April 11, 2016
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Sabah Randhawa named as new Western Washington University president

There’s a new university president in Bellingham. Sabah Randhawa, the provost and executive vice president of Oregon State University, has been named the new president of Western Washington University (WWU). Provosts were unanimous in choosing Randhawa as the 14th president of WWU. He replaces retiring President Bruce Shepard, whose last day is June 30.

The Bellingham Herald has a story about his selection and a video of Randhawa answering questions from students and faculty in a campus forum.

Gov. Jay Inslee said Randhawa is “a proven leader who is committed to closing the achievement gap, promoting diversity and inclusion for all students.”

His selection comes within months of new presidents at the University of Washington and Washington State University.

The Herald, while upbeat about the final selections at UW, WSU and WWU, said the public is losing out because of a recent trend toward opaque and closed-door selection processes for leaders of Washington’s state universities.

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Let's Seek Solutions Together

It's time to move forward on charter schools

By Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education and an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington Bothell

Charter schools aren't some magic solution. But they are proving themselves a valued component of 21st-century public schooling by demonstrating what's possible when schools are freed from certain rules and regulations in exchange for being held accountable for student outcomes. Far from a distraction, charter schools are here to stay. Far from damaging public education, when ably implemented, charter schools enrich and strengthen the fabric of public education.

It is time to move on and focus on students, not battle lines...
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Workers Needed for Good Jobs

A job in the trades can bring financial, personal success

By Mike Sotelo, co-founder of the Combined Ethnic Chamber

A four-year apprenticeship program can equal or exceed the earning potential of a postsecondary degree. An apprentice electrician earns $19 an hour, which can be achieved the first year out of high school. By the time an electrician completes a five-year apprenticeship program, he or she could be making close to $100,000 a year.

Unfortunately, every time trade employers need workers, they scratch their heads and do whatever they can to attract and retain employees to fit their business models. Contractors are hiring anyone who can fog a mirror because there aren't enough bodies...

Shop classes are disappearing because schools are losing funding. The deeper challenge is we need to start instilling pride into the traditional trades. Even when I was young, I used to say, "I am just a construction worker." I almost apologized for it. We have to start recognizing that our society would grind to a halt without skilled carpenters, laborers, chefs and hotel managers...
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
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