austin isd http://kut.org en Austin Teachers Union Wants AISD to Reinstate Salary Bump http://kut.org/post/austin-teachers-union-wants-aisd-reinstate-salary-bump <p>The local teacher's union is asking Austin ISD to reinstate a 1.5 percent bonus for all district employees for the 2014-2015 school year. The district and the union are expected to meet on the matter Wednesday.</p><p>For the past two years, the district has provided a 3 percent pay increase for employees. This academic year, it approved a one-time, 1.5 percent increase on top of that. But the 1.5 percent salary adjustment is not included in the FY 2015 preliminary budget assumptions.</p><p>Now, Education Austin is asking the district to change that.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"Our district looks a little different than it did a month ago," </span>Zarifis<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says referring to the departure of Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. "We believe this is an opportunity to find out if we're going to do things different."</span></p><p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 22:12:05 +0000 Kate McGee 10325 at http://kut.org Austin Teachers Union Wants AISD to Reinstate Salary Bump It's Good Friday – But Some Area School Districts Are Holding Classes http://kut.org/post/its-good-friday-some-area-school-districts-are-holding-classes <p>Most Austin area school districts are closed today for the Good Friday holiday. But some students will be attending class.</p><p>That’s because they’re making up days off for bad weather earlier in the school year.</p><p><strong>DO have school:</strong></p><ul><li><strong><a href="http://burnet.txed.net">Burnet ISD</a></strong>&nbsp;will have regular school hours today.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.delvalle.tx.schoolwebpages.com/education/district/district.php?sectionid=1">Del Valle ISD</a></strong> is holding classes today.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.dsisd.txed.net">Dripping Springs ISD</a></strong> is holding classes today and on Memorial Day to make up for canceled classes.</li><li><strong>Eanes ISD</strong> is holding classes today. The rest of the school year will continue as planned.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.lockhartisd.org">Lockhart ISD</a></strong>&nbsp;will hold regular school hours today and on Memorial Day.</li><li><strong>Manor ISD</strong> is holding classes today as a make-up. There will not be classes on Memorial Day.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.tsd.state.tx.us">Texas School for the Deaf</a> </strong>will have regular school hours today.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wimberleyisd.net">Wimberley ISD</a> </strong>is also holding classes this Good Friday.</li></ul><p><strong>DO NOT have school:</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Austin ISD</strong> is off today. AISD has no make-up days scheduled for the rest of the school year. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:38:50 +0000 Laura Rice & Maria Roque 10247 at http://kut.org It's Good Friday – But Some Area School Districts Are Holding Classes Austin School Superintendent Carstarphen Leaving for Atlanta http://kut.org/post/austin-school-superintendent-carstarphen-leaving-atlanta <p>Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen&nbsp;has been named as the sole finalist for the superintendent&nbsp;job in Atlanta, Georgia.</p><p>She was chosen from a list of four candidates for the position.</p><p>Carstarphen came to Austin ISD in 2009. The district has faced significant challenges during her tenure, including $60 million in funding cuts after the 2011 Legislative session.</p><p>In a statement today, Carstarphen said Austin had risen to meet those challenges.</p><p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 02:12:40 +0000 Kate McGee & Matt Largey 10050 at http://kut.org Austin School Superintendent Carstarphen Leaving for Atlanta 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 Dove Springs Librarian Tells Austin Students to 'Get Mad' and Demand an Education http://kut.org/post/dove-springs-librarian-tells-austin-students-get-mad-and-demand-education <p><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">This article is part of KUT's year-long series called&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/topic/dove-springs-turning-corner" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);">Turning the Corner</a>, which takes a look at Austin's Dove Springs neighborhood.&nbsp;For decades, the neighborhood has had a negative reputation. Now, many community members are trying to change the perception of the 78744 zip code.&nbsp;</em><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><a href="http://kut.org/topic/dove-springs-turning-corner" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(12, 76, 162);">Listen to those stories here</a>.