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.

Mengwen Cao/KUT

Every fall, Education Austin President Ken Zarifis says the local teacher's union has to talk with at least one Austin ISD campus about teacher planning periods – the free time during the school day in which teachers can plan classes, talk with students or meet with other teachers.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz chatted with six Reagan Early College High School students as they gathered at the ACC Highland Mall campus' early voting center on Monday afternoon to cast their ballots on their way to class. The students are among 1,963 young adults in AISD schools that are age 18 or older this month.

It's good manners to say "thank you" and show gratitude. But there are also ways that slowing down to notice and appreciate what's happening around us can give our brains some much needed rest. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed , KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the impact of showing gratitude and appreciation on learning.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

If you live within the Austin Independent School District, you have at least one Austin School Board race on your ballot: the at-large school board trustee. Two candidates, Cindy Anderson and David Quintanilla, are running to replace Trustee Gina Hinojosa, who is running for a Texas House seat vacated last year .

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Austin ISD didn’t see as big of an enrollment dip as they thought they would six weeks into the 2016-2017 school year, but enrollment is still down from last year by 541 students. The district had help from a new transfer policy, which allows students who live outside the district to transfer into AISD schools with space. This year, the district received 1,434 out-of-district transfer requests. 802 of those requests came from families who are not employees in AISD.

Kate McGee/KUT News

Some Austin School Board members say the city needs safer, more connected sidewalks for students to walk to school. That's why they joined other Hispanic political and business leaders today in support of the $720 million transportation bond put forth by the Austin City Council.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

You probably weren't streaming Monday night's Austin School Board meeting and there's even less of a chance that you were at the meeting itself. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here's a break down of all the night’s action:

KUT News

The number of households with children in Austin is decreasing—especially in the city’s urban