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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees is seeking community feedback on whether to rename five district facilities named after people who served in the Confederacy. The board is gathering community input before it votes on whether to change the names at its meeting Monday. 

District administration asked the board to consider renaming the following buildings at a November board meeting:

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District has received no offers to run Mendez Middle School, which is on the brink of state takeover. 

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Margaret Hunsicker and two other actors stand in front of a classroom at IDEA Rundberg, performing a scene for a group of seventh-graders. Hunsicker plays the role of a student named Jessica. Another actor slaps her butt while taking a selfie, so he can post it to social media. 

Texas State University

The leader of Texas State University is defending the San Marcos campus as a place of diversity and inclusion after a series of racially charged incidents over the last year.

Texas State University

Texas State University students have called for the resignation of their student body president after racially insensitive social media posts surfaced last week. This follows a tumultuous year of racial issues on campus.

Alayna Hamade

Ten-year-old Truman Hamade is a reporter for Scholastic News, a news outlet for kids. In November, he interviewed veteran journalist Dan Rather. He talks with KUT education reporter Claire McInerny about the experience. 

The Foundry
Austin Price for KUT

On the second floor of UT-Austin’s Fine Arts Building, there is a library like no other, with sounds of creativity coming from students using 3-D printers, laser cutters, audio recorders and sewing machines.

This noisy and artistic place is called The Foundry. It’s UT-Austin’s first makerspace library that any student can use, regardless of major.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees is slowing down its timeline for a vote on whether to change the names of five schools named after Confederate figures.

Austin Price for KUT

On a Thursday after school, Taylor Barron begins a new lesson. She hits play on a YouTube video and the infamous cello notes fill the room. They get faster and faster, then slowly crescendo.

She asks the class of Hart Elementary students what kind of movie the music belongs in.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When most school principals think about goals for the coming year, academics or maybe budgets usually top the list.

But Griselda Galindo-Vargas, the principal at Brooke Elementary, hopes for something else.

"We’re hoping that a new queen bee will come and find it," she said, referring to the beehives on campus. "And then it will bring another hive."

Note: This episode was originally released on Sept. 17, 2017.

Sometimes, a relationship doesn't feel like a good match. That feeling can crop up in personal relationships, as well as in our relationships with schools. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answer a question from a listener curious about how to know when it is time to move on.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Truman Hamade is new to journalism here in Austin, but he's hit the ground running. In the last few months he's covered Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, booked an interview with Dan Rather and is researching a story on Ballet Austin.

And he just turned double digits. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District's headquarters on West Sixth Street will be turned into retail space.

AISD sold the property to Schlosser Development Corp. for $36.5 million last month.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Mendez Middle School in Southeast Austin has failed to meet state standards over the past four years. If it doesn’t improve academics by summer, it will face takeover.

Mendez is the only school in the Austin Independent School District in its fifth year of failing the annual state assessment, or STAAR, test. What’s going on?

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A new Texas law allows organizations, rather than the state, to take over schools that repeatedly fail the state's standardized assessment, or STAAR, test.

Tamir Kalifa for the Texas Tribune

After subtracting student fees and paying for insurance, doctoral student Tom Millay takes home about $15,000 per year from a Baylor University stipend. But soon he could be taxed as though he earns three times more.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After voters approved a $1 billion bond to renovate Austin Independent School District facilities last month, the district is now deciding what to do with its under-enrolled campuses.

AISD says part of that calculus includes decisions of whether to "consolidate" or "unify" certain schools – a distinction that has confused both teachers and parents.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is proceeding with plans to consolidate Norman and Sims elementary schools in East Austin. The schools will become one campus, but it's unclear which one will close. 

Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees voted this week to sell property in the Hyde Park neighborhood to Alamo Drafthouse for $10.6 million.

The Baker Center is in a former school building, which the district uses for administrative purposes. But what will it be going forward?

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Eli Hernandez started dancing when he was 5 years old. 

"I just like everything about dancing," he said last week at his dance team rehearsal. "There's always something else you can learn. Once you've mastered something, you've never really mastered it. You have to keep going." 

The latest challenge for the East Austin College Prep junior: dancing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Students of color in the Austin Independent School District aren’t doing as well academically as their white peers, so the district's Board of Trustees had a discussion earlier this month about how to address this "achievement gap."

It's the time of year when kids are thinking about their holiday wish lists. So what's a parent to do when a child, possibly a very young child, asks for a smartphone?

We hear that smartphones can be addictive, that screen time can hurt learning, but can't these minicomputers also teach kids about responsibility and put educational apps at their tiny fingertips?

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is prepared to sell two of its largest, highest-value properties. Bids for the district’s downtown headquarters and its teaching facility in Hyde Park were revealed in the agenda for the Board of Trustee’s Nov. 27 meeting, where members are expected to OK the sale.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Five Austin schools named after people involved with the Confederacy could get new names.

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees will discuss changing the names tonight, although there won't be a vote taken at the meeting. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton met with students in the journalism program at Reagan Early College High School in Austin this week. Hear what they had to say about the state of journalism today:


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Twenty-five fifth-graders from Camacho Elementary School in Leander went to an indoor skydiving facility Wednesday to get a lesson in flying. Before students got to fly, though, they had to sit through a lesson on physics. 

Qiling Wang for KUT

Voters approved five of five school funding questions in Central Texas on Tuesday.

The Austin Independent School District, Lake Travis ISD, Leander ISD and Lago Vista ISD all posed bond questions, which use tax money for various renovations and technology upgrades. Eanes ISD asked for a change in the tax rate, which can be used for general district expenses. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

When Manor New Tech High School opened back in 2007, it drew a visit from then-President Obama, who touted its tech-forward teaching model as the future of public schools. Now, Manor Independent School District is applying that model to a new middle school.

Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August, schools along the coast and in Houston were closed for weeks. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how students, teachers, and schools can rebound when their school year is disrupted.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The last time Huston-Tillotson, Austin's only historically black college or university, got new pianos was in the 1970s. The university wanted an upgrade, so it kicked off a campaign this summer to buy new ones. The administration assumed it would take years to raise the money.

Almost immediately, though, an anonymous donor wrote a check for $800,000 to buy 15 new Steinways.

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