AISD http://kut.org en Photos: Inside AISD's New Performing Art Center & Jaime Padron Elementary http://kut.org/post/photos-inside-aisds-new-performing-art-center-jaime-padron-elementary <p>Construction continues on two Austin school district buildings that are set to open this academic school year. The two sites – a performing arts center in the Mueller development and Jaime D. Padron&nbsp;Elementary School near Rundberg Lane and U.S. Highway 183 – will meet the needs of Austin's expanding population.</p><p>The new performance arts center isn’t expected to be complete until November, with grand opening events in January of next year. But the shell of the 1,200-seat auditorium is already visible. The center will house everything from performance and rehearsal rooms, to a recording studio and a kiln for visual art.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159934751&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:01:19 +0000 Kate McGee 10842 at http://kut.org Photos: Inside AISD's New Performing Art Center & Jaime Padron Elementary AISD Wants Public Input in the Search for Superintendent Carstarphen's Replacement http://kut.org/post/aisd-wants-public-input-search-superintendent-carstarphens-replacement <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">Leaders in the Austin Independent School District want to know what kind of leader they should hire to run the 86,000 student school district and they're asking for the public's input. The district is holding a series of public input meetings this week starting Tuesday. The forums are part of the school board’s plan to have a more open search process. When the district hired former Superintendent&nbsp;Meria&nbsp;Carstarphen&nbsp;in 2009, she was unveiled as the sole finalist. The move upset some people in the community who thought the process lacked transparency.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">This time, the district will initially interview candidates in a closed search. After it identifies two to four finalists, it will introduce them to the public. Community groups, parents and stakeholders will then have a chance to provide feedback on the finalists.&nbsp;But before all that happens, the district wants to hear from the community about what kind of finalists they should be looking for in the first place so it can create a profile once it starts accepting applicants.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158792241&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:25:18 +0000 Kate McGee 10787 at http://kut.org AISD Wants Public Input in the Search for Superintendent Carstarphen's Replacement After Charter Fracas, AISD Hopes Allan Childhood Center Regains Parents' Trust http://kut.org/post/after-charter-fracas-aisd-hopes-allan-childhood-center-regains-parents-trust <p>East Austin resident&nbsp;Archette&nbsp;Alexander remembers when she took her son out of the neighborhood public elementary school and put him in a charter school. She says teachers had lost their passion due to all of the testing.</p><p>Now, Alexander’s youngest daughter is three, and she’s interested in putting her back in the school district –&nbsp;at AISD's early childhood center.</p><p>“The passion the other teachers have gives me hope as a parent that kids can thrive here,” Alexander says.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/153873194&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:20:41 +0000 Kate McGee 10574 at http://kut.org After Charter Fracas, AISD Hopes Allan Childhood Center Regains Parents' Trust This Austin High School Reduced Suspensions by Teaching Personal Responsibility http://kut.org/post/austin-high-school-reduced-suspensions-teaching-personal-responsibility <p><em>This is the final story in a three part series about student suspensions in the Austin Independent School District. Read <a href="http://kut.org/post/black-students-are-eight-percent-aisd-and-nearly-one-fourth-suspensions">Part One</a> and <a href="http://kut.org/post/why-do-black-students-get-more-suspensions-here-are-3-possible-reasons">Part Two</a>.</em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In&nbsp;AISD, black students make up about eight percent of the student population. But last year they accounted for nearly a quarter of the&nbsp;students suspended from&nbsp;school. The so-called discipline gap is an issue in public schools across the nation, and it's something&nbsp;AISD&nbsp;has tried to combat since former Superintendent&nbsp;Meria&nbsp;Carstarphen&nbsp;came to&nbsp;AISD&nbsp;in 2009.</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Addressing Racial Disparities from the Top Down</strong></p><p>AISD Interim Chief Schools Officer Edmund Oropez admits a discipline gap exists between African-American students and their peers, but he says the district has&nbsp;implemented various strategies aimed at closing it. A few years ago, the district created the <a href="https://www.austinisd.org/cpi">Cultural Proficiency and Inclusiveness</a> department. Leader Angela Ward single-handedly provides cultural awareness training to all&nbsp;new teachers and administrators. The training asks teachers to examine their own biases – something UT Professor Richard Reddick says is key to creating trusting relationships between teachers and students. