Education

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.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Austin ISD is considering a possible relocation of its best school, the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), as it determines the future of its campuses. The district has started a months-long process to decide which schools to renovate or close, as well as where to possibly build new campuses.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Last week, Austin ISD released a proposal that suggests building an elementary school on a 10-acre tract in the Mueller neighborhood. That surprised a lot of people involved in the discussion, which has been going on for the past year, and last week’s conversations show just how delicate this situation is.

Cherrywood resident Jennifer Potter-Miller has a child in first grade at Maplewood Elementary. She has another child about to enter kindergarten and she wants to send her kid to public school. But, she has no idea where her kids will go once they get to middle school.

Do you sense that you understand things better when you read them or hear them? Do you learn better via words or images? Are there really even different learning "styles" at all? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore a listener's question about learning styles.


Photo by KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is starting to think about what its schools will look like, and where they’ll be located, two decades from now. On Wednesday, it released a set of possible options for its 120 campuses this week, including when and where to potentially renovate schools, build new ones and close others. 

Shelby Knowles for the Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The U.S. Department of Education is sending representatives to tour Texas and take comment from school community members on special education, continuing to look at whether the state is denying services to students with disabilities.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Austin School Board members bid farewell Monday night to former school board Trustee Gina Hinojosa who was elected to the Texas House of Representatives on Election Day. The start of Monday night's Board meeting was bittersweet. As Hinojosa said goodbye to other board members, she encouraged the board to continue to advocate for students across the city.

KUT News

The divide over how Texas should educate its 5.3 million public school students will become clear during the 2017 legislative session. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Textbook publisher Cynthia Dunbar was defending her company’s Mexican-American Heritage book in front of the State Board of Education last week when she made an interesting argument. Historians raised issues with some of the book's content, but Dunbar said that didn’t matter because the school board didn't specify what type of content it wanted.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Next week, the Austin School Board will swear-in Cindy Anderson to replace Trustee Gina Hinojosa, who was elected to the Texas House this year. The new board will have the fewest number of minority trustees in at least 20 years, and the remaining trustees of color say that's a problem.

Was there a subject in school that seemed so hard and unsatisfying to study that even to this day the thought of it makes you cringe? For many students, that subject was Math. And perhaps more specifically, Calculus. Maybe it was the confusing terminology or seemingly abstract concepts. Can Calculus ever redeem itself? Is it ever useful? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger give Calculus a second chance.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After months of protests from historians, teachers and lawmakers, the Texas State Board of Education this morning unanimously rejected a controversial Mexican-American studies textbook that would have been used in public schools.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Election Day win of President-elect Donald Trump has left pollsters, journalists and many others looking for lessons learned. Among the men and women who prepare tomorrow’s journalists, there is also some soul-searching. Many are looking to recalibrate.

The Texas State Board of Education preliminarily voted 14-0 today to reject a Mexican-American history textbook that scholars have said was riddled with inaccuracies. A final vote on the textbook is due Friday. 

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Update (Nov. 16 11:06 a.m.)  ​ The State Board of Education unanimously rejected a controversial Mexican American studies textbook in a preliminary vote Wednesday morning. The vote was 14-0 with Board Member David Bradley absent.

Before the vote, Board Member Thomas Ratliff said he wanted the vote to be clear:

What we are not doing is censoring a textbook. Nothing prohibits either of these publishers to print the books exactly as it is. Nothing prohibits them from resubmitting the book in Proclamation 2018 and nothing we do will prohibit them from selling them to public school districts in Texas. What we are doing is we are following Texas Education Code and our rules. We are not engaging in politics or personalities.

The board is expected to take a final vote on the book Friday. 

Original Post: The Texas State Board of Education is expected to decide whether to approve a controversial Mexican-American Studies textbook this week. On Tuesday, the board took final public testimony on the book.

Most people who get at least a high school education will experience a pretty standard set of courses no matter where they go to school: Math, English, Social Studies, Biology, and the like. But are there things not being taught in schools that should be? What if the traditional academic slate were wiped clean and replaced with a new "road map;" what might that look like? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss some things that could be added to curricula to enhance education - even well beyond school years.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin School Board Trustee Paul Saldaña got a call this morning from a parent who was in tears after dropping off her 15-year-old son at school. The mother said her son is worried about his classmates –­ many of whom come from families with undocumented relatives or are undocumented themselves ­– after the election of Donald Trump.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Jessica Foulke teaches seventh grade social studies at a North Austin charter school. She says her students started texting her early on Election Night as the results came in. Many of them were worried because Hillary Clinton was losing.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

There are five Austin School Board seats on the ballot tonight, but the board won’t see a huge shake up after votes are tallied. In fact, we already know the results of three of those races. That’s because incumbents Ann Teich(District 3), Amber Elenz (District 5) and Yasmin Wagner(District 7) are running unopposed for their seats. Teich and Elenz are running for a second term. Wagner is running for election after she was appointed in 2015 to replace former Trustee Robert Schneider, who passed away.

The real questions are:

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

It’s a familiar story that’s now repeated itself for three Austin School Board election cycles. The political action committee, Austin Kids First, and the local teacher’s union, Education Austin, have donated the most money to the campaigns of local school board candidates.

Social media such as Twitter allow people to draw attention to situations and problems that might not otherwise get much focus. It also lets people share information and connect quickly and easily. But what has happened to the value we place on interacting and connecting in person? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the immediacy and emotion of social media and the value of personal interactions.


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