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

Teachers and principals should not feel afraid to provide information to immigrant families about what to do if ICE shows up at their homes, the local teacher's union said at a news conference today.  

Kate McGee / KUT

In the wake of recent ICE arrests in the Austin area, Austin ISD lawyers are directing principals and staff not to share with students resources and fliers that have not been vetted by the superintendent's office or general counsel. 

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

A quarter of Texas public school districts offered no sex education at all during the 2015-2016 school year, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Texas Freedom Network. Nearly 60 percent of districts used abstinence-only education programs over the same period.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

There’s still a lot of work to do before the Austin School Board votes on its Facility Master Plan.

Facility and Bond Planning Advisory Committee (FABPAC) members last night were asked to explain their recommendations to the board. The current plan includes eight possible school closures, along with upgrades and renovations at many schools and new school construction to ease overcrowding in areas like Northwest and Southeast Austin.

Montserrat Garibay via Twitter

About 20 men and women sat in the cafeteria with their children at Rodriguez Elementary in South Austin after school Friday, listening to Yunuen Alvarado with the local teacher's union, Education Austin.

“If an immigration officer goes to your door what you have to remember is you don’t open that door," Alvarado said in English and Spanish. “ICE can only enter your home if they have a warrant signed from a judge from a criminal court.”

It's a major milestone in our educational development: learning to read. Throughout school, we read books for classes and assignments and also just for fun. But what happens once we're out of school? Do we still enjoy curling up with a good book? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Dr. Ed Burger explore our relationship with reading and books.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A committee tasked with imagining the future of Austin ISD’s 130 school buildings is taking its suggestions to the Austin School Board on Monday. The board is expected to question the Facility and Bond Planning Advisory Committee, or FABPAC, about its recommendations on school construction, renovations and closures.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Some school districts in Texas with high property values could see more money this fiscal year after the Texas Education Agency decided in a sudden move to change how it interprets a complicated aspect of the state’s school finance system.

Qiling Wang for KUT

About 30 parents and students in neon green T-shirts gathered on the playground at Garrison Park in South Austin, gearing up to walk over to a community meeting at Crockett High School. The group planned to ask Austin ISD not to close their neighborhood school, Joslin Elementary. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

One of the most anticipated debates of the 85th Legislative Session began taking shape Monday with the layout of a two-part Texas Senate bill that would allow for Texas taxpayer dollars to be used to help parents send their kids to private or religious schools.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

The State Board of Education starts to review a months-long process this week to simplify its science curriculum standards, including recommendations to remove some controversial requirements to teach alternate theories to evolution, including creationism.

Every once in a while it makes sense to take a step or two back and look at the "big picture" of anything. You know: How are things going in general? What are the latest trends? What are the biggest challenges? What about the greatest joys?

In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger take that big picture view of what's happening in higher ed these days.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hundreds of teachers, parents and students rallied outside the Texas state Capitol on Tuesday in support of a proposal that would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to send public school students to private schools.

What would you say is the quintessential element of effective learning: Intelligence? Persistence? Skills?  In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss what Ed argues is that key element: change.


Austin Students Share Concerns, Advice for Trump

Jan 19, 2017
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

In September, we visited Kealing Middle School’s Presidential Politics class to see what students were thinking about the 2016 presidential election. Most of the students wanted Hillary Clinton to win, and many said they didn’t take Donald Trump seriously.

We checked back in with some of the students to see how they are feeling ahead of Trump's inauguration. Here's what they said:

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

H-E-B chairman and CEO Charles Butt has pledged $100 million for the creation of an institute to help school superintendents, principals and district administrators across the state.

Teachers stand at the front of the classroom trying to engage their students, impart information, and make a difference in their students' lives. Do they really get through? What do students take away from their classroom experiences? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk with a Southwestern University student about the lessons he has learned in the classroom beyond the course material.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

The Austin School Board is expected to vote this month on a proposed ban on some classroom removals and suspensions for pre-K through second-grade students. The board discussed the proposal this week, but some board members raised questions about the idea.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

"Good morning, everybody. How we doing?" Manor Independent School District Superintendent Royce Avery asks a room full of staff members about to participate in a training session early one October morning.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

There’s a pile up of students on the twisting slide of the Ortega Elementary School jungle gym, a traffic jam on the monkey bars and it’s bumper-to-bumper on the jungle gym drawbridge.

“Incoming!” yells one student as he rams into the pile of kids at the bottom of the slide.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is projected to lose more than 4,000 students over the next 10 years. That's mostly because of lower birth rates, private and charter schools and the increasingly lack of affordable housing in Austin, but districts just outside Austin are dealing with the opposite problem.

Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on January 10, 2016.

We are just a little ways into the new year and it's already proving tough to keep some of those well-intentioned resolutions. You know, the usual ones such as exercise more, eat better, or be nicer to people. There is actually a resolution that can be fun and not too hard to keep. In this "best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about learning more - and liking it - in 2017.


Miguel Gutierrez, Jr/KUT

Many Central Texas school districts received mediocre grades from the state under a new accountability system, according to a report of preliminary grades obtained by KUT.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

This legislative session, Texas lawmakers have some tough discussions ahead of them about how Texas funds its public schools, but some are asking how lawmakers can have those conversations without an updated look at how much it actually costs to educate kids.  

KUT News

Texas lawmakers are about to spend a lot of time talking about how the state funds its public schools. The question is: Will they make any changes during the legislative session that starts in January? If they don’t, there’s a part of the system that’s set to expire next year. That could be a problem for some school districts across the state.

Sam Ortega for KUT News

The Texas Cultural Trust has a new website that tracks arts education programs at school districts across the state. The map is one way the trust is encouraging parents and students to push for more art education in their local schools. There you can see programs broken down by elementary, middle and high schools in each school district. It looks at how many arts credits were earned by students, the number of art courses offered and the number of students per arts teacher. 

Flickr/Lokner

Few things affect how you feel more than your surroundings.  But when people want to create spaces, they generally turn to architects, not psychologists.  But some experts recently met in Austin to argue that both disciplines need  a place at the table when it comes to designing the spaces we inhabit. 

To understand why, consider the office cubicle, says Prof. Sam Gosling from UT’s Psychology Department.

With the cubicle “they have designed essentially caves, except you have your back to the door and your facing inwards,” he said.

Janine, flickr.com

For more than 15 years, the City of Austin and Austin ISD have partnered to provide services for teen parents in Austin public schools. The program helps at least 150 students with children at Eastside Memorial, Lanier, Reagan and Travis high schools throughout the school year and includes academic support, along with child care, parent education workshops and other social services. 

That sweater that doesn't fit quite right.  Or a fruitcake with ingredients that are not immediately recognizable. Do your family and friends really need more of these during the holiday season? What about giving the gift of learning instead? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how to encourage people to embrace learning at any age or stage of life.


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

More than 100 of parents and teachers from across the state came to Austin Thursday night to share their struggles getting services for their special needs children. It was the last stop in the U.S. Department of Education’s statewide special education services listening tour, sparked by a Houston Chronicle report that the state was excluding students eligible for special education services on purpose—capping the services for 8.5 percent of students. 

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