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Authors / Biography

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson is a Senior Program Officer in the Pacific Northwest Initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, making grants in the Initiative’s Education Pathways area, where he is lead on the "collective impact" work in Seattle and South King County: a community-wide effort to increase educational attainment from cradle to college.

Posts By Ken Thompson

Mod Your Future: How Basic Tech is Changing Life Plans

Whatcom Community College is empowering students to take control of the direction of their life with a new online degree planning tool.

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Supporting STEM Teachers in South King County

Thanks to a partnership with and the South King County STEM Network, 460 classroom projects in South King County were fully funded.

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Looking for Economic Opportunity? Mind the Education System Gaps!

A local response to group blogging event, which asks: “How could cities better connect all their residents to economic opportunity?”

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How Many Meetings Would You Go to for $40 million?

A consortium of seven school districts under the banner of the Puget Sound Educational Service District, won the largest award possible in the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top – District competition: $40 million. (

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Kudos to Collaboration

Collaborative work in Seattle and neighboring South King County involves seven school districts, five community colleges, and lots of early learning and other community organizations. We’re two years into this work, and an early finding was the paucity
of connections among the school districts (and similarly, amongst the community colleges), even though their student populations are very similar to each other, and each district struggles with many of the same challenges.

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