Education http://kut.org en Texas Wants to Push New Teacher Evaluation Rolllout Back Another Year http://kut.org/post/texas-wants-push-new-teacher-evaluation-rolllout-back-another-year <p>Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams wants an additional year to study a new state teacher evaluation system. The additional period would delay the official roll out for two years.</p><p>Commissioner Williams wrote a letter to federal education officials Wednesday, where he also requested the federal government extend a waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements.</p><p>In a statement, Williams said:</p><p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:32:02 +0000 Kate McGee 10849 at http://kut.org Texas Wants to Push New Teacher Evaluation Rolllout Back Another Year 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 Akins High School Summer Camp Offers Students a Bridge into Computer Sciences http://kut.org/post/akins-high-school-summer-camp-offers-students-bridge-computer-sciences <p>Instead of going to a typical summer camp, this summer Chris Folwick and Jorge Sepulveda are crunching some numbers.</p><p>But Folwick and Sepulveda couldn't be happier. The two Akins High School students are a part of the STEMbridge program, which allows students to learn coding and develop useful computer science skills in a comprehensive four-week course.</p><p></p><p></p><p>This is the first summer the school has partnered with Austin nonprofit <a href="http://www.stemedlabs.org/">STEMed Labs </a>to bring comprehensive, year-round computer science courses to the high school. It's put on with the help of a grant from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kdk-harman.org/">KDK Harmon Foundation</a>.</p><p>Folwick and&nbsp;Sepulveda&nbsp;are playing Connect Four, but you won’t hear them playing with pieces. They’ve developed the game on the computer – by writing code.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For the past four weeks, the students have learned the basics of coding, but they say there were less computers than they thought there would be.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159626724%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-R6W1z&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> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:25:58 +0000 Kate McGee 10818 at http://kut.org Akins High School Summer Camp Offers Students a Bridge into Computer Sciences Is the News Too Scary for Your Kids? Here's What You Can Do http://kut.org/post/news-too-scary-your-kids-heres-what-you-can-do <p>The 24-hour-news cycle is ingrained into most adults' lives. Global conflict, natural disasters and crime make their way into in our daily discussions with a sense of normalcy. But for the young and impressionable, the news can paint a rather grim portrait of the world. So how do you go about explaining disturbing world events to your children?</p><p><a href="http://kut.org/topic/coming-soon-texas-standard">The Texas Standard</a>'s David Brown speaks with <a href="http://myhealingplace.org/">licensed family and children’s counselor</a> Khris Ford, who gives us some insight on how children perceive the events in the news.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159278034&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> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:38:34 +0000 David Brown & Alain Stephens 10814 at http://kut.org Is the News Too Scary for Your Kids? Here's What You Can Do UT Regent Investigation Focuses Less on Wallace Hall, More on Powers’ Resignation http://kut.org/post/ut-regent-investigation-focuses-less-wallace-hall-more-powers-resignation <p>In what's become the never-ending story of state higher education news, t<span style="line-height: 1.5;">he <a href="http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/committee/?committee=465&amp;session=83">Texas House Transparency Committee </a>continued to hash out details of the fractured relationship between the <a href="http://www.utsystem.edu/board-of-regents">UT System Board of Regents </a>and UT-Austin leadership Wednesday, as it investigates the actions of UT Regent <a href="http://www.utsystem.edu/board-of-regents/current-regents/wallace-l-hall-jr">Wallace Hall</a>. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The committee is deciding if it should file impeachment proceedings against Hall, who some believe abused his powers as regent, but Wednesday's meeting also focused on last week's agreement for UT Austin President <a href="http://kut.org/post/ut-president-bill-powers-will-stay-one-more-year">Bill Powers to resign </a>at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.</span></p><p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 22:44:03 +0000 Kate McGee 10799 at http://kut.org UT Regent Investigation Focuses Less on Wallace Hall, More on Powers’ Resignation UT Affirmative Action Policies Stand in Fisher Ruling http://kut.org/post/ut-affirmative-action-policies-stand-fisher-ruling <p>In a two to one opinion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld UT-Austin's affirmative action policies – the subject of Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. You can <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1219257-fifth-circuit-court-of-appeals-decision-in.html">read the decision here</a>.