early Learning Center.
Everett Herald, Jan. 27, 2017

EdCC students help with NASA grant project

Edmonds Community College students partnered with a local technology company to test how well plasma jets can eliminate specific types of bacteria from the surface of spacecraft. Eagle Harbor Technologies, a Seattle-based company, was awarded a NASA Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop and test the technology. EdCC microbiology instructor Jonathan Miller worked with Eagle Harbor to draft the grant proposal.
Everett Herald, Jan. 26, 2017

Columbia Basin College trucking into the future

“Loading the virtual world,” Bud Stephens said as he fired up Columbia Basin College’s newest tool to train future truck drivers. The college, along with Columbia Distributing’s Kennewick branch, joined to purchase a full-motion truck simulator. The company donated $10,000 to help pay for the $111,000 cost of the machine.
Tri-City Herald, Jan. 26, 2017

South Seattle College graduate wins ACT Transforming Lives award

South Seattle College graduate Marady Duong was awarded the Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) Transforming Lives Award in Olympia on Jan. 23, 2017. Duong received a $500 cash prize along with four other students selected from community and technical colleges across the state.
West Seattle Herald, Jan. 26, 2017

Russ Mohney Award: Onalaska science teacher takes pride in providing perspective

Johnny Garcia may be a small-town teacher but he keeps his eyes on the world, and out of it too. For the past 22 years, Garcia has taught science at Onalaska High School, and for the majority of that time he has also been the eager gatekeeper of the high-powered Herold Observatory that’s tucked neatly behind Onalaska Elementary School. ... Garcia even began teaching observational astronomy at Centralia College in 1998 in order to broaden his reach. He still teaches the class today, largely as a built-in excuse to open up the observatory more often.
Centralia Chronicle, Jan. 26, 2017

Grants to provide field trips, welding equipment for Onalaska students

The Onalaska School District has received two grants to further its career and technical education program, one that will provide field trips and another that will be used to purchase more equipment for the welding program. ... At Monday night’s school board meeting, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development awarded a $2,000 grant. That money will be used to fund six field trips for woods and metals students. They include tours at Alta Forest Products and Hampton Lumber Mills, both in Morton, as well as a trip to a metal fabrication shop in Longview and another one to Lower Columbia College
Centralia Chronicle, Jan. 26, 2017

Bates graduate honored at Transforming Lives Award dinner

Bates Technical College Digital Media and Broadcasting and Video Production graduate Liam Murphy was honored at the Transforming Lives Award dinner in Olympia on Jan. 23. Murphy joined other nominees from the state’s 34 two-year community and technical colleges to honor and recognize students or graduates who have overcome significant barriers to achieve their higher-education goals.
The Suburban Times, Jan. 26, 2017

CPTC alum honored at Transforming Lives dinner

Clover Park Technical College graduate Kevin Carbonell attended the 2017 Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) Transforming Lives Awards Monday evening as CPTC’s honoree for recognition. ... Carbonell graduated in June 2016 from CPTC with a degree in computer programming and web development after maintaining a 4.0 grade point average throughout the program. The coursework added to an already-full schedule as Carbonell worked full time and had two grade-school-aged children at home.
The Suburban Times, Jan. 26, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

USA funds to settle suit on loan collection fees

The former loan guarantor USA Funds has agreed to pay $23 million to settle a lawsuit that challenged the right of such agencies to collect fees from borrowers who had defaulted on loans but started repaying them.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 31, 2017

Number of homeless students in Washington state climbs to nearly 40,000

Nearly 40,000 Washington students were homeless during the 2015-16 school year, an increase of about 12 percent from the year before. In 21 school districts, the number of homeless students doubled in the two-year span. In King and Snohomish counties, the increase was 16 percent, according to a Seattle Times analysis of last year’s numbers, which were released last week by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 31, 2017

UW class on how to spot fake data goes viral within hours

Two University of Washington professors are taking aim at BS in a provocatively named new course they hope to teach this spring. The professors would like to push the course materials online — teaching it as a MOOC, for example, a freely available course taught over the web.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 28, 2017

Study measures disparities in access to advanced courses in Washington high schools

Research is mixed on whether taking advanced courses in high school leads to stronger grades in college, but studies do suggest that students who participate in those classes are at least more likely to enroll and continue in college. But in Washington state, not all students enjoy the same access to college-level coursework, such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and dual-enrollment classes. In fact, schools with a lot of students who speak Spanish at home offer fewer advanced courses than schools with lower percentages of such students, according to a new study from Regional Education Laboratory Northwest.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 27, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

Why colleges’ pledges to shield data on international students don’t mean much

President Trump’s executive order to bar all refugees from entering the United States, as well as citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, had college leaders scrambling over the weekend to respond. Many colleges released statements saying they would not turn over confidential student records to law-enforcement agencies beyond the federal government’s current requirement. ...But while those messages may be reassuring, it’s hard to tell how much of a difference they might make.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 31, 2017

Decision day for DeVos

The Senate education committee will vote today on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education — the next step in what has become one of the most publicly contentious confirmation processes for any Trump cabinet nominee and an unusually bitter fight over an education secretary nominee.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 31, 2017

