Tacoma schools superintendent Santorno on Friday's Northwest Now on KBTC

Posted: February 15, 2017

In 2010, USA Today called the Tacoma School District a “Dropout Factory,” with a disappointing 55 percent graduation rate.

It was then that the district forged a clear goal: by the class of 2020, the district would increase the graduation rate by 50 percent. It took less than four years to move the rate of high school graduates to 78 percent in 2013, and an even bigger 81 percent by 2015.

On the next Northwest Now, host Tom Layson sits down with Superintendent Carla Santorno to discuss the continuing success of Tacoma Public Schools. Find out what is behind this dramatic turnaround.

“It’s all about being transparent and saying here’s where have to go, being honest about where our gaps are and what we need to do to fix them, and having a community that says we’re ready to come together and fix you,” Santorno told Layson.

The Emmy and Telly Award-winning public affairs series Northwest Now airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m. on KBTC Public Television, a service of Bates Technical College.

Use the list below to find us on TV. You can also watch past episodes and learn more about our show on our website.


KBTC 28.1, 28.2, 28.3 digital channels, (including K41KT-D Grays River-Lebam and K24IC-D, Bellingham and Channel 16 Digital, Seattle)

KCKA 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 digital channels


Comcast channel 108 (HD, most areas in Western Washington)

Comcast channel 12 (most areas – in Tacoma, Comcast channel 3)

Click! (Tacoma) channel 3 Rainier Connect channel 10

Broadstripe channel 28 (varies by area)

Verizon FiOS channel 28
Frontier Cable: 528 (HD), 28 (SD), and 474 (MHz Worldview)


Dish channel 28 (may appear as 8620)