</p><p>In a 2008 case, white student Abigail Fisher was not admitted into the university. She sued, claiming UT had discriminated against her because of her race. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, but the high court remanded the case to the circuit court last year, finding that when the court originally heard the case it didn't apply proper scrutiny to UT's affirmative action policies ­– as it was supposed to under a 2003 affirmative action case.</p><p></p><p>Read more background on the case here<strong>: <a href="http://kut.org/post/so-what-exactly-happened-fisher-v-university-texas-update">So What Exactly Happened with Fisher v. University of Texas?</a></strong></p><p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:35:06 +0000 Kate McGee 10791 at http://kut.org UT Affirmative Action Policies Stand in Fisher Ruling 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 Cigarroa Tells Powers to Resign or Be Fired http://kut.org/post/cigarroa-tells-powers-resign-or-be-fired <p class="p1" 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: 15.199999809265137px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 1.35;">U</span><span style="font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 1.35; box-sizing: border-box;">niversity of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa has asked University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers to resign ahead of the Board of Regents’ July 10 meeting or be fired at it, multiple sources confirmed to The Texas Tribune on Friday.& Fri, 04 Jul 2014 19:35:27 +0000 Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune 10738 at http://kut.org Cigarroa Tells Powers to Resign or Be Fired Donation Brings Huston-Tillotson University Closer to Building Mental Health Clinic http://kut.org/post/donation-brings-huston-tillotson-university-closer-building-mental-health-clinic <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's the largest gift </span>Huston-Tillotson<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> has ever received. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">On Thursday, the historic black university announced that Ada Anderson, a 92-year-old graduate, had donated $3 million to pay for the initial&nbsp;construction phase of the school's mental health clinic. It will be called the Sandra Joy Anderson Community Health and Wellness Center in honor of the donor's daughter.</span></p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:14:14 +0000 Joy Diaz 10669 at http://kut.org Donation Brings Huston-Tillotson University Closer to Building Mental Health Clinic U.S. Education Secretary Hosts Austin Roundtable for Male Students of Color http://kut.org/post/us-education-secretary-hosts-austin-roundtable-male-students-color <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was at Austin Community College Friday afternoon meeting with male high school and college students of color. It’s part of the White House’s 'My Brother’s Keeper' initiative to close the achievement gap between young men of color and their peers.</span></p><p>Sitting in a circle, about 15 young African American and Hispanic male students sat with the secretary telling him about their role models, their aspirations and the struggles they face at home and school. Some had disciplinary problems, many were raised by single parents. Others were bullied or said they needed mentors.</p><p>Alberto Garcia is an ACC student who’s also taking care of his sister’s son. &nbsp;He says one of the big problems for minority students in low-income neighborhoods is a lack of employment networking opportunities.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/155290655&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></p><p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:50:55 +0000 Kate McGee 10650 at http://kut.org U.S. Education Secretary Hosts Austin Roundtable for Male Students of Color AISD OKs Federal Prevailing Wages in Split Board Vote http://kut.org/post/aisd-oks-federal-prevailing-wages-split-board-vote <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">An hour before the Austin school district’s board meeting began last night, more than fifty labor advocates were crowded in the courtyard outside, chanting, with handmade signs. By the time doors opened, the crowd had doubled.</span></p><p>After nearly four hours of deliberation, the crowd got its wish and erupted in cheers. In a 5-4 split vote, the board voted to adopt federal prevailing wages for workers on upcoming construction projects at Austin schools.