Lynn Romero http://kut.org en Will Texas' New Teacher Evaluation System Rely Too Much on Test Scores? http://kut.org/post/will-texas-new-teacher-evaluation-system-rely-too-much-test-scores <p>Members of the Texas House Committee on Public Education are wrestling with how to evaluate teacher performance in modern classrooms. And while educators and administrators agree the current system needs overhauling, there's little agreement on what will replace it.</p><p>In advance of today's hearing, Texas Education Agency Commissioner Michael Williams <a href="../../../Applications/Microsoft%20Office%202011/Microsoft%20Word.app/Contents/Lifeatkut90.5">said in a letter</a> that current teacher evaluation criteria – the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) – has "outlived its usefulness."</p><p>Patty Hill, a math teacher at Austin's Kealing Middle School, agrees. She told lawmakers today she’s afraid that by adopting a “flipped classroom” model – posting lectures online for students to view at home, and working collaboratively on 'homework' in the classroom – she is opening herself up for negative evaluations.</p><p> Wed, 14 May 2014 20:24:38 +0000 Lynn Romero 10418 at http://kut.org Will Texas' New Teacher Evaluation System Rely Too Much on Test Scores? Eanes Bond Election Raises Questions About Out-of-District Transfer Students http://kut.org/post/eanes-bond-election-raises-questions-about-out-district-transfer-students <p>Today is the last day for early voting in the May 10<sup>th</sup> municipal elections.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Voters in the </span>Eanes<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Independent School District are deciding on a $89.5 million school bond package.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If approved, the bond package would allow&nbsp;</span>Eanes<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>ISD<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to borrow money for a new elementary school, as well as some technology and classroom upgrades.</span></p> Tue, 06 May 2014 15:04:19 +0000 Lynn Romero & Kate McGee 10297 at http://kut.org Eanes Bond Election Raises Questions About Out-of-District Transfer Students Student Parents Want More Visibility at Texas Universities http://kut.org/post/student-parents-want-more-visibility-texas-universities <p><em>KUT News intern Lynn Romero is a graduate student at UT-Austin. She had a daughter at age 18, and was surprised by the invisibility of students like her on campus when she started school at UT several years later. She wondered how many other student parents there were – so she tried to find out.</em></p><p>Texas has one of the <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/reproductive-health/states/tx.html">highest teen pregnancy rates</a> in the United States. And those teens who have children before they finish high school are less likely to graduate high school, let alone make it to college. But what happens to those who do?</p><p>According to the <a href="http://www.iwpr.org/">Institute for Women's Policy Research</a>, nationally about 13 percent of all undergraduates at four year universities have kids.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">UT-Austin junior Vanessa </span>Pulido<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is one of those students. Halfway through freshman year, she gave birth to her son, Isaiah. When she started school pregnant, she worried how people would react.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/147621642&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 05 May 2014 14:01:50 +0000 Lynn Romero 10338 at http://kut.org Student Parents Want More Visibility at Texas Universities A Little League Sports Complex is Causing a Major Ruckus in Westlake http://kut.org/post/little-league-sports-complex-causing-major-ruckus-westlake <p>After three years,&nbsp;Eanes school officials and residents are still deadlocked over a proposed sports complex.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>In 2011,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eanesisd.net/">Eanes&nbsp;ISD&nbsp;</a>board members agreed to lease 50 acres of district land to the nonprofit Western Hills Little League. The league agreed to pay $10,000 annually for the first four years, and then $50,000 annually (adjusted for inflation)<em>,</em> for the remainder of the 50-year lease.</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:34:47 +0000 Lynn Romero 10274 at http://kut.org A Little League Sports Complex is Causing a Major Ruckus in Westlake Immigration Activists Chain Themselves to MLK Statue to Protest Obama Policies http://kut.org/post/immigration-activists-chain-themselves-mlk-statue-protest-obama-policies <p>Protesters gathered on the UT campus to protest President Obama’s immigration policies during his <a href="http://kutne.ws/1lNONwQ">speech today at the Civil Rights Summit</a>. Some chained themselves to the statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. on campus and many brandished signs deriding the president for strict deportation strategies in light of the event which highlights equal rights.