Education

Education
8:13 am
Mon August 3, 2015

Program Hopes to Bring Back-To-School Supplies, Normalcy to Foster Children

Volunteers distribute supplies for the a program that provides Texas foster children with back-to-school necessities.
Charlotte Carpenter

Back-to-school shopping is not for the faint of heart.

To the uninitiated, it may seem like total madness.

But, really, it's family time: parents read school lists out loud while children run around in search of items. It's also a time children in foster care rarely experience, but, for the first time, a non-profit is trying to provide children in foster care with a similar experience.

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Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun August 2, 2015

Best of Higher Ed: The Impact of 'Unlearning' on Learning

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on March 15, 2015.

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Education
9:55 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Program Aims to Give College Credit Where it's Due

Many community college students have actually earned enough credits for an associate's degree, but they don't even know it.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: Across Texas, tens of thousands of students have earned enough college credit for an associate degree without knowing it. A new project led by the University of Texas at Austin hopes to track them down. 

The program to be announced Tuesday, known as Reverse Transfer, will attempt to get those students their degrees — and maybe convince them to continue their schooling. If successful, there could be benefits for the students and the state, its creators say. And officials hope its use will extend beyond Texas. 

"It's a win-win-win solution all the way around," said UT-Austin Registrar Shelby Stanfield, who led the initiative. 

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Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

Best of Higher Ed: Teaching Happiness

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on March 8, 2015.

Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain.  This week, Ed and Jennifer discuss the intriguing idea of teaching happiness in the classroom. Not as a separate subject, but as part of just about all subjects students already study.  Could that work? How would it work?

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Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

Best of Higher Ed: Love of Learning

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on February 8, 2015.

Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain.  Feeling like a little summer lovin' as the summer heats up? This week, Ed and Jennifer talk about sparking and sustaining a love of learning.

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Education
2:00 pm
Sun July 12, 2015

Best of Higher Ed: The Importance of Failure to Learning

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on January 11, 2015.

Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. This week, Ed and Jennifer talk about how important failure is to learning and success. What?! That's the opposite of just about everything we've ever been taught. But it turns out intentionally failing is actually a critical step to ultimate success.

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Education
12:28 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

Austin ISD Continues Effort to Crack Down on Gang-Related Incidents

Students at AISD's Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Camp board a helicopter during a camp activity. The annual summer camp teaches gang prevention to elementary and middle school students.
AISD

This week, the Austin Independent School District holds its annual gang resistance and training summer camp for students. For the Austin ISD Police Department, which organizes the event, it’s just one way to try to eliminate gang activity on campuses.

Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez says his department has two goals when it comes to gang activity. First, keep it off campus. Second, make sure students aren’t joining gangs.

“We want to catch them when they’re more statistically inclined to engage in criminal activity or criminal gangs,” says Mendez.

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Education
4:11 pm
Tue July 7, 2015

Public Speaks Out on Placement of Jefferson Davis Statue at UT Austin

UT-Austin President Greg Fenves assembled a task force to discuss the placement of statues memorializing Confederate leaders like Jefferson Davis on the UT campus.
Via change.org

The future of monuments to Civil War figures on the University of Texas at Austin campus was discussed at a public forum today. The University held the first of two forums to collect community feedback about the placement of a statue of Jefferson Davis on the main mall of campus.

In June, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley declared that the state would remove the Confederate flag from its Capitol building, in the wake of a racially motivated shooting spree in a Charleston church that killed nine. South Carolina's state senators voted officially today to remove the flag, but elsewhere in the U.S., the debate about Confederate symbols, hate and history continues.

Students, staff, professors, alumni and Austinites stood on the auditorium stage of the Student Activity Center this afternoon and voiced their thoughts on the Davis statue — its history, and what it represents and symbolizes to students. 

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Education
11:25 am
Mon July 6, 2015

ACC Opens Center to Help Reduce 'Summer Melt'

A new center at ACC looks to help students navigate the process of college enrollment.
Austin Community College

Students heading to college have many steps to take before they can enroll. Some of those steps, like navigating the financial aid system, choosing which courses to take and finally scheduling classes, can be daunting for some students. 

Austin Community College is trying to make the process easier for students by establishing a new center to help shepherd struggling students through the process.

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Education
10:14 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Not All School Districts Warm to Miller's Food Initiative

Despite the Agriculture Commissioner's lifting a ban on deep fryers in public schools, many say they don't want them back, anyway.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: Students eager to purchase soda and fried foods when they return to school in the fall may be disappointed, despite Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's recent announcement that both will be welcome back on Texas public school campuses after a 10-year ban. 

To the dismay of nutritionists and public health experts, Miller reversed the department's ban on soda machines and deep fat fryers in mid-June as part of a new state nutrition policy calling for more local foods, community engagement and training to help schools serve meals that are "attractive and taste great." 

But many large school districts aren't warming to Miller's initiative.

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Education
9:40 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Will Revisit UT Affirmative Action Case

Fisher v UT, which deals with the school's using race as a factor in its admissions process, will be revisited by the U.S. Supreme Court.
KUT News

Today, the Supreme Court decided that it would take up the case of Fisher v the University of Texas at Austin, a suit dealing with a controversial admissions case at UT Austin. A white woman, Abigail Fisher, sued the school in 2008, claiming the university rejected her based on her race. The University says race is one of a few special circumstances it considers in admissions.

