Education http://kut.org en 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 Calculator Directive for 8th-Graders Draws Concerns http://kut.org/post/calculator-directive-8th-graders-draws-concerns <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">As the state integrates a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/news_release.aspx?id=25769810227" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">directive</a>&nbsp;that requires eighth-graders in Texas public schools to have graphing calculators&nbsp;for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" target="_blank">STAAR testing</a>, some poorer Texas school districts say that such mandates ignore the financial crunch that many districts are already facing.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">In February,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" target="_blank">Texas Education </a><a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" target="_blank">Agency</a>&nbsp;Commissioner&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/michael-williams/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/michael-williams/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Michael Williams</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769809313" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">wrote to</a>&nbsp;Texas superintendents to instruct them that they must ensure that eighth-grade students have graphing calculators for STAAR assessments, starting in the 2014-15 school year. The directive comes after the State Board of Education increased the algebra content on the exam, said Debbie Ratcliffe, a TEA spokeswoman.</p><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:49:18 +0000 Aamena Ahmed, Texas Tribune 10227 at http://kut.org Calculator Directive for 8th-Graders Draws Concerns Bill Powers on Regents Drama, Civil Rights Summit & Those Mysterious Maroon Bluebonnets http://kut.org/post/bill-powers-regents-drama-civil-rights-summit-those-mysterious-maroon-bluebonnets <p>Reports over the past week suggest that the screws are tightening on one of the biggest critics of William Powers,&nbsp;Jr., President of the University of Texas at Austin.</p><p>University Regent Wallace Hall <a href="http://kut.org/post/report-cites-possible-grounds-halls-impeachment">likely committed impeachable offenses</a>, according to a 176-page report prepared for legislators looking into Hall's campaign to oust Powers. Among the charges: that Hall leaked confidential student information in apparent violation of state and federal law, that he attempted to coerce UT administrators to alter testimony to investigators, and that he abused his position as regent.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/144700374&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:08:56 +0000 David Brown 10212 at http://kut.org Bill Powers on Regents Drama, Civil Rights Summit & Those Mysterious Maroon Bluebonnets UT Engineering School Receives $5M from ExxonMobil CEO http://kut.org/post/ut-engineering-school-receives-5m-exxonmobil-ceo <p>Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, <a href="http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/company/about-us/management/rex-w-tillerson" target="_blank">Rex W. Tillerson</a> and his wife, Renda, are donating $5 million to the Cockrell School of Engineering. The money is slated to go toward the <a href="http://www.engr.utexas.edu/eerc" target="_blank">Engineering Education and Research Center</a> which is expected to open in 2017.</p><p>It's a 430,000 square-foot facility that will allow UT Austin to expand its teaching, research and student project space.</p><p>Tillerson&nbsp;graduated from UT Austin in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in&nbsp;civil engineering and serves on the school's Engineering Advisory Board and UT Development Board. &nbsp;His sons, Robert and Michael, are also graduates. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:35:18 +0000 Kate McGee 10214 at http://kut.org UT Engineering School Receives $5M from ExxonMobil CEO 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 Dropout Recovery School Faces Closure After 30 Years http://kut.org/post/austin-dropout-recovery-school-faces-closure-after-30-years <p>The fate of an Austin charter school that has run a dropout recovery program for more than 30 years will be decided later this month.</p><p>American Youthworks faces closure under a new law that allows the Texas Education Agency to revoke licenses from underperforming charter schools, thus opening those licenses to other organizations.</p><p>TEA spokesperson Debbie Ratcliffe says Senate Bill 2 is pretty clear. That’s the law passed last year that, among other things, gave TEA teeth to revoke the licenses of failing charter schools. “If a school has received the state’s lowest, either academic or financial, rating for three straight years, it automatically is closed,” Ratcliffe says.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/144532506&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:01:18 +0000 Joy Diaz 10204 at http://kut.org Austin Dropout Recovery School Faces Closure After 30 Years UT-Austin Faculty Objects to Shared Services Plan http://kut.org/post/ut-austin-faculty-objects-shared-services-plan <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">More than 100 faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin signed a letter this week expressing concern and dismay over a proposal to centralize and consolidate services such as&nbsp;human resources and information technology.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">That shared services model would combine administrative services now located and staffed in individual departments of the university in an attempt to save millions of dollars annually.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">In the letter to UT-Austin President Bill Powers, faculty members posited that such a move would harm the university's sense of community. "People choose to work at the University of Texas at Austin because they believe in its educational and social mission," the letter said. "Adoption of a shared services model will weaken departments’ commitment to those missions by devaluing bonds between faculty and staff that develop from working toward common goals."</p><p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:59:38 +0000 Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune 10200 at http://kut.org UT-Austin Faculty Objects to Shared Services Plan 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 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 Report Cites Possible Grounds for Hall's Impeachment http://kut.org/post/report-cites-possible-grounds-halls-impeachment <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 1.35;">There could be grounds to impeach University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall on at least on at least four different counts, according to a&nbsp;report by the special counsel to the legislative committee that has been investigating the controversial gubernatorial appointee.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 1.35;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">The report, which was obtained by the Tribune on Monday night on the condition that it not be published in its entirety, is the handiwork of a team led by Houston attorney Rusty Hardin, which&nbsp;</span><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">reviewed more than 150,000 pages of documents and sat through dozens of&nbsp;hours&nbsp;of interviews and testimony before the&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box;">House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations&nbsp;</span>during the second half of 2013.</span></span></p><p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:14:53 +0000 Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune 10146 at http://kut.org Report Cites Possible Grounds for Hall's Impeachment 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 More Than 5 Million Kids Are Attending Public School in Texas http://kut.org/post/more-5-million-kids-are-attending-public-school-texas <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For the first time, more than 5 million students are enrolled in Texas public schools. The Texas Education Agency (TEA)&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/acctres/Enroll_2012-13.pdf">published a report Tuesday</a>&nbsp;that the state hit the milestone last school year when&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">5,075,840 students were enrolled.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The population of Hispanic students had the largest numerical increase, growing by 64,903 in one year. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Rice University demographer <a href="http://hobbycenter.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=66">Steve Murdoch,</a> who used to run the U.S. Census Bureau, says the future of the Texas economy will be determined largely by how well those students are educated.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 00:17:21 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10082 at http://kut.org More Than 5 Million Kids Are Attending Public School in Texas 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 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