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.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

For children who get free meals at school, summer can mean going hungry. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Parks and schools across Austin are serving free meals to children under 18 while school's out, thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Central Texas Food Bank.

This episode was originally published on Oct. 9, 2016.

What do you think of when someone is described as "smart"? They know a lot of things. Maybe they got high grades in school. Or maybe they always use correct grammar. But what does it actually mean to be smart? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the deeper meaning of the word "smart."


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It’s the final week of classes at Harris Elementary. UT graduate student Kim ​Canuette Grimaldi is meeting with her students one last time before summer vacation. Second- and third-graders Amira and Sajeda, both from Sudan, sit across from her at a small, half-moon-shaped table. While they’re working on multiplication, Amira starts sounding out the word on ​Canuette Grimaldi’s shirt.

A sticker there reads “mentor.”

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger tackle a question posed by a listener about teaching giving and philanthropy in school. Can it be done? Should it be done? And if so, when?


So much of what we encounter in formal education is planned; we attend scheduled classes in designated classrooms and go through specific lessons plans. But there can also be real educational value in chance encounters or unexpected opportunities. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss lessons learned on the fly.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The legislative session just ended this week. After 140 days of proposals, politicking and press conferences, we’re catching up on what actually passed and how it will change Texas.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Texas’s 85th Legislature was the demise of a bill that would have added more than half a billion dollars in funding for the state’s public schools.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

At 43 years old, Katina Johnson is planning her high school graduation party. It's been about 30 years since she dropped out of middle school when she found out she was pregnant.

Even before then, though, she'd never had a stable education. Her mother was addicted to drugs and moved her around a lot before she died when Johnson was just 12 years old. "That was the last time I even seen the inside of a school," she says.

School Finance Legislation Is Pronounced Dead

May 25, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

An effort to overhaul the state’s beleaguered school finance system has been declared dead after the Texas Senate Education Committee’s chairman said Wednesday that he would not appoint conferees to negotiate with the House.

“That deal is dead,” Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, said.

What factors show that a student is ready for college? Good grades? High test scores? A killer application and essay? Or, are more intangible qualities better indicators of college success? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss what makes a high school student ready for higher ed.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is hosting a series of meetings to ask the public for input on what might be on a bond proposal this November. The plan includes modernizing some schools and tackling other projects prioritized by the school board.

"Goodbye." It's a word that actually gets said a lot in education. Students are constantly changing teachers, classmates, subjects and locations during their years in school. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about saying goodbye and moving on in education.


It is college commencement season, and graduating seniors will be hearing all kinds of sage advice from commencement speakers. But what advice would those graduating seniors give? What would they tell their younger selves as students if they could? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger share what some seniors say they wish they had known when they started school.


Teachers. We've all had some great ones, and we've all had some teachers who didn't rank among the best. What makes a good teacher? How has the profession changed over time? How has technology impacted the way teachers do their jobs? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the evolving role of teachers.


Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

State Rep. Dan Huberty succeeded at a difficult task Wednesday: getting the Texas House of Representatives to vote for legislation overhauling the funding system for public education, without a court mandate.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

About 15 middle- and high-school students sit in a row of seats in a dark courtroom on a Monday night at Austin Municipal Court. A few of the students are talking quietly, but most of them are silent. No one looks like they want to be here. They were caught out of school by a police officer, and now they’re at the court's juvenile curfew class.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Lunchtime is wrapping up at Austin High School, just west of downtown. As students walk back inside, Austin ISD Police Officer Chris Roddy walks out. He heads toward the MoPac highway underpass, where there are some trails. He patrols the area daily for kids who may be skipping school.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News.

Some urban school districts across Texas, including Austin, have banned out-of-school suspensions of pre-K through second-grade students, but a bill before the House Public Education Committee on Tuesday would ban out-of-school suspensions statewide for pre-K through second-graders. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Austin School Board Vice President Paul Saldaña said he is planning to announce his resignation from the school board Friday morning. He is holding a press conference  at 9 a.m. at the AISD boardroom at the district's Sixth Street headquarters.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

After nearly six hours, the Austin School Board passed its 25-year Facility Master Plan at around 3 a.m. today. The $4.6 billion plan passed on a 6-3 vote.

Usually during the Higher Ed podcastKUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss issues related to learning and education. How does it turn out when they add another voice to the mix? In this episode, they are joined by second-year Southwestern University student Tristin Evans. She adds a student perspective to the discussion and talks about what it was like to move from being a student to being a teacher's assistant in one of Dr. Burger's classes.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin School Board is considering a plan for the future of its facilities. It comes with a $4.6 billion price tag over the next 25 years. That's a lot of money for a district with a tight budget, and it raises questions about how quickly the proposal could be implemented if the state doesn't change its school finance system. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

It’s no secret that the tech sector – which accounts for 13 percent of jobs in Austin, according to the Austin Chamber – is predominantly male and white. But coding boot camps, which have multiplied in Austin in recent years, are making headway on increasing female and minority representation in tech.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin School Board is continuing to discuss a plan for the future of the district’s school buildings. At first, that plan included school closures, but the latest version, offered last night by a district committee, doesn’t close any schools.

Instead, it puts those campuses on something called a “target utilization plan," a fancy way to buy these schools time to boost enrollment before the district considers closing them. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

It’s no secret that Austin ISD is strapped for cash.

The district often blames that on the state’s school finance system, which requires it to send hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes back to the state. So, in an effort to save a little money, the Austin School Board has proposed changing how school board trustees are elected.

"Job well done." What does that mean, exactly? That someone got a lot accomplished or that someone did a few things very well? Multitasking is often praised as a valuable skill, but what are we sacrificing for speed? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger work their way through a discussion on quantity and quality when it comes to getting stuff done.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Texas Senate Education Committee plans to discuss a bill next week that would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to send their kids to private schools. The school voucher program is cited as a way to give students — especially low-income students — access to high-quality schools.

Note: This "Higher Ed" episode was originally posted on Feb. 28, 2016.

In an ideal world, every student comes to class, or to any educational situation, well-prepared and ready to learn. But in reality, all kinds of life circumstances outside the classroom - such as poverty - can influence what happens inside the classroom. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about how those factors impact students' experiences.


Students at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy and LBJ High School have developed a set of short-term solutions to increase collaboration and improve relationships between the two schools, located on the same campus in Northeast Austin.

Stuart Hall: In Conversations

Mar 7, 2017
Eamonn McCabe

Stuart Hall: In Conversations, hosted by Dr. Ben Carrington, revisits the life and work of the Jamaican-born cultural theorist, Stuart Hall, a key figure in the foundation of the field of cultural studies.

A bill has been introduced in the California state Legislature that would add elements to school curricula to teach students to "judge the credibility and quality of information found on Internet Web sites, including social media." We think we know fake news when we see it, right? Well, maybe not always.

In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answer a listener's question about the role of formal education in teaching about "fake news."


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