</em></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;"><span style="font-family: Times; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 14px;">In low-income neighborhoods around Austin, 87 percent of children entering kindergarten are considered unprepared for school, which means many of them lack basic literacy skills.&nbsp;At Mendez Middle School in Austin’s Dove Springs neighborhood, that struggle is obvious.&nbsp;Last year, less than half of Mendez sixth graders passed the state standardized test for reading.&nbsp;</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/135922194&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0px; line-height: normal; font-family: Times;"> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 14:18:18 +0000 Kate McGee 9821 at http://kut.org This Dove Springs Librarian Tells Austin Students to 'Get Mad' and Demand an Education Austin Drivers Should Slow Down in School Zones Today Though Lights May Not Flash http://kut.org/post/austin-drivers-should-slow-down-school-zones-today-though-lights-may-not-flash <p>Many area school kids are in class today despite the Presidents' Day holiday. They’re <a href="http://kut.org/post/schools-will-have-make-snow-days-starting-monday" target="_blank">making up for a day missed</a> due to winter weather.</p><p>City of Austin Transportation crews are <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/news/use-caution-school-zones-presidents-day" target="_blank">working to manually re-program flashing school zone lights</a> warning drivers to slow down. But only about one-sixth were ready before the start of school this morning.</p><p>“If a driver comes up to a school zone and they know that the school is in session and the flasher aren’t going, they should use that same level of caution, drive slower and be aware of students in the area," city spokesperson Samantha Park said. Mon, 17 Feb 2014 18:46:11 +0000 Laura Rice 9796 at http://kut.org Austin Drivers Should Slow Down in School Zones Today Though Lights May Not Flash How Do Austin Students Compare to Other Cities? http://kut.org/post/how-do-austin-students-compare-other-cities <p>Austin public school students in fourth and eighth grade <a href="http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_tuda_2013/#/">scored higher in math and reading</a> than students in other large cities, according to results from a new government study released Wednesday.&nbsp;</p><p>The report looks at results from a national standardized test given to 21 urban school districts with populations of 250,000 people or more. It’s part of the National Center for Education Statistics' National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).</p><p>While the results are positive, the scores remained relatively flat from 2011 – &nbsp;the last time Austin students took the test. Wed, 18 Dec 2013 22:27:29 +0000 Kate McGee & Roy Varney 9399 at http://kut.org How Do Austin Students Compare to Other Cities? Austin School Board Shows Support for Superintendent Carstarphen http://kut.org/post/austin-school-board-shows-support-superintendent-carstarphen <p>If you attended your first Austin school board meeting Monday night, you would have never guessed Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has ever received criticism from school board members, the teachers union, Education Austin, or the Austin community.</p><p>Austin School Board President Vincent Torres commended the superintendent in the board's annual evaluation, recognizing the challenges the district faces and outlining the district's achievements over the last year. He highlighted improved graduation rates, dual language programs, early childhood education, and the superintendent's ability to balance the budget in the face of continued cuts from the state.</p><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/125286881&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe><p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 04:36:41 +0000 Kate McGee 9385 at http://kut.org Austin School Board Shows Support for Superintendent Carstarphen How Austin's Anderson High School Got Phoenix to Play Their Gym http://kut.org/post/how-austins-anderson-high-school-got-phoenix-play-their-gym <p>When you were in high school, wouldn&rsquo;t you have loved to have a cool band play in your gym? I remember trying to get the band <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karp_(band)">Karp</a> to play my high school in the 1990s, but the teacher who sponsored the student council balked once he heard what they <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJbbfQO4JeY">sound like</a>. Instead, they spent the money on a Top 40 video dance party with fog machines.&nbsp;</p><p>But last night, Anderson High School in Austin ISD did what my high school could never do: They hosted a secret show for the French dance-rockers Phoenix. (While considerably more accessible than any post-hardcore band, it&#39;s a remarkable achievement nonetheless.)