Our Northwest Matters blog discusses ideas and innovations in education from a Northwest perspective. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

Tim Blackburn March 15, 2018
This is the second in a three-part series on Ontario School District’s “language in the air” approach to creating opportunities for students learning English to practice language throughout the school day. Check out Part 1 for more background on this project. From the beginning, our partnership with the Ontario School District in Eastern Oregon has focused on improving outcomes for English...
Tim Blackburn March 1, 2018
English learners benefit when they have opportunities for language practice throughout the day. What does it take for schools to make this happen?
Mike Siebersma February 27, 2018
For districts and schools hit hard by teacher shortages, there's only so much you can do alone in hiring and keeping high-quality teachers. Mike Siebersma writes on how networks can be the answer.
Phyllis Ault February 21, 2018
The Alaska Statewide Mentor Project has positive effects on the retention of new teachers and student achievement. What can other states take away from what Alaska is doing?
Raúl Sital February 5, 2018
How does an eastern Washington high school build and retain an exceptional and diverse teaching staff despite challenges? Pasco High School Principal Raúl Sital shares his approach.
Lauren Bates January 30, 2018
One reason that hate groups are on the rise may be that they provide their members a sense of belonging they are not finding elsewhere. What can educators do to help reverse this trend?
Karyn Lewis January 26, 2018
Part 3 of our blog series offers considerations for selecting an SEL measurement tool that works best for your needs.
Karyn Lewis January 24, 2018
When it comes to selecting which SEL skills to measure, local priorities should guide your thinking. Part 2 in our blog series.
Karyn Lewis January 11, 2018
SEL is critical to student success, but how do you know your supports are working? On our blog, Researcher Karyn Lewis walks you through key considerations on how to measure SEL.
Danette Parsley November 7, 2017
As school improvement evolves, what recent strategies should keep going strong?
Jacqueline Raphael and Mike Siebersma September 27, 2017
For districts, what's the sweet spot for balancing school improvement decision making? This reflection process will help refine your approach.
Shannon Davidson August 29, 2017
Starting college can be stressful for all students but in particular for those who have experienced trauma. How can educators help?
Nettie Legters August 14, 2017
Once you make gains in school improvement, how do you sustain them and keep going?
Sarah Nance August 12, 2017
Providing students with structure and boundaries doesn't have to take a big effort and can help young people learn more effectively.
Jason Younker June 15, 2017
Guest Blogger Jason Younker writes on the challenges colleges face in identifying their American Indian and Alaska Native students and the solution that U of O developed to better serve the community.
Mandy Smoker Broaddus June 9, 2017
Guest Blogger Mandy Smoker Broaddus writes on how Montana is creating language-immersion elementary classrooms as one strategy to restore and revitalize Native languages.
Caitlin Scott May 31, 2017
With ESSA placing states and districts in the driver’s seat when it comes to school improvement, what lessons can be learned from the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program?
Meghan Perry May 23, 2017
Incorporating youth voice into academic settings requires educators and other adults to be mindful and think critically about when they need to step up (and step out) to best support youth.
Jessica Knight April 4, 2017
Empowering Volunteers and Increasing Impact: Lessons from SMART’s Refreshed Volunteer Training Program
Jacqueline Raphael February 27, 2017
When students are struggling in reading and writing, a promising approach is to emphasize the connections through strategies like sentence starters and mentor texts. Our author gives insights.
Marybeth Flachbart February 17, 2017
Students with dyslexia are intelligent but struggle to "crack the code" of written language. What can educators do to best support them in the classroom?
Havala Hanson February 9, 2017
A study found disparities in advanced course enrollment among students from different language groups. What can schools do to increase advanced course enrollment and success for English learners?
Education Northwest January 31, 2017
Our conversation with Dana Kelly and Carson Howell from the Idaho State Board of Education on Idaho’s approach and success in creating dual-credit programs.
Brandi Holten and Ashley Pierson January 31, 2017
Earning college credit while still in high school can benefit students in many ways. What can states, districts and schools do to help their dual-credit programs become successful?
Michelle Hodara January 24, 2017
Financial aid helps expand college access but not all eligible students apply. This post explores the barriers students face in applying for aid and provides FAFSA-completion strategies for educators.
Aurora Moore and Basha Krasnoff January 17, 2017
Once schools are using data to identify the students at risk of falling through the cracks, what’s the next step? Graduation coaches who help kids cross the graduation stage is one potential solution.
Matthew Eide December 14, 2016
New federal law requires state and local education agencies to engage in "timely and meaningful" consultation with area tribes while preparing and submitting plans for federal programs. But what does “meaningful” consultation look like?
Steve Fleischman November 29, 2016
After fly fishing on Oregon's McKenzie River, Steve Fleischman connects his experience to the Every Student Succeeds Act and the practical choices educators make when determining how rigorous evidence should be when planning their school improvement efforts.
Denise Juneau November 16, 2016
Montana has the best graduation rate in the state's history. State Superintendent Denise Juneau writes about the initiative that brought together educators, communities, educators, nonprofit organizations and businesses to help make that happen.
Jasmin Zapata, Andres Ambris, Coral Ambriz October 31, 2016
How well do students feel they get along with their teachers? Three students from Portland YouthBuilders share experiences on the role that teacher-student relationships have played in their high school education.