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“We want them to recognize that the fight for civil rights is not over,” said student organizer Maria Reza. “Enough talk – we need action.”</span></p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:41:39 +0000 Lynn Romero 10181 at http://kut.org Immigration Activists Chain Themselves to MLK Statue to Protest Obama Policies Eanes ISD Names Lone Finalist for Superintendent http://kut.org/post/eanes-isd-names-lone-finalist-superintendent <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Eanes&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ISD</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;has named Dr. Tom Leonard as the lone finalist to take the place of retiring superintendent Dr. Nola Wellman.</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Eanes</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>ISD<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Board President Rob </span>Hargett<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> calls Dr. Leonard “a successful, student-centered, seasoned superintendent in a high-performing district, roughly the size and structure of </span>Eanes<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> ISD.”</span></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dr. Leonard served as superintendent of the Barrington 220 district in Illinois for the past seven years and has more than 20 years of experience working in education.</span></p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 02:22:52 +0000 Lynn Romero 10173 at http://kut.org Eanes ISD Names Lone Finalist for Superintendent From East L.A. to Austin, Las Cafeteras Stomps Out Racism With a Beat http://kut.org/post/east-la-austin-las-cafeteras-stomps-out-racism-beat <p>Los Angeles band <a href="http://lascafeteras.com/">Las Cafeteras</a> came to UT-Austin yesterday to spread an anti-racism message of understanding.</p><p>After leading a group of students in a workshop called “Racism, Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That,” the band played to a crowd of around 100 students, staff and community members.</p><p>The group of young musicians pairs socially conscious lyrics with a melodic fusion of hip hop and Son Jarocho, a type of folk music born from a blend of cultures&nbsp;in Veracruz, Mexico. Band members played traditional instruments like the jarana jarocha, a small-guitar like instrument; the quijada,&nbsp;a donkey jaw-bone; and the marimbol, a plucked key box bass.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 18:24:06 +0000 Lynn Romero 10119 at http://kut.org From East L.A. to Austin, Las Cafeteras Stomps Out Racism With a Beat Former Board Presidents Oppose Eanes ISD Bonds http://kut.org/post/former-board-presidents-oppose-eanes-isd-bonds <p>In Eanes ISD, two former board presidents oppose the district’s proposed $89.5 million bond initiative. Al Cowan and Clint Sayers say that the proposal is not specific enough, and it asks taxpayers to fund unnecessary projects.&nbsp;</p><p>The past board presidents have formed the group Citizens for Academic Excellence in Eanes (CAEE). They say their biggest concern is the $35.5 million-plus that would be used to build a replacement elementary school.&nbsp;</p><p>"When the dust settles, EISD will still have the same number of six elementary schools that we have today, but we will have spent millions to get to the same place," Cowan says.</p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:42:03 +0000 Lynn Romero 10117 at http://kut.org Former Board Presidents Oppose Eanes ISD Bonds Educators Pounce on Abbott, Push for Expanded Pre-K http://kut.org/post/educators-pounce-abbott-push-expanded-pre-k <p>Yesterday, Republican candidate for Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a proposal to improve early childhood education in Texas.</p><p>During a press conference, Abbott said expanding state-funded pre-kindergarten programs without addressing the quality of instruction “would be an act of negligence and waste.”</p><p>Today, educators from groups endorsing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis gathered in front of north Austin's Lucy Read Pre-kindergarten School&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">to say that expanding pre-k is "not a waste."</span></p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 21:00:53 +0000 Lynn Romero 10078 at http://kut.org Educators Pounce on Abbott, Push for Expanded Pre-K What You Need to Know About Central Texas School Bond Elections http://kut.org/post/what-you-need-know-about-central-texas-school-bond-elections <p>What should you know about Central Texas schools this election season? &nbsp;</p><p>In a word: Bonds.