</p><p>&ldquo;Seriously how the hell does Anderson book Phoenix to play a gig at their school and Pflugerville gets Granger Smith #injustice,&rdquo; <a href="https://twitter.com/ttrangdo/status/387400525181751296">tweeted one envious teen</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;Phoenix at Anderson? Lucky bastards,&rdquo; <a href="https://twitter.com/allihettrich/status/387414995308265472">said another</a>.</p><p>Indeed. So, how did it happen?</p><p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 18:03:21 +0000 Nathan Bernier 8884 at http://kut.org How Austin's Anderson High School Got Phoenix to Play Their Gym AISD Board Approves Budget, Domestic Partner Benefits http://kut.org/post/aisd-board-approves-budget-domestic-partner-benefits <p>Austin Independent School District employees will start to learn more today about <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/aisd-could-offer-domestic-partner-benefits-end-year" target="_blank">adding an unmarried partner to their health insurance benefits</a>.</p><p>The AISD board approved last night expanding benefits to people a district spokesman calls the “unmarried, committed” partners of regular, full-time AISD employees. Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:56:47 +0000 Laura Rice 8551 at http://kut.org AISD Board Approves Budget, Domestic Partner Benefits AISD Head Talks Challenges, Successes and Changes in Austin's Public Schools http://kut.org/post/aisd-head-talks-challenges-successes-and-changes-austins-public-schools <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F107328788" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Today is the first day of school for Austin ISD, and that means nearly 90,000 students filling hallways. Meria Carstarphen, AISD’s superintendent, sees the biggest challenges in a successful year as student safety, school funding, and <a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/">STAAR testing</a>.</p><p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 18:45:26 +0000 Roy Varney & Nathan Bernier 8538 at http://kut.org AISD Head Talks Challenges, Successes and Changes in Austin's Public Schools What is AISD's Future Plan for Portable Classrooms? http://kut.org/post/what-aisds-future-plan-portable-classrooms <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F96487090" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>For at least fifty years, the Austin Independent School District has used portable classrooms as a way to relieve overcrowding. Yesterday, <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/60-percent-aisds-portable-classrooms-least-25-years-old">KUT reported more than half of the nearly 650 portables are over 25 years old – some are more than 50 years old</a>. Many teachers and parents say portables conditions are poor.</p><p>But&nbsp;what – if anything – can the school district can do about it?&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 11:54:23 +0000 Kate McGee 8085 at http://kut.org What is AISD's Future Plan for Portable Classrooms? AISD STAAR Scores Inch Up – Still Well Below Future Standards http://kut.org/post/aisd-staar-scores-inch-still-well-below-future-standards <p>The Austin Independent School District <a href="http://www.austin.isd.tenet.edu/articles/aisd-students-achieve-gains-four-subject-areas-preliminary-2013-staar-grades-3-8-results" target="_blank">saw minimal gains </a>on this year’s STAAR tests compared to last year.</p><p>Reading, math, science and social studies passage rates each increased by three percentage points from the previous year. Students showed the best results in reading with 79 percent passing in all demographics – including racial minorities and the economically disadvantaged.</p><p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 13:19:47 +0000 Mone Miller 8066 at http://kut.org AISD STAAR Scores Inch Up – Still Well Below Future Standards What Does AISD Bond Vote Mean? http://kut.org/post/what-does-aisd-bond-vote-mean <p>Austin voters <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/aisd-bond-election-results">rejected two out of four</a>&nbsp;school bonds on Saturday. At $892 million, it was the largest proposed bond in AISD history.</p><p>We spoke with local education reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/lauraheinauer">Laura Heinauer</a> to learn more. Click the player above to hear our conversation as it aired on KUT.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 13 May 2013 23:43:17 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7718 at http://kut.org What Does AISD Bond Vote Mean? Voter Registration Deadline Tomorrow (Updated) http://kut.org/post/voter-registration-deadline-tomorrow-updated <p><strong>Update: </strong>Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote in the May election.