How one university is contending with the aftermath of Trump’s travel ban

"No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here." The chant swelled across a candle-lit crowd of hundreds of people at West Virginia University late Monday. Students, professors, and others had gathered on campus for a vigil to support Muslims, refugees, and members of the university’s international community. Their words were a direct response to an executive order signed on Friday by President Trump that imposed a 90-day travel ban on citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries and a 120-day ban on all refugee admissions. The measure has been widely condemned by the academic community and has left universities like West Virginia scrambling to respond to anxious students and scholars about what might happen to them.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 31, 2017

Tenn. plans to expand free 2-year tuition to all adults

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced during his State of the State address Monday that all adult residents will be able to attend the state's community colleges tuition- and fee-free. The idea builds on the success of the widely-heralded Tennessee Promise, which offered free tuition, last dollar scholarships at community colleges to the state's high school graduates.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 31, 2017

Will rich districts suffer under McCleary school-funding fix?

Under the McCleary decision, will school districts that now raise a lot from their local taxpayers have to give up some of those dollars? It’s possible.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 30, 2017

Stranded and stuck

An executive order signed by President Trump late Friday afternoon immediately barring immigrants and nonimmigrant visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. has had immediate effects on scholars and students. More than 17,000 students in the U.S. come from the seven countries affected by the immediate 90-day entry ban: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 30, 2017

Forceful response

Many higher education leaders issued statements over the weekend in response to the Trump administration's executive order to ban immigrants and nonimmigrant visitors from seven countries, which are majority Muslim, from entering the United States. They criticized the ban for the disruption it caused to students and scholars and for confusion around the order and its implementation and, in many cases, expressed moral outrage.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 30, 2017

Opinion: Lawmakers must save K-12 schools from ‘levy cliff’

The Washington Legislature has two big challenges this year in paying for K-12 public schools. One is urgent, the other is very, very expensive. The best-known challenge is the state Supreme Court ruling in the McCleary case in 2012. It required full state funding of schools by September 2018, and that could require $1.75 billion a year in new resources to pay for K-12 staff salaries. The less talked about challenge is called the “levy cliff.’’ This is a relatively inexpensive change in law that would let local school districts keep more than $350 million of local property-tax levies already approved by taxpayers for use in the next school year. Matching funds for poorer districts also are affected.
The Olympian, Jan. 28, 2017

McCleary fix? Senate GOP wants to change teacher pay, how schools are funded

Senate Republicans Friday released a sweeping education-funding plan that would change both how state K-12 teachers are paid and how schools are funded. Under the Republican plan, the state would collect local property tax levies for schools, which would not be subject to voter approval. The state would add $1.4 billion per two-year budget cycle to supplement education funding. Local districts could still raise additional money with voter approval, but the amount would be capped and could only pay for extras, not basic education.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 27, 2017

Opinion: Education reform not only about money

The Legislature’s efforts to fix the way Washington pays for public schools isn’t all about the dollars. It’s also about improving student success. But in the end, the state needs a way to pay for education reform, along with accountability to make sure the money is spent as intended.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 27, 2017

‘Levy cliff’ school-funding showdown looms in state Senate

A McCleary-related showdown in the Washington Legislature could come Friday on a bill to delay what’s known as the “levy cliff” for K-12 schools. Senate Democrats announced Thursday afternoon that since they consider the Senate tied between their party and the Republican coalition, they would attempt to pull HB 1059 to the floor for a vote. That legislation would delay by a year a scheduled reduction in the money school districts can collect through local property-tax dollars.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 26, 2017

Opinion: Kudos to Microsoft for bold public-policy goals for Washington state

Microsoft is taking its regional public service to a new level with the release of an ambitious legislative agenda for Washington state. Under its president, Brad Smith, the company has increasingly advocated for education, transportation and economic development. With the new agenda Smith published online recently, the Redmond company is going further and supporting progressive policies that would benefit the entire state. ... Washington state’s policies restricting education for its prisoners are backward and contribute to recidivism. Microsoft is calling for providing inmates at state prisons with training in digital literacy, coding and productivity tools.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 25, 2017

Washington Republicans say 'fund education first,' Democrats vote 'no'

Washington lawmakers are under a court order to fully fund K-12 education. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that it’s their top priority. But a measure to officially “fund education first” in the state budget failed Wednesday. Rep. Jesse Young, a Republican, said that finalizing education funding earlier would allow families and teachers more time to share their input.
Northwest Public Radio, Jan. 25, 2017

Lawmakers say students could pay for Republican inaction

By Rep. Mike Chapman, Rep. Steve Tharinger and Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, who represent the 24th Legislative District. If you saw your children playing near the edge of a cliff, you wouldn’t dawdle — you’d get to them as fast as you could and move them to safety. That’s the kind of urgency the Legislature needs to use in addressing the so-called “levy cliff” that threatens schoolchildren across our state. If the Legislature fails to fully fund education by April, our schools will see their budgets slashed by nearly $400 million.
The Daily World, Jan. 25, 2017

Opinion: Reducing ongoing tests could benefit education

Does the state of Washington spent too much money testing students? That’s a debate that’s been raging across the state for more than two decades as lawmakers in Olympia and Washington, D.C., put testing requirements in place as a way to hold students and teachers accountable. Unfortunately, these testing efforts come and go (and then come again) with such frequency that the only people held accountable are the taxpayers — for picking up the tab.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Jan. 25, 2017

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