Austin ISD, the University of Texas, Austin Community College, Texas A&M University, charter schools, legislative issues, and anything else related to K-12, public education, higher education and workforce development in Central Texas, Travis County, and Austin.

When Rosley Espinoza's daughter was very young, in preschool, she started acting differently. She seemed distracted and would get in trouble at school.

"Lack of interest, teachers' notes coming home with behavior notes," Espinoza says, speaking in Spanish.

She says she asked school officials to evaluate her daughter, Citlali, for special education, but they didn't.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

New world race car champions were crowned in Austin this week and it was decided miles away from the Circuit of the Americas at the Hyatt Regency on Lady Bird Lake.

KUT News

Four of the nine Austin Community College board seats are on the ballot this election. These positions are numbered—but all of the positions are at-large, which means the trustees represent the entire ACC community, rather than specific parts of the 7,000-square-mile district. 

Graphic by Todd Wiseman / Chris Cole

A bipartisan group of state representatives hammered private school choice proponents at a heated legislative hearing on Monday, signaling an enduring uphill battle in the Texas House for proposals that would use taxpayer dollars to help parents send their kids to private or parochial schools, or educate them at home.

How can educators, parents, and other adults encourage young people to be curious and get creative? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger respond to a listener's question about promoting intellectual curiosity and confidence in kids.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

On Election Day four years ago, more than half of the Austin School Board of trustees were replaced.  

The school board had just approved a contract with IDEA public schools to run Allan Elementary. And community members were angry about the decision. They showed it at the ballot box—voting for Trustees Gina Hinojosa, Jayme Mathias and Ann Teich. Those trustees were elected on the promise of restoring community trust in the district—and improving community engagement. 

Has that happened?

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

It’s no secret Austin ISD is strapped for cash. So to help make ends meet – the district put ten of its properties up for possible sale. Many of the properties are plots of land, but the list also includes the district headquarters on Sixth Street and the Allan Elementary campus in East Austin – and that has some people excited.

What do you think of when someone is described as "smart?" They know a lot of things. Maybe they got high grades in school. Or maybe they always use correct grammar. But what does it actually mean to be smart? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the deeper meaning of the word "smart."

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Four Austin ISD School Board candidates faced questions Thursday from a group that might be their most important constituents: students.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Gretchen Nagy needs something – anything.

She's standing in front of two Austin ISD students and a district employee, who are about to go live on television, covering the district’s mock presidential election. The only problem: They have no results.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

At least four Central Texas school districts are exploring a new state law that allows them to become a "district of innovation." That designation means they can be exempt from various state regulations – just as open enrollment charter schools are. That can give schools more flexibility when it comes to hiring, class sizes and the school year start date, but not everyone is happy with the idea.

This 2016 election season has a lot of people talking about leadership: what qualities do we want in a leader, and what kind of experiences can prepare someone to lead? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about whether leadership can be taught and learned, or if someone people are just "born leaders."

Jon Shapley for KUT News

Public school districts in Texas are required to follow a lot of state rules, but a new state law allows those districts to receive exemptions from various regulations. It’s called a district of innovation plan and at least four Central Texas school districts are developing plans. 

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall's public fight with the chancellor of the system he oversees isn't over yet. 

With the clock ticking on his time on the board of regents, Hall has filed an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court to get access to confidential student records that Chancellor Bill McRaven has denied him. 

In Dripping Springs, Parents Weigh In on Bathroom Debate

Sep 27, 2016
Martin do Nascimento / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Walnut Springs Elementary School's decision to allow a transgender student, born a boy, to use girls' bathrooms sparked contentious debate during a Monday night meeting of the Dripping Springs School Board.

Technology means students can take classes in many different modes and venues. They can be together in a traditional classroom, of course, with a teacher. Or, they can listen, discuss, and learn remotely any time and anywhere via online courses and videos.  In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger look at different ways learning can happen, and if one way is more effective than another.

Mengwen Cao for KUT

This summer, it was reported that all elementary schools in the Austin Independent School District would be required to provide half an hour of recess every day.

But, the policy isn’t in place just yet.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

For many middle and high school students, this year’s presidential election is their introduction to American politics and it’s an unusual election to start with. At Kealing Middle School, about a dozen students are taking an elective called Presidential Politics. They study the current presidential election — and local races, too. 

Every student and teacher has likely at some point during the school year looked longingly at the calendar, hoping the days and weeks until vacation would pass more quickly. And who hasn't stared at the clock during a long class, watching the seconds tick by? The traditional school calendar and school day schedule have been around for a long time but may no longer be effective or even necessary. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the origins of the traditional academic schedule and toss around some different approaches.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

It’s the end of the school day at the Not Your Ordinary School in North Austin and students in Melissa Hefner’s fourth grade class are sitting in a circle.