</p><p>If you’ve moved since the last time you voted – you’ll have to register again. In Travis County, you can register in person at <a href="http://www.traviscountytax.org/goHome.jsf" target="_blank">one of tax office locations</a>, mail in an application – which are available at post offices and libraries, or <a href="https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/sos/SOSACManager" target="_blank">update your information online</a>. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 12:13:17 +0000 Trey Shaar & Laura Rice 7233 at http://kut.org Voter Registration Deadline Tomorrow (Updated) AISD Teacher Accused of Aggravated Sexual Assault (Update) http://kut.org/post/aisd-teacher-accused-aggravated-sexual-assault-update <p><strong>Update: &nbsp;</strong>Austin school district police say John Joseph Vasquez, a&nbsp;Blazier Elementary school teacher, was arrested Monday for alleged aggravated sexual assault and improper relationship between an educator and a student.</p><p>On April 1, the parent of a former AISD&nbsp;student contacted district police alleging the student had been assaulted as a first grader from January to March of 2011. District police conducted a forensic interview with the child, who did not wish to be identified. Police also conducted a short interview with the suspect. District Police Chief Eric Mendez says there may have been multiple incidences, but the investigation is still ongoing. Mendez says there is no reason to believe there are other victims.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:13:50 +0000 Nathan Bernier & Kate McGee 7273 at http://kut.org AISD Teacher Accused of Aggravated Sexual Assault (Update) Your Kid's Campus Will Get a Letter Grade Next School Year http://kut.org/post/your-kids-campus-will-get-letter-grade-next-school-year <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Texas schools and school districts will be labeled from A to F starting next school year. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The new system will replace the current labels that range from academically unacceptable to exemplary. Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams explained his decision today to the state’s Senate Education Committee.</span></p><p> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 21:02:00 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7190 at http://kut.org Your Kid's Campus Will Get a Letter Grade Next School Year ACLU Inquiring into AISD Plans for Single-Sex Middle Schools http://kut.org/post/aclu-inquiring-aisd-plans-single-sex-middle-schools <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The American Civil Liberties Union wants information from the Austin school district about its plans to convert Pearce and Garcia middle schools into single-sex campuses. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The school board approved the controversial plan in January as part of its effort to improve educational outcomes at the two struggling campuses in northeast Austin. The plan takes effect in the&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">2014-2015 school year.</span></p><p> Fri, 29 Mar 2013 23:52:17 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7153 at http://kut.org ACLU Inquiring into AISD Plans for Single-Sex Middle Schools AISD Sued Over Eastside Documents http://kut.org/post/aisd-sued-over-eastside-documents <p><a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/628115-swanson-aisd-lawsuit.html">A lawsuit filed today</a> accuses the Austin school district of withholding public information on plans for <a href="http://kutnews.org/term/eastside-memorial">Eastside Memorial High School</a>.</p><p>AISD says it needs to find a third party to help run the troubled school to prevent the state from taking it over. Eastside has not met state academic accountability standards for nearly a decade.</p><p>But Steve Swanson, a member of the school’s campus advisory committee, says repeated open-records requests he’s submitted to the district have not turned up planning process documents for the campus. So he’s suing in Travis County District Court.</p><p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 23:14:19 +0000 Nathan Bernier 7116 at http://kut.org AISD Sued Over Eastside Documents New AISD Elementary School Named After Former Teacher http://kut.org/post/new-aisd-elementary-school-named-after-former-teacher <p><strong>Update: </strong>The new elementary school being built in north Austin now has a name: Dr. Janis Guerrero Thompson Elementary. The Austin Independent School District Board <a href="http://www.austin.isd.tenet.edu/articles/trustees-name-new-north-central-elementary-school" target="_blank">voted last night to approve the name</a>.</p><p>Dr. Guerrero Thompson <a href="http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/statesman/obituary.aspx?pid=151689201#fbLoggedOut" target="_blank">was a native Austinite</a> who taught high school in AISD and later worked as the district’s Executive Director for Planning and Community Relations.</p><p> Tue, 19 Mar 2013 12:00:14 +0000 Nathan Bernier & Laura Rice 6993 at http://kut.org New AISD Elementary School Named After Former Teacher