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Ann Dornfeld

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Seattle Public School teachers walked off the job today. It was supposed to be the first day of school. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What do we want? UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Fair contracts. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: When do we want it? UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Now. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What do we want? UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Fair contracts. CORNISH: This hasn't happened in Seattle in 30 years. And as you can hear, the teachers...

The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools. Students of color have long been punished in far higher numbers than white students in Seattle, but now the department's Office for Civil Rights is looking at whether black students are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than white students for the same behavior. African-American students in Seattle schools are suspended at a staggering rate. More than one in four black middle...

An entire school of teachers in Seattle is refusing to give students a standardized test that's required by the district. The teachers say the test is useless and wastes valuable instructional time. Meanwhile, individual teacher protests of standardized tests are popping up nationwide, and the Seattle case may make bigger waves. 'I Just See No Use For It' Students in Seattle Public Schools take a test called the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP, up to three times a year...