</p><p>Bond packages can be convoluted, making them easily misunderstood or overlooked. But bond elections have become an important source of income for area school districts as funds elsewhere shrink.</p><p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:02:02 +0000 Lynn Romero 9866 at http://kut.org What You Need to Know About Central Texas School Bond Elections This Vision Clinic on Wheels Helps Central Texas Kids See Better http://kut.org/post/vision-clinic-wheels-helps-central-texas-kids-see-better <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The future is a little clearer for Central Texas students who need glasses.</span></p><p>Today, the <a href="http://www.kidsvisionforlife.org/">Kids Vision for Life</a> mobile vision clinic was unveiled at Perez Elementary School, an Austin ISD school that serves the Dove Springs neighborhood hit by devastating floods last October.</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:36:59 +0000 Lynn Romero 9817 at http://kut.org This Vision Clinic on Wheels Helps Central Texas Kids See Better Report: Law Officers May Violate U.S. Constitution When They Don't Knock http://kut.org/post/report-law-officers-may-violate-us-constitution-when-they-dont-knock <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Texas Civil Rights Project</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;says law enforcement officers may be violating the U.S. Constitution when they execute warrants without knocking. The organization released a report Tuesday that says 70% of surveyed jurisdictions do not have written “no-knock” policies and that many other counties and cities may have inadequate policies or do not effectively implement those they have. Jim Harrington, </span>TCRP<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;director, says that is putting citizens and officers at risk.</span></p><p>“It’s dangerous both ways. We have to get away from this idea, well, we just don’t [knock]. You know any time we say it’s a narcotics warrant, we just don’t do it,” Harrington says.</p><p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:35:38 +0000 Lynn Romero 9803 at http://kut.org Report: Law Officers May Violate U.S. Constitution When They Don't Knock South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse Gets New Opening Date http://kut.org/post/south-lamar-alamo-drafthouse-gets-new-opening-date <p class="p1">The Alamo&nbsp;Drafthouse announced today its delayed&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">South Lamar location</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;will open sometime this summer. The theater was closed in January of last year for major renovations, while the strip mall around it was demolished to make way for a new mixed-use development.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="p1">The theater was initially slated to open in September of last year, but by <span class="s1">October only the <a href="http://www.kvue.com/news/Construction-delays-for-Alamo-Drafthouse-on-South-Lamar-226072661.html">parking garage foundation</a></span><span class="s2"> had been completed. And even this new opening date isn't very specific.</span></p><p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 20:28:48 +0000 Lynn Romero 9763 at http://kut.org South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse Gets New Opening Date Austin ISD Names New Athletic Director http://kut.org/post/austin-isd-names-new-athletic-director <p>The Austin Independent School District has a new athletic director. Leal&nbsp;Anderson will oversee AISD sports programs that involve more than 14,000 students. Anderson says part of his mission is improving the academic success of students through the character development that happens in athletics.</p><p>"I think graduation will increase," Anderson said at a media availability Tuesday." I think the numbers of enrollment will also increase. We'll also have less students dropping out. Those are things that I think are really important, that will help. And that's what I look forward to doing."</p><p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 23:56:16 +0000 Lynn Romero 9718 at http://kut.org Austin ISD Names New Athletic Director UT Names Dean for Dell Medical School http://kut.org/post/ut-names-dean-dell-medical-school <p>The Dell Medical School has a dean.</p><p>Ending<a href="http://kut.org/post/now-hiring-inaugural-dean-uts-new-medical-school"> a months-long search</a>, UT President Bill Powers announced this morning that Dr. S. Claiborne “Clay” Johnston&nbsp;has been named inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.&nbsp;</p><p>Dr. Johnston, a neurologist who currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Research at&nbsp;the University of California, San Francisco, says that he is excited to have the rare opportunity to&nbsp;build a medical school from the ground-up.</p><p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 20:01:31 +0000 Filipa Rodrigues & Lynn Romero 9602 at http://kut.org UT Names Dean for Dell Medical School