Ashley Gross | KNKX

Ashley Gross

Youth and Education Reporter

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat.  She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.

She studied history at Brown University and earned a master's in international affairs at Columbia University. She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and two sons.

One of Ashley's most memorable moments in radio happened several years ago in Northwest Alaska: "I was visiting an alcohol and drug rehab program in the tiny village of Selawik. It helps Alaska Natives recover by helping them get back in touch with their subsistence lifestyle. It was spring, which meant the river was still frozen - barely. We went out on snowmachines to go ice-fishing, but late in the day, as we headed back, the river had melted to the consistency of a Slurpee. It was a harrowing ride and a good lesson in trust - I rode with my eyes closed, clinging for dear life to the woman driving. A week later, three people drowned trying to ride a snowmachine over that river, and that's when I realized just how dangerous life in rural Alaska can be."

Ways to Connect

Ashley Gross / KNKX

The drumbeat of complaints about Kent’s superintendent of public schools is growing louder. Last month, the Kent Education Association took a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Superintendent Calvin Watts, who has led the district of more than 27,000 students since 2015.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The Washington Supreme Court will hear arguments this Thursday in a case that has the potential to throw charter schools into turmoil. The plaintiffs in the case argue that the law passed by the legislature to allow charter schools is unconstitutional.

Sy Bean for the Hechinger Report

Many high school seniors and their parents are doing the math right now calculating how much four years of college is going to cost. What most don’t imagine is that they may have to pay for five or six years. Nationally, only two out of five college students finish on time. 

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Teachers have been going on strike in several states across the country, and now teaching assistants at the University of Washington are planning one of their own. Academic student employees will stage a one-day walkout next Tuesday.

Catherine Carbone Rogers / Highline Public Schools

An elementary school teacher in Burien will travel later this month to one of the most remote spots on earth.

Melissa Cook, who teaches second grade at Hazel Valley Elementary School in the Highline school district, has been selected along with 39 other educators from the U.S. and Canada to join a National Geographic expedition to a set of Norwegian islands in the Arctic Ocean.

City of Mercer Island

Getting the whole community involved in preventing drug and alcohol use by young people can have lasting effects. That’s the conclusion of a recent study published by researchers at the University of Washington.

Parents and teachers in the Kent School District are calling for the resignation of Superintendent Calvin Watts. One mother has started an online petition calling for him to step down.

Sy Bean for the Hechinger Report

This story was produced in collaboration with The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. 

Like most other American high school students, Garret Morgan had it drummed into him constantly: Go to college. Get a bachelor’s degree.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

In the past year, Washington lawmakers have made major changes to the way schools are funded to end the long-running McCleary lawsuit. But parents and school officials say the public education system still doesn’t have all that it needs.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

 (Updated at 1:55 pm on April 20, 2018, to clarify how much more the new levy will cost an average homeowner.)

The city of Seattle is planning to ask voters to approve a levy this November to pay for education programs for kids from preschool age all the way up to community college.

Manuel Valdes / AP Photo

Friday marks 19 years since two students opened fire on their classmates at Columbine High School in Colorado, one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle’s economy is booming, but not enough young people who grow up here are landing those high-paying jobs, according to Mayor Jenny Durkan.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

New regulations are in the works for child care centers and people who run day care out of their homes. Washington state aims to align rules for different categories of child care and improve the quality of care.

But some child care center owners are warning that the rules being considered will force them to charge parents more. Washington already ranks among the 10 least affordable states for child care.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Eighth graders in Washington state scored above the national average in both math and reading on the assessment known as the nation's report card.

seattlepi.com

This story originally aired Aug. 28, 2013. We are sharing it again in remembrance of the Rev. Dr. Samuel McKinney, the Seattle civil rights icon who died Saturday at age 91.

Fifty years ago today, a quarter-million people gathered in Washington, D.C., to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. But the summer of 1963 marked a critical point in Seattle history as well, as young activists staged the city’s first sit-ins of the civil rights movement.

"Burien Press" by Michael Allen Smith@INeedCoffee is licensed under CC by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2FOfqAB

Burien is still reeling after the fatal shooting of two teenage girls less than two weeks ago. On Monday evening, Burien city officials will hold a town hall meeting to talk about youth engagement and ways to keep the community safe.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Seattle Public Schools is on its way to getting its first Native American superintendent. The school board has voted to begin contract negotiations with Denise Juneau, former state superintendent of public instruction in Montana.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

In his time as superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, Larry Nyland has said that it’s a “moral imperative” to ensure that every kid in Seattle gets a great education. But the district has not managed to eliminate troubling gaps that exist between white kids and students of color in things like test scores and graduation rates.

Kyle Stokes / KNKX

The Seattle school district is holding community meetings to get input on two tax levies that will be on the ballot next February, but there’s concern that voters are fed up with higher property taxes.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Seattle Public Schools have big disparities in test scores by race and income level. The three people competing to run the Seattle school district all say closing that gap is top priority.

Joe Wolf / Flickr

The people vying to run Washington state’s largest school district will take questions from the public at a forum Thursday afternoon. One group anxiously looking for more information on the three candidates is the Seattle Education Association, the union that represents teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals and other school staff in the district.

Manuel Valdes / AP Photo

Ever since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February, schools have been even more alert to the possibility of gun violence.

Thursday evening, Highline Public Schools in South King County is holding the first in a series of community meetings about school safety. Other districts say they’re taking threats very seriously, as well.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

A tight-knit community in SeaTac has been fighting for almost two years to stay in their mobile homes. Wednesday evening, Northwest Film Forum in Seattle will screen a short documentary about their possible displacement that was produced by three teenage girls who have grown up there.

Joe Mabel / Flickr

This is a nail-biting time for high school seniors as they wait for college acceptance letters and financial aid. Twenty-two high schoolers from around the Puget Sound region already have that figured out after being selected for a scholarship program called Act Six.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Often, laws are created in the wake of a tragedy. In Washington state, the legislature passed what’s called the Becca laws in 1995 in the wake of the murder of a 13-year-old girl named Rebecca Hedman.

The laws are aimed at creating systems to track and get help for kids who are engaged in risky behavior, including chronic absence from school.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

Students around the Puget Sound region, from Seattle to Renton to Gig Harbor, poured out of class as part of the national walkout against gun violence.

At Ingraham High School in North Seattle, hundreds of students gathered on the soccer field. They stood in silence to honor the victims of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

Richard Vogel / AP Photo

Students at schools across the Puget Sound region are planning to walk out Wednesday as part of a nationwide protest to mark the one-month anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

Gabriel Spitzer / KNKX

Gray hair is one of the inevitable timestamps of life, and Ashley Gross has noticed a few springing up on her head lately. Or rather, her kids have noticed, and enjoy pointing them out. This didn't seem like such a big deal, until she noticed that there tend to be relatively few prominent women who let their gray show.

Hair colorants are a multi-billion dollar industry that seems to target women's insecurities about aging. They also reinforce a strain in our culture that diminishes older women.

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

Schools may soon have to screen kids for the learning disability dyslexia early on in elementary school. State lawmakers passed a bill requiring districts to do so starting in the 2020-2021 school year.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Monday in a case that has big potential consequences for public-sector unions in Washington state. If the conservative majority on the court rules against the unions, they could be hurt financially, according to one legal expert.

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