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><div style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/150579367&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe> Wed, 21 May 2014 15:02:43 +0000 Kate McGee 10464 at http://kut.org This Austin High School Reduced Suspensions by Teaching Personal Responsibility Why Do Black Students Get More Suspensions? Here Are 3 Possible Reasons http://kut.org/post/why-do-black-students-get-more-suspensions-here-are-3-possible-reasons <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;">This story is the second installment of a three-part series examining the so-called discipline gap among student groups who receive out-of-school suspensions in the Austin Independent School District. <a href="http://kut.org/post/black-students-are-eight-percent-aisd-and-nearly-one-fourth-suspensions">Read Part One here.</a></em></p><p>During the 2013 school year, African-American students made up eight percent of the AISD student population, but nearly a quarter of the students given an out-of-school suspension.</p><p>The discipline gap is not unique to the district; nationwide, black students are suspended at higher rates than their peers. In March, <a href="http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/expansive-survey-americas-public-schools-reveals-troubling-racial-disparities">the U.S. Department of Education reported</a> the trend in black student suspensions&nbsp;starts as young as preschool.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While many, including AISD officials, admit the discipline gap exists, fewer people seem to have a solid answer as to why.&nbsp;</span><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/150343641&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 20 May 2014 16:32:07 +0000 Kate McGee 10449 at http://kut.org Why Do Black Students Get More Suspensions? Here Are 3 Possible Reasons Black Students Are Eight Percent of AISD – and Nearly One-Fourth of Suspensions http://kut.org/post/black-students-are-eight-percent-aisd-and-nearly-one-fourth-suspensions <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Since 2009, the number of suspensions at Austin public schools has fallen.&nbsp;But African-American students continue to receive out-of-school suspensions at a higher rate than their peers.</span></p><p>During the 2013 school year, 1,066 African-American AISD students – almost 13 percent of the black student population of 8,334 – received out-of-school suspensions. In that same period, 549 white AISD students were suspended­ ­–&nbsp;only 2.24 percent of the 24,543 white student population. Going by those numbers, African-American students are nearly six times more likely to be suspended from school.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Despite teacher training and district efforts, many African-American parents and community members feel like their children aren't understood.</span><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149712014&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 19 May 2014 16:37:50 +0000 Kate McGee 10427 at http://kut.org Black Students Are Eight Percent of AISD – and Nearly One-Fourth of Suspensions These Students Forged a Friendship in Austin's 'Golden Age' of Integration http://kut.org/post/these-students-forged-friendship-austins-golden-age-integration <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin has its own convoluted history when it comes to school integration – one involving multiple federal lawsuits and many different strategies to desegregate schools.</span></p><p>Busing was one of those strategies. Many students were bused across the city to schools on the other side of town. West Austin residents went to East Austin schools and visa versa.&nbsp;</p><p>Saturday, May 17, marks 60 years since the Supreme Court struck down the concept of "separate but equal" in <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education">Brown v. Board of Education</a></em>. It's a decision that affected students across the country. But for two Austin teenagers in the late 1980s, it also sparked a life-long friendship.</p><p>If you think about it, it’s a miracle Richard&nbsp;Reddick&nbsp;and Ryan Scarborough ever met. Scarborough, a white student from Austin’s Northwest Hills neighborhood, was bused to Johnston High School on Austin's east side, starting in 1986.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149763150&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 16 May 2014 15:07:34 +0000 Kate McGee 10431 at http://kut.org These Students Forged a Friendship in Austin's 'Golden Age' of Integration A 'Divided' Austin School Board Faces An Uncertain Future http://kut.org/post/divided-austin-school-board-faces-uncertain-future <p>The Austin School Board has its first board meeting tonight with Interim Superintendent Paul Cruz tonight.</p><p>The board faces many decisions in the coming months, and some are worried it’s having trouble making decisions – especially as it begins its search for a new superintendent.</p><p>Last general board meeting, school board members Cheryl Bradley and Jayme Mathias clashed over the approval of school uniforms for the new single-gender campuses, with Bradley calling Mathias' proposal to postpone a decision "ridiculous."