Education

Education
5:05 am
Fri May 10, 2013

AISD Bond Election is Saturday

Polls are open 7 to 7 on Saturday to vote on the school bond.
Jason Brackins, Texas Tribune

Saturday is the last chance to vote in the Austin school district’s bond election. It’s the district’s largest bond proposition ever: $892 million.

Austin residents will four propositions to vote on. The propositions divide the nearly package by topics and projects.

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Politics
4:31 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Video: Watch Obama Speak at Applied Materials

Pres. Obama landing in Austin. Obama is visiting Manor New Tech High School today.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Update: President Obama's remarks have concluded. You can see KUT News' continuing coverage of Obama in Austin here

Original post: President Barack Obama is schedueld to speak momentarily at Applied Materials in northeast Austin. It's part of his first stop on his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour.” The White House says Austin was picked as the place to start the tour because it leads the country in manufacturing and tech job growth.

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Education
9:43 am
Thu May 9, 2013

As Obama’s High School Visit Nears, Education Advocates Question Emphasis on STEM

President Obama is visiting Manor New Tech High School, which has a STEM based education program. But some experts question is there's too much emphasis on STEM.
flickr.com/amylovesyah

President Obama is visiting Manor New Tech High School, which has a STEM-based education program. But some experts question is there's too much emphasis on STEM.

Brenda Ramlow’s daughter Paige is a junior at Manor New Tech, the high school President Barack Obama is visiting this afternoon. She says her daughter is interested in a career in video graphics.

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Education
5:45 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Cautious Optimism as Johns Hopkins Tapped to Run Eastside

A group of advocates remains hopeful that the new partnership will revive Eastside Memorial High School.
Ann Choi for KUT News

Last night, the Austin School Board picked Johns Hopkins University to help run Eastside Memorial High School.

Although the partnership is not yet official, the new proposal alleviated some community members’ concerns over the school’s uncertain future.

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West Plant Explosion
2:44 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Three of Four West ISD School Buildings Must be Partly to Fully Demolished After Explosion

Three of West ISD's four school buildings sustained major damage in the explosion.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Two school buildings in the city of West will have to be demolished because of damage from the deadly fertilizer plant explosion there nearly two weeks ago.

That’s what the Huckabee Architecture Engineering and Management Firm told West School District officials last night.

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Education
7:30 am
Fri April 26, 2013

'EducaAustin' Radio Show Reaches Out to Hispanic AISD Parents

AISD Spokesman Alex Sanchez. Every Sunday he hosts EducaAustin, a radio show aimed at Hispanic parents in the district.
Kate McGee, KUT News

Sixty percent of students in the Austin school district are Hispanic. And more than half of those students are English language learners with parents who do not speak English or are also learning the language.

That can make it difficult for some parents to stay involved in their children’s education, and AISD is trying to bridge that gap with La Que Buena, 104.3-FM.

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Politics
5:49 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

On Food Policy Day, School Breakfast is On the Menu

www.flckr.com/worldbankphotocollection

On the table today at the Capitol’s “Food Policy Day” is school breakfast. That’s federally funded cereal, milk, yogurt and fruit.

Now, about 1,800 schools in Texas participate in the federal School Breakfast Program. Food policy advocates and some legislators are hoping that a bill up for vote at the Capitol would add another 1,000 schools to the list.

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Education
5:24 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Bill Aims to Limit Testing of Preschoolers, Kindergarteners

A lawmakers says 4- and 5-year-olds already face too many assessment tests.
Shannan Muskop, Texas Tribune

Are Texas 4- and 5-year-olds getting tested too much? State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte think so.

Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, is the author of Senate Bill 1608, which would restrict the bubble-in testing that school districts and the Texas Education Agency could require for pre-K and kindergarten students.

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Education
8:05 am
Wed April 24, 2013

AISD Projects $45 Million Shortfall in 2014 Budget

AISD says the district is considered 'property rich' and that's part of the reason for the budget shortfall.
flickr.com/namoscato

The Austin Independent School District is estimating it will have a $45 million shortfall in its 2014 budget. The district is holding a community meeting tonight to discuss spending priorities.

AISD officials say there are a few reasons for the projected budget shortfall. Most of the deficit is money that will be taken or “recaptured” from AISD – a district considered property rich. That money is then distributed to districts that are considered poorer.

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PolitiFact
6:01 am
Wed April 24, 2013

PolitiFact: How Many Texas School Days Are Lost from Tests?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst recently said Texas students miss 45 days in a given year from testing. How did this rate on the Truth-O-Meter?
KUT News

Some public school students are taking state mandated tests this week. Do Texas schools lose 45 days a year to that testing, as one politico claims?

KUT News' Emily Donahue discussed that question is the Austin American-Statesman’s political fact checker, Gardner Selby.

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West Plant Explosion
12:54 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

West Schools Resume Classes After Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Students in West ISD are getting a small dose of 'normal' with the return to school.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Students at West Independent School District, in West, Texas, returned to school today for the first time since the fertilizer plant explosion that killed fourteen people and wounded about 200 others.

