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 does it make sense for an undergraduate student to continue formal education and attend graduate school? Sometimes, it's an easy call; if someone wants to be a doctor or a lawyer, it's a necessity. But how does a student know if that's really what they want to pursue? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what to weigh when deciding about that next step in school.

Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Weeks after a Houston-area mother sparked an uproar over a caption in her son’s textbook that inaccurately described African slaves as “workers,” the State Board of Education tentatively approved several changes to its textbook adoption process.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Both public and private colleges in Texas are in the process of deciding how to implement a new law that allows licensed gun owners to bring their handguns on to campuses. Two schools – Texas Christian University and Texas State University – have recently taken up implementing the law before it goes into effect in August 2016.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Some public schools in South Austin are teaching students how to become business leaders. They’ve implemented an entrepreneurship program for kindergartners through high school seniors that’s the first of its kind in the U.S. The Austin Independent School District unveiled the program at Crockett High School yesterday. 

Image by Liang Shi for KUT News

Some students at UT-Austin are concerned about a new federal bill trying to address sexual assault on college campuses. They worry it will deter students from reporting assaults and UT Student Government recently passed a resolution against the bill.

There are times when we feel like we just "know" something. We can't necessarily explain why, but we just have a "gut feeling" about it. When is it useful to go with that gut feeling, and when should we slow down and think things through? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about using our instincts and using our intellect.

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman/MarkFisher

From the Texas Tribune — The University of Texas at Austin needs to consider race in admissions if it wants a diverse, representative student body, the school told the U.S. Supreme Court 0n Monday in a 70-page brief filed in advance of oral arguments in the case Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin.

Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger is obviously a pretty busy guy. But he does make time to teach a class each year. This fall, he's teaching a class that's centered on puzzles. Puzzlers. Teasers. Questions that really make students grapple for the solution. Why a class focused on that? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Dr. Ed Burger puzzle over the value of puzzles to learning.

Courtesy of AISD

In the Travis High School locker room, there is a basket of apples for students to grab a snack after practice. That basket is usually empty by 5:30 p.m., according to students, when the varsity and junior varsity football teams finish practice and head to the cafeteria for study hall. 

"I'm always hungry after practice," says Darrell Davis, a sophomore. "I'm always hungry, period."

Image via skeeze/Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

This week, the University Interscholastic League, which oversees athletic competitions throughout the state, asked school superintendents to approve a policy that would use a student's birth certificate or other government-issued documents to determine gender.

The UIL has a nondiscrimination policy that includes gender – but this new rule would put Texas junior and high school sports on a gender binary system.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The discussion over whether to rename Austin schools named after Confederate figures probably won’t be decided until the end of this year, but one city commission already has a list of names they’d like the school district to consider.

Infinity. What does it really mean? Can we count it? If so, how? And can we ever really define or describe it? It seems like there are an infinite number of questions about infinity. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger help us try to wrap our minds around infinity.

Pu Ying-Huang/KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin continues to discuss the issue of allowing concealed firearms throughout the campus as per the campus carry law, which was passed in the 2015 legislative session and signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

This year, Texas public schools won’t measure instructional time by days, but they’ll do it by minutes. In the past, Texas public schools years were required to be provide 180 days of instruction. Now, a school year must provide a minimum of 75,600 minutes.

No one remembers everything they learned in school, right? We cannot possibly retain all of those facts, figures, and formulas. So, 20 years after we're done with our formal education, what have we taken away from that experience? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger try to answer that 20-year question about education and learning.

Image via Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

It's college application season, and for many colleges the due date is next month. That means now is the time for writing essays, rounding up letters of recommendation and – lest we forget – figuring out how you're going to pay for a college education.

Kate McGee/KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is targeting a new ally in the battle to boost student enrollment at some South Austin schools: real estate agents. The district opened the doors of three neighborhood schools to give real estate agents a better look at what's going on in the classrooms. 

Technology allows us to access so much information so easily.  There are not many subjects we cannot learn at least a little something about. But does that knowledge make us all experts? What does it even mean to be an expert anymore? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss expertise in this age of adaptability.


UT Austin is holding its first of two public forums tonight as it decides how to comply with the new law that allows concealed weapons on college campuses in Texas. Public universities must comply with the law, which goes into effect August 1, 2016, but private universities can opt out. Still, there is plenty of uncertainty for private institutions going through the opt-out process.

Fernando Aguilar has five kids and named his only son after his hero, Isaac Newton.

"I looked up to him and so does my son, and hopefully one day we can make contributions to society like he did," says Aguilar.

Isaac's in third grade at Herrera Elementary School in Houston. Aguilar thinks his 8-year-old is a smarty, just like the famous physicist: "I think he's going to be a lot smarter than I am."

But when the local school tested Isaac in kindergarten for the gifted and talented program, he didn't qualify.