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Education
12:08 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

Parents Debate Name Change for Robert E. Lee Elementary

Robert E. Lee Elementary on Hampton Rd. Some Hyde Park residents want the school to change its name.
Charlotte Carpenter/KUT

In the midst of a national discussion about Confederate symbols, some residents in Austin's Hyde Park neighborhood want the school board to change the name of a local elementary school. Lee Elementary was named for Confederate Army Commander Robert E. Lee. 

"To honor him with naming schools after him is, I think, just inappropriate," says Teresa Griffin, a Hyde Park resident for 25 years and member of the Friends of Hyde Park Neighborhood Association

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Education
9:07 am
Tue June 23, 2015

New Law Requires Special Ed Classrooms to Install Security Cameras Upon Request

BES Photos/flickr

Texas school districts will be required to have cameras in special education classrooms if a parent, school board trustee or staff member requests it, starting in the 2016-2017 school year.  The cameras are aimed at improving safety for more vulnerable students, but some education groups say it’s an unfunded mandate for school districts.

During the legislative session, dozens of parents testified in support of the camera proposal. Many parents who testified spoke about their children who were abused or isolated for long periods of time.

Sen. Eddie Lucio, who wrote the bill, says the cameras would provide protection for students who can’t protect themselves.

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Education
11:49 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Lifts Ban on Deep Fryers, Soda Machines in Schools

A decade-old ban on deep fryers in Texas public school cafeterias will be lifted July 1.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Note: This story will be updated as it develops.

Texas public schools can once again can have deep fat fryers and soda machines on campus, starting this fall. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who oversees school nutrition policy in Texas, announced Thursday he’s lifting the decade-old ban as part of his new five-point plan to combat childhood obesity. Miller says schools don’t have to put in deep fryers or soda machines.

"We're just saying if you want [a deep fryer], go get one," Miller said in an interview at his office Thursday. "I'd be surprised if there's a dozen schools [that] put in deep fryers. One thing, we're not going to give them any money. They're going to have to go buy those."

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Education
11:52 am
Wed June 17, 2015

As Summer Begins, Eanes ISD Starts Reducing Staff to Fill In Budget Gap

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

In light of an expected $3 million budget gap next year, Eanes Independent School District has started making preliminary cuts to staffing positions, but district leaders are still unclear exactly how much money they’ll be working with when school starts in August, or whether those cuts will be permanent. 

Now that the legislative session is over and there wasn't a major school finance overhaul, the school district knows how much money it’ll get from the state next year. The problem is that the district is unclear on exactly how much it will receive from the assessed valuation of property in the district boundary.

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Education
10:27 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Behind the Numbers of Texas' Rising High School Graduation Rates

LA Johnson/NPR

This week, NPR Ed is digging into the story behind high school graduation rates across the country. NPR partnered with 14 public radio stations nationwide, including KUT.

At 88 percent, Texas has one of the highest graduation rates in the country, and the Austin Independent School District’s graduation rate has increased 12 percentage points since 2008, compared to the all-time high rate of 81 percent nationally. 

But what's the story behind those rates? Take a look at NPR Ed's interactive below to dig into the numbers.

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Austin ISD
12:39 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

How Hot Wheels Help Austin Fourth Graders Learn Physics

Credit Kate McGee

A group of elementary school students sit on the floor of a classroom at Sunset Valley Elementary. They’re connecting plastic pieces to build orange ramps and pushing tiny race cars down them. The goal is to see if the car can make it all the way around the loop. 

"One, two, three," says one student before letting go of the race car. It doesn't make it.

"Oh! So close!" they yell. 

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Gender Divide
1:07 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

In Austin's All-Boys Middle School, Young Men Find, and Become, Role Models

Bryce Gable works out at track practice after a school day at Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy, an all-boys middle school.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

Raising children isn’t easy, especially if you’re doing it on your own.

At Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy, the new all-boys school in East Austin, many of the students are being raised by single moms or grandmas. Principal Sterlin McGruder recognizes that.

"I feel it's important [that] I’m in the cafeteria, I'm in the hallway, I'm in the classrooms, so that they can have a conversation with me," McGruder says. "They don’t have the male role model at home. They need that male role model who they can talk to. You can tell they're yearning."

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Education
9:42 am
Fri May 29, 2015

As Public Housing Availability Dwindles, A Family Struggles to Stay in Travis Heights

Victoria Hernandez, 27, and her five-year-old son Jayden wait for the bus that takes them daily to his pre-K class in Travis Heights.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Victoria Hernandez and her son Jayden wake up at 5 a.m. each day for Jayden’s pre-kindergarten class at Travis Heights Elementary School. They get ready at their apartment complex on Stassney Lane, four miles away from Travis Heights. Then, they walk to the bus stop to wait for the number one bus.

By the time they embark, it’s about 6:30 in the morning — the sun has just started to rise.

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Texas Standard
3:45 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

UT Austin President Bill Powers: How He Wants to be Remembered

Powers is stepping down as president after almost 10 years.
Photo via Texas Tribune/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

The man who leads the flagship campus of the University of Texas is in his final week of the job.

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers is stepping down June 2.

Powers spoke with Texas Standard about his upcoming plans, his journey to Texas and his own quest of perseverance.

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