</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146893771&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 15:33:16 +0000 Kate McGee 10309 at http://kut.org A 'Divided' Austin School Board Faces An Uncertain Future Superintendent Meria Carstarphen Says Goodbye to Austin http://kut.org/post/superintendent-meria-carstarphen-says-goodbye-austin <p>Wednesday will be Austin School Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s last day with the district before she leaves for <a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-school-superintendent-carstarphen-leaving-atlanta">the same position in Atlanta</a>.</p><p>Carstarphen attended her final school board meeting in Austin Monday night, where she was recognized for her contributions to the district over the past five years.</p><p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:08:21 +0000 Kate McGee 10270 at http://kut.org Superintendent Meria Carstarphen Says Goodbye to Austin Austin School Board Names Paul Cruz Temporary Superintendent http://kut.org/post/austin-school-board-names-paul-cruz-temporary-superintendent <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin school trustees unanimously appointed Paul Cruz as interim superintendent Tuesday night. They also accepted Superintendent </span>Meria<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Carstarphen's<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;resignation, as she heads to Atlanta to lead that city's public school system.</span></p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 01:08:24 +0000 Kate McGee 10230 at http://kut.org Austin School Board Names Paul Cruz Temporary Superintendent Paul Cruz to Lead Austin Schools As Interim Superintendent http://kut.org/post/paul-cruz-lead-austin-schools-interim-superintendent <p><strong>Update: </strong>KUT has learned from multiple sources that&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">AISD&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Chief School&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.austinisd.org/community/hispanic-almanac/paul-cruz" style="line-height: 1.5;">Paul Cruz</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;is expected to be named interim s</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">uperintendent</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;at Tuesday's school board meeting.</span></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 01:03:22 +0000 Kate McGee & Nathan Bernier 10211 at http://kut.org Paul Cruz to Lead Austin Schools As Interim Superintendent Austin School Board Mulls Two New Superintendents: One Interim, One Permanent http://kut.org/post/austin-school-board-mulls-two-new-superintendents-one-interim-one-permanent <p class="p1">Austin ISD Superintendent&nbsp;Meria&nbsp;Carstarphen&nbsp;is expected to <a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-school-superintendent-carstarphen-leaving-atlanta">leave to head Atlanta's public&nbsp;schools</a> in the coming weeks or months. The Austin&nbsp;School Board is just beginning the&nbsp;search for a new superintendent –&nbsp;and one to serve in the interim.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">On Monday night, they talked about the process to appoint an interim superintendent, as well as hiring an outside company to help find a replacement for&nbsp;Carstarphen.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143713925&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:11:17 +0000 Kate McGee 10148 at http://kut.org Austin School Board Mulls Two New Superintendents: One Interim, One Permanent Austin School Board Begins Long Task to Find New Superintendent http://kut.org/post/austin-school-board-begins-long-task-find-new-superintendent <p>Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen and the AISD School Board met Monday for the first time since Carstarphen was named the sole finalist as superintendent for Atlanta's public schools.</p><p>They met late into the evening in executive session to discuss what happens next.</p><p>No decisions were made in the meeting, but board president Vincent Torres told reporters the executive session would serve as a primer for the presumed superintendent search.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142554693&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 17:56:06 +0000 Kate McGee 10074 at http://kut.org Austin School Board Begins Long Task to Find New Superintendent The Carstarphen Tenure: Austin Schools Superintendent Looks Back http://kut.org/post/carstarphen-tenure-austin-schools-superintendent-looks-back <p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><em>Editor's note</em></strong><em style="line-height: 1.5;">: Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen&nbsp;is leaving to become Atlanta's school superintendent. <a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-school-superintendent-carstarphen-leaving-atlanta">Read more about Carstarphen's departure and what that means for AISD</a></em><em style="line-height: 1.5;">.