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 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.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Facing a shortfall and declining enrollment, the Austin Independent School District is considering consolidating schools, among other options, to cut its deficit by as much as $55 million over the next few years.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

An early estimate shows Gov. Greg Abbott's proposal for a school finance fix would provide three times more dollars for property tax relief as it would additional money for school districts in 2020.

In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss a provocative question: does it really matter where you go to college? The answer can be complicated, and it partially depends on what you are looking for.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Let's talk about sex.

As the Austin Independent School District rewrites its sex ed curriculum for third- through eighth-graders, it asked for input from the community. AISD asked people in a November online survey what they thought should be taught to students – and when – in addition to hosting community meetings to discuss the standards. Those results are in.

DaLyah Jones / KUT

Round Rock Independent School District parents are questioning the timeline of  the district's efforts to bring a police force to schools as they move toward a deadline for input. They also say they want the district to address racial disparities in discipline among students. 

There has been a lot of talk in recent months about creating and maintaining healthy and respectful environments – especially in the workplace. But what about in the classroom? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the keys to keeping the classroom an open and respectful place.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted Monday night to rename the Allan Center, named for Confederate Army officer John T. Allan, after Anita Coy, a former Austin ISD principal and administrator.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

It's time for the Austin Independent School District to do something drastic to improve its financial situation, a member of a task force studying its budget says.  

On the table: closing schools and changing boundaries.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees will vote next Monday on what to re-name four schools currently named after members of the Confederacy. The board will decide between honoring the schools’ wishes, which in some cases means no name change, or choosing entirely new names.

In school, our reading choices are mostly dictated by what is assigned for classes or from reading lists. But once we are out of school, the decisions are up to us.  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the joys and impacts of lifelong reading.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced sweeping rules on how colleges handle cases of sexual assault and harassment that she says will fix a "failed" and "shameful" system that has been unfair to accused students.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Jim Shead is a lawyer in Austin and the father of twin boys in pre-K. Even though his kids can barely read, he’s already thinking about how he’ll teach them about puberty and sex. Right now, he’s using his own experience as a guide for what he doesn’t want to happen.

Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters (left) / Public domain

The Texas State Board of Education backed a motion Tuesday evening to reinsert Hillary Clinton into the state's 11th-grade U.S. History standards, two months after voting to remove the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee from the state's curriculum. In a separate action Tuesday, the board backed restoring disability rights advocate Helen Keller to the state's third-grade social studies curriculum standards.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is seeking parent input as it prepares to rewrite its human sexuality curriculum. 

The district hasn't revised its elementary and middle school curriculum in 12 years. Parents received an online survey Wednesday asking at what grade level various lessons should be taught. For example, when students should learn about gender identity.

Austin Community College will not include Pflugerville in its boundaries after voters rejected annexation Tuesday. Fifty-four percent of Pflugerville voters voted against the ballot proposition. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

There will be three new members of the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees after Tuesday’s election, including incumbent Ted Gordon's challenger.

LaTisha Anderson beat Gordon for the District 1 seat, which covers most of East Austin. She won with 61 percent of the vote.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Three seats on the Austin Community College Board of Trustees are up for grabs this election. Trustees oversee the 11 ACC campuses, as well as the taxing district in Central Texas. The six-year trustee positions aren’t paid.

There’s also a proposition on the ballot for Pflugerville residents.

Place 7 | Place 8 | Place 9 | Prop A

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