Education

Austin ISD, the University of Texas, Austin Community College, Texas A&M University, charter schools, legislative issues, and anything else related to K-12, public education, higher education and workforce development in Central Texas, Travis County, and Austin.

Choosing a major is a rite of passage for higher education students, and it can feel like a – dare we say it –major decision with lifelong implications. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss what could – and sometimes should –go into choosing a major plan of study.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Despite momentum earlier this year to rid Austin Independent School District properties of links to the Confederacy, the district's Board of Trustees is facing pushback over proposed new names.

A provocative column this year in The Chronicle of Higher Education laments the rise of what the author calls the "promotional intellectual." Dr. Jeffrey J. Williams of Carnegie Mellon University believes the old adage in academia of "publish or perish" has evolved into "promote or perish." In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss promoting one's academic work.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote Oct. 22 on the proposed new names for four AISD buildings named for Confederate figures.

After a long dispute about whether the buildings commemorated the state’s struggle with racism and inequity, the board voted 7-2 in February to change the names. The buildings to be renamed are Eastside Memorial, Lanier and Reagan high schools, The Allan Center, and Fulmore Middle School.

Most people do not necessarily enjoy being told when they are wrong. The formal education experience can at times seem like it is full of those moments - between corrections, grades, comments and evaluations.  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss ways to correct without rejecting.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Sixty-five percent of children born to young parents in Texas are living in poverty, according to a new report.

The report, released Tuesday by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that 450,000 children were born to young parents in Texas from 2015 to 2017. It defined young parents as people between 18 and 24.

High school seniors have something extra added to their workload in the fall semester. Those who are going on to college have to navigate the college application process. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton dissect that annual dash to compile transcripts, test scores, essays and teacher recommendations.

John Jordan/The Texas Tribune

After exploring the idea and stirring worries and warnings from retired teachers and elected officials, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas opted Friday not to raise monthly health care premiums for a group of nearly 68,000 retired teachers.

The author of a summer op-ed in the New York Times (no, not that op-ed!)  believes girls would benefit from more drilling on math to "break the cycle of dislike-avoidance-further dislike" and help them build confidence in their math skills (which research has shown are pretty similar to boys' math skills).  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  discuss the op-ed's call for gender-based additional academic practice and how to undo lingering biases about gender and academic performance.

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees will vote in a little over a week on how to consolidate three elementary schools in East Austin. Students at Metz, Zavala and Sanchez Elementary schools will combine into once school, which the district will completely renovate using money from the 2017 bond, but parents, staff and students are still unsure what lies ahead.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Seventh grade Texas social studies teachers will likely still be required to describe Alamo defenders in terms of their “heroism” and refer to William B. Travis’ letter “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” contrary to an initial recommendation of a board-appointed work group.

Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune

Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin are the only Texas schools to rank in the top 50 nationwide, according to rankings released today from U.S. News & World report that placed the Houston private school in the 16th spot and UT-Austin in the 49th.

Jason Hlavenka/Flickr

An advisory committee is expected to recommend today that the Texas State Board of Education remove the word "heroic" from social studies curriculum when referring to defenders of the Alamo.

Remember those old film strips in school that would advance frame by frame, fueled by an annoying beep? Instructional media has certainly improved quite a bit since those days. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss if better videos make for better learning.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A group of education advocates has released what it is calling a manifesto, demanding the Austin Independent School District immediately address inequities for schools in East Austin.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Two teacher associations sued Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath and the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday, arguing they rolled out a law incentivizing partnerships with school districts and charter schools in a way that weakened protections for public school employees.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Five Austin Independent School District schools named for Confederate figures will get renamed this semester.

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted in February to rename the John T. Allan Facility, Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Sidney Lanier Early College High School, John H. Reagan Early College High School and Eastside Memorial Early College High School at the Johnston Campus (named for Albert Sidney Johnston).

The episode was originally posted on May 20, 2018.

Business and industry sometimes say they find students are not prepared for work – or the working world in general – when they graduate from college. Liberal arts institutions, meanwhile, say they are preparing flexible and well-rounded students who are ready to tackle anything.

How can this disconnect be bridged? Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I explore the relationship between academia and industry in this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed."

IgorTX/Flickr

The Round Rock Independent School District is providing families free, full-day prekindergarten for the first time this school year.

The district previously offered only a half-day program, paid for by the state.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Federal education officials are considering letting school districts use federal money to buy guns for educators — and the idea may have come from Texas, according to national education outlet Education Week.

Emree Weaver for KUT

Central Texas students are back in class for the 2018-19 school year. It can be a busy time, searching for just the right notebook and adjusting to earlier alarm clocks and busier afternoons and evenings. But adult caregivers and children are encouraged not to ignore feelings that can crop up during the back-to-school season.

KUT

High school students in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District may be charged $10 to get a cellphone or “telecommunications device” back if it is confiscated during class.

During a meeting Monday, school board members who favor the policy change emphasized stricter regulations to encourage student focus in classrooms.

Shutterstock

Back-to-school shopping has been different this year for Annette Holder, whose son Clayton is an incoming freshman at Santa Fe High School.

The school’s new metal detectors mean more composition books, fewer three-ring binders – or really anything with metal.

Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is urging the Teacher Retirement System not to raise health care premiums for retired teachers, arguing that state lawmakers should take on the burden of increased costs.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Austin Independent School District received a grade of "B" under the state's new A-F grading system. The Texas Education Agency released the preliminary grades for the first time Wednesday.

This episode was originally posted on Feb 4, 2018.

A lot of people have input when it comes to formal education: teachers, students, administrators, staff and parents for starters. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss who out of all those groups, though, is actually in control of the quality of the education provided.

This episode was originally posted on Jan. 28, 2018.

Those in higher education have a lot on their minds these days: the new tax law, immigration, affordability, the cost of education and how these things impact teaching and learning. Educators are also thinking about how people discuss those topics.

In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how people with different opinions can have fruitful and thoughtful conversations in and out of the classroom.

Austin Price for KUT

As the new school year approaches, the Austin Independent School District is preparing for more immigrant families to rely on it for resources outside of education.

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