Counselors and therapy dogs are on hand to support students struggling to deal with the aftermath of the blast.

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Education
12:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

SBOE to Review CSCOPE (Update)

CSCOPE

Update: The Texas Education Agency reports the State Board of Education approved a resolution today supporting a review of CSCOPE material. Thirteen SBOE members voted in favor of the measure. Two abstained.

Some conservatives have argued  CSCOPE has an anti-American bias.

According to the TEA's website:

CSCOPE is a curriculum management system created by Texas Education Service Centers with assistance from content experts. It is now used in 875 public school districts, charter schools and private schools in Texas, which educate 34 percent of the state's total student population.

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Education
2:16 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Coming Soon: Standardized Tests for College Students, Universities?

A UT student does some reading. A Texas Senate bill would require academic assessments for college students.
KUT News

Some Texas lawmakers are looking to create an academic assessment tool to measure and compare the teaching abilities of the state’s public universities.

Today, members of the Senate Committee for Higher Education took up SB 436. The bill would make it a requirement for Texas universities to issue students a learning assessment before the first day of class, and during the last semester before graduation. The assessment would act as a tool to monitor student growth.

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Education
6:02 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Teachers Groups Raise Concerns About Charter School Bill

A bill to expand the number of charter schools in the state is drawing criticism from teachers organizations in Texas.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Some teachers organizations are lobbying Texas House members to stop the progress of Senate Bill 2, a bill that would expand the number of charter school licenses in Texas.  

SB-2 would gradually add 90 charter school licenses in Texas by the year 2019.  

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Education
4:32 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Education Committee Clarifies Voucher Bill, Sends to Full Senate

Sen. Dan Patrick, who wrote SB 23. It now heads to the full Senate for a possible floor debate.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Senate Education Committee Thursday approved a bill from Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, that creates a scholarship fund to help low-income students leave failing schools and attend private or religiously-affiliated schools.

The bill offers a 15 percent tax credit to businesses that donate money to the scholarship fund.

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Education
5:11 am
Thu April 11, 2013

After IDEA, an Unknown Future for East Austin’s Allan Elementary (Updated)

Allan Elementary could be empty this school year after AISD ended its contract with IDEA, the charter school that ran Allan.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Update: IDEA public schools says in the fall it will open its charter school—currently operated at Allan elementary—at The Church in Austin, located at 220 Foremost Dr. IDEA had to find a new location after the Austin Independent School District terminated its contract with the charter program in December.

The decision to break the agreement with IDEA could result in an empty Allan Elementary building this fall. There are some short and long term options for the school building, but mostly a lot of unknowns. 

Original Story (April 10, 2013, 7:41 p.m.): Last spring, the Austin Independent School District contracted with a charter school – IDEA Public Schools  – to run Allan Elementary. 

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2013 Legislative Session
2:46 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Texas Senate Considers School 'Voucher' Bills, Despite House Ban (Update)

State Sen. Patrick's bill does not involve funds that would go to the Texas Education Agency.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

UPDATE 5:59 The Senate Committee on Education heard SB 1575 this afternoon from educators and parents supporting the so-called voucher program that would give parents money to move their children from public to private schools. 

The bill’s author Senator Donna Campbell of New Braunfels said that parents and students should have a choice in schooling and claim that failing public schools set back children across the state.

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Austin
7:28 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Classes Resume at McNeil, Boil Water Notice Remains in Place (Update)

A main break has caused McNeil HS and surrounding areas to be on a water boil alert.
flickr.com/kellinahandbasket

Update: Classes resume today at McNeil High School in the Round Rock Independent School District. But students and staff won’t be able to use drinking fountains.

That’s because the area around the school remains under a boil water notice as Austin Water Utility is making repairs to a broken water main.

Classes at McNeil were canceled yesterday because water was shut off to the school. Water is now back up and running – but it’s not safe to drink.

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Education
11:56 am
Mon April 1, 2013

A Closer Look at Austin's English Language Learners

AISD's dual language program comes at a cost, but educators say it helps English learners and native speakers alike in learning the ropes.
flickr.com/cryptic_star

About 850,000 students in Texas are English language learners. That’s one in every six students, and their numbers are growing fast.

Last year, the State of Texas spent an average of $234 per English learning student.  By contrast, the Austin school district spent nearly $1,300 dollars per English learning student. That's five times the state average.

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Education
7:45 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Austin Community College to Break Ground at Highland Mall

Rendering of ACC Highland, phase I.
Elizabeth Day (courtesy BGK Architects)

Austin Community College is breaking ground today at a vacant JCPenney store in Highland Mall. The store will be converted into a learning environment for ACC.

"This is a really big day for ACC as well as the surrounding neighborhood and in fact all of the communities that we serve," ACC spokesperson Alexis Patterson said. "It’s great for the area. It brings new life, new people coming to the mall. And the mall’s still in operation, so we’re excited about the boost this is going to give to the mall as a whole.”

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