</p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:34:52 +0000 Kate McGee & Ryan Kailath 10623 at http://kut.org AISD OKs Federal Prevailing Wages in Split Board Vote Austin Schools Designated 'No Place For Hate' http://kut.org/post/austin-schools-designated-no-place-hate <p>Austin ISD is the largest school district in the nation whose campuses have "No Place for Hate." &nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.adl.org/npfh/">No Place for Hate</a> campaign provides schools the opportunity to address bullying and prejudice. The <a href="http://www.adl.org/">Anti-Defamation League</a>-sponsored campaign began in Austin in 2011 with only 23 schools in the district qualifying.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">In just three years, all of </span>AISD’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> 122 schools have acquired the status.</span></p><p>In order for a school to qualify, every student on campus must participate in three group activities addressing bias, prejudice and other topics that students deem worthy to the entire school. &nbsp;Every person on campus must also sign a resolution of respect.</p><p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:12:36 +0000 Reynaldo Leanos 10606 at http://kut.org Austin Schools Designated 'No Place For Hate' Bill To Allow Refinancing Of Student Loans Dies In Senate http://kut.org/post/bill-allow-refinancing-student-loans-dies-senate A bill that would have let millions of people refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate has failed in the Senate, after Republicans objected that it included a tax on the wealthy to pay for it. The measure would have allowed people with older loans to benefit from today's low interest rates.<p>The bill from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn't get past a procedural vote, falling by a 56-38 vote. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:29:17 +0000 Bill Chappell, NPR 10576 at http://kut.org Bill To Allow Refinancing Of Student Loans Dies In Senate 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 Obama Signs Order Easing Student Loan Payments http://kut.org/post/obama-sign-order-easing-student-loan-payments <strong>(This post was updated at 3:24 p.m. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 18:13:01 +0000 10562 at http://kut.org Obama Signs Order Easing Student Loan Payments 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 Commencement Mashup: The Speech In 8 Easy Steps http://kut.org/post/commencement-mashup-speech-eight-easy-steps <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J77wZbbtt4M</p> Wed, 21 May 2014 11:36:59 +0000 John Poole 10463 at http://kut.org Commencement Mashup: The Speech In 8 Easy Steps Lawmakers Seek Delay On Healthy Lunch Rules For Schools http://kut.org/post/lawmakers-seek-delay-healthy-lunch-rules-schools How hard can it be for school cafeterias to swap white bread for whole-grain tortillas, cut sodium, and nudge kids to put more fruit and vegetables on their trays?<p>Tougher than you might imagine, according to some schools.<p>From the <a href="http://journaltimes.com/news/local/waterford-school-districts-drop-federal-lunch-program/article_a67dcee0-b348-11e3-9b4e-0019bb2963f4.html">Waterford school district</a> in Wisconsin to the <a href="http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Lunch-fails-many-students-4230626.php">Voorheesville school district</a> in New York to <a href="http://chicago.cbsl Tue, 20 May 2014 21:30:10 +0000 10458 at http://kut.org Lawmakers Seek Delay On Healthy Lunch Rules For Schools In Letter to UT Board Chair, Hall Says He Won't Resign http://kut.org/post/letter-ut-board-chair-hall-says-he-wont-resign <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;">University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall, who&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2014/05/15/ut-board-chairman-calls-regent-hall-resign/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">was asked to resign</a>&nbsp;last week by the chairman of the board of regents, sent a letter to the chairman on Monday saying he does not intend to do any such thing, according to Hall's lawyer.</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;">At Thursday's&nbsp;board meeting, chairman Paul Foster said that Hall could take "a selfless step to benefit the UT System" by stepping down from his post.&nbsp;<span style="box-sizing: border-box;">According to a system spokeswoman, as of Monday afternoon, Foster had not yet received Hall's letter responding to his comments.</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;">Last week, a legislative committee&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2014/05/12/transparency-committee-expected-vote-hall/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">had agreed that grounds exist</a>&nbsp;to impeach Hall, who has been scrutinized for conducting personal investigations of the operations of the University of Texas at Austin that some have characterized as an abuse of his office.</p><p> Tue, 20 May 2014 17:10:13 +0000 Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune 10454 at http://kut.org In Letter to UT Board Chair, Hall Says He Won't Resign 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