</em></p><p><em>In December 2013, on the eve of what would be Carstarphen's final State of the District address, KUT looked back at her time leading AISD. </em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Original story</strong> (Dec. 3, 2013):&nbsp;</span>Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s releases her <a href="http://www.austinisd.org/sod">2013 State of the District</a> today – a movie where the superintendent highlights the district’s achievements and challenges over the past year.</p><p>It’s Carstarphen’s fifth State of the District since she became superintendent in 2009.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/122974424&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:34:11 +0000 Kate McGee 9300 at http://kut.org The Carstarphen Tenure: Austin Schools Superintendent Looks Back There's a Different Kind of Homelessness for Onion Creek Flood Victims http://kut.org/post/theres-different-kind-homelessness-onion-creek-flood-victims <p>When you think about the word “homeless,” what comes to mind?</p><p>Homelessness can include a person who lacks housing. But it is also includes people in transitional housing. That's where Lydia&nbsp;Huerta, her husband and their three kids found themselves after they lost their home to flooding October 31.</p><p>Huerta&nbsp;says she "never really felt panic" until she lost her home.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140640359&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 13:49:04 +0000 Joy Diaz 10012 at http://kut.org There's a Different Kind of Homelessness for Onion Creek Flood Victims Winter Storm Delays Schools, Primary Voting in Central Texas http://kut.org/post/winter-storm-delays-schools-primary-voting-central-texas <p><strong>UPDATE: </strong>The National Weather Service curtailed the <a href="http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=ewx&amp;wwa=winter%20storm%20warning">winter storm warning</a> issued Monday. It is now in effect until 9 a.m. for Bastrop, Burnet, Travis, and Williamson Counties.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>K-12 SCHOOL DELAYS:</strong></p><p>School districts in the Austin area are announcing delayed starts for Tuesday morning, due to the winter weather.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:07:42 +0000 KUT Staff 9889 at http://kut.org Winter Storm Delays Schools, Primary Voting in Central Texas Austin School Board Approves Three-Year Teacher Contracts http://kut.org/post/austin-school-board-approves-three-year-teacher-contracts <p><strong>Update:</strong>&nbsp; The Austin School Board voted to reinstate three-year contracts for teachers and principals in a five to four vote Monday night. At the same meeting, school district officials also proposed to to close a projected $32 million budget gap for Fiscal Year 2015.&nbsp;</p><p>The decision to move to three-year contracts&nbsp;comes after the school district and teacher's union, Education Austin, came to an impasse over the issue last month. Austin ISD went from three to one year contracts in 2011, when the state legislature cut billions in public education funding, also forcing the district to lay off more than 1,000 employees.</p><p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 05:50:51 +0000 Kate McGee 9831 at http://kut.org Austin School Board Approves Three-Year Teacher Contracts 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 AISD Struggling to Keep African-American Students in District http://kut.org/post/aisd-struggling-keep-african-american-students-district <p class="p1">Over the last 20 years, the percentage of Austin Independent School District's African American population has steadily declined — dropping from 18.8 percent in 1993-1994 academic year to <a href="http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/tapr/2013/static/district/d227901.pdf">8.7 percent last year</a>, according to data from the <a href="http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/">Texas Education Agency</a>.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Some are concerned fewer students could lead to more community issues going unnoticed, or at least underserved, as more African-American students and families leave the district<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span></p><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/135511848&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe><br /> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 19:05:34 +0000 Kate McGee 9788 at http://kut.org AISD Struggling to Keep African-American Students in District Schools Will Have to Make Up Snow Days Starting This Monday http://kut.org/post/schools-will-have-make-snow-days-starting-monday <p>The harsh winter weather this year has left local school districts with a mounting number of cancelations and delays. Most school districts in the region canceled classes on Jan. 24 and 28, and delayed start times on Feb. 6 and 11 due to icy conditions.</p><p>Those snow and ice days may have seemed like welcome "free days," but they come with a price. The Texas Education Agency requires that canceled class days must be made up. For most school districts, this means giving up holidays such as Good Friday, Memorial Day and Presidents Day (this Monday) to make up for lost time. Below, you can see a full list of make-up days for Austin-area schools.</p><p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 20:41:52 +0000 Kelly Krupa 9781 at http://kut.org Schools Will Have to Make Up Snow Days Starting This Monday