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.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott is urging Texas universities to re-evaluate their admissions processes in the wake of a federal investigation that led to bribery charges against a coach at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Former UT Austin President William Powers Jr. died Sunday from complications after a fall in September. According to a press release from the university, Powers had oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, a rare adult-onset muscle disorder. He was 72.

The idea of "helicopter" parenting may not have a formal definition, but we all have a pretty good sense of it when we encounter it: parents who seem to control and hover too closely to many aspects of their children's lives, often to the detriment (and sometimes embarrassment) of those children. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton take a discussion about helicopter parenting to a live audience of - yes - parents and students at Southwestern.

Safe spaces. Trigger warnings. Disinvited speakers. These campus issues got the attention of a "Higher Ed" podcast listener who wrote in asking about what he has observed to be the proliferation of them. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton address a listener's question about campus controversies.

Texas school funding is getting a close look – and potentially major changes – from lawmakers in Austin this legislative session. And a new report from the nonprofit EdBuild has a striking number to add to that conversation: $23 billion.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A Northeast Austin school named after the postmaster general of the Confederacy has been renamed Northeast Early College High School.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to move forward with a plan for closing and consolidating schools.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees on Monday approved new human sexuality and responsibility standards for third through eighth grades. This is the first update to the standards in 12 years.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Independent School District Superintendent Paul Cruz said he hopes the Board of Trustees will approve a plan Monday night to begin the process of evaluating which schools will be closed or consolidated in the face of declining enrollment and a big budget gap. But some board members fear it’s all happening way too quickly and without adequate public input.

KUT talked with the district in depth about how it is going to proceed.

For many people, goal-setting is an annual ritual perhaps fueled by the New Year and a commitment to make personal or professional improvements. But creating truly meaningful and achievable goals is a more complicated undertaking than simply tossing together a life "to-do" list. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton answer a listener's question about learning to craft and meet relevant goals.

Gabriel C. Pérez

The Austin Independent School District held its first public meeting Tuesday night to hear from the community about proposed budget cuts, which include school closings or consolidations.

Earth's millions of years of existence are divided into different time periods that chronicle its geological development. You may remember studying those in school. (Cenozoic era, anyone?) But what is impacting earth right now? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the call for an "Age of Humans" designation to acknowledge the impact of people - and how to study that.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees is balking at the administration's plan to announce school closures by summer.  

"Teacher's pet." "Know-it-all." "Brown-noser." These are just some of the terms students lob at each other in (and out) of school - especially at students who demonstrate strong mastery of a subject or are enthusiastic in class. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  explore how and why those labels are used and why they might not pack the punch they used to.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Facing a major budget shortfall and declining enrollment, the Austin Independent School District says it's working on a plan to close or consolidate schools that could be finalized as soon as this summer.

What comes to mind when you hear the word "mentor"? Perhaps a bespectacled older teacher or other professional offering sage advice to a younger student? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  discuss what makes a good mentor (and it doesn't necessarily have to do with age or specific experience).

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

This flu season is hitting schools in Central Texas extra hard. The Lago Vista Independent School District canceled classes for the rest of this week because of an outbreak, and McDade canceled classes last week for the same reason.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It was supposed to be picture day for many students in the McDade Independent School District, but instead school was canceled for the rest of the week after a flu outbreak.

What does "curiosity" mean, exactly? Most definitions center around the desire to know something. So is curiosity just the act of asking lots of questions, or is it something deeper? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss curiosity, wonderment, and if any question is ever a silly one.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Saturday on the new site of Eastside Memorial High School in East Austin. The high school will be located in the former L.C. Anderson High School, which closed in 1971 after a judge desegregated Austin schools. 

Priska Neely / KPCC

Public school teachers in Los Angeles, the second-largest school district in the country, went on strike Monday to demand smaller class sizes and more money for support staff. As we saw in early 2018 with the teachers strike in West Virginia, strikes can inspire teachers in other states to walk out of the classroom.

Although many people in Austin often (and begrudgingly) compare the city to L.A., Texas law prevents teachers here from following suit.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The number of Texas school districts with policies allowing teachers and other staff to carry guns has increased almost 50 percent since a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in May.

Many external factors can impact the quality and effectiveness of a learning experience: the teacher; the other students in a class; the school's resources; even the student's surroundings and home. But what about the internal factors? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the biases learners themselves bring to the information and process.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The conversation got heated at times Monday as the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees discussed a new report that recommends ending magnet programs, closing schools and redrawing boundaries as ways to cut spending and increase revenue.

Wait, you mean adding a couple of descriptive words to a particular situation, puzzle or problem can help lead to clarity and a solution? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss this thought-provoking practice.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

State lawmakers filed dozens of bills about educating kids ahead of Tuesday's start to the legislative session. The most interesting discussion at the Capitol will likely be around school funding.

It’s something the Legislature brings up every session, but bills aren't always passed. Lawmakers typically pass school funding bills only when they're forced to act because of a lawsuit.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin parents unsatisfied with their neighborhood schools can now apply for their children to be transferred to another school within the Austin Independent School District.

AISD has an open transfer policy, so families don't have to send their students to their assigned neighborhood school.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted Monday to rename Fulmore Middle School after a longtime social studies teacher, Sarah Beth Lively.

The move comes after more than a yearlong discussion about changing the names of district buildings honoring Confederate figures. The school's original namesake, Zachary Taylor Fulmore, was a private in the Confederate Army.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

A Round Rock-based speech pathologist is suing the Pflugerville Independent School District over a 2017 state law that required her to pledge allegiance to Israel, which, she argues, violates her First Amendment right to free speech.

Ever feel like you want to ask a question, but you hold back because you think the question is stupid or you will look silly asking it? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss getting past those barriers that keep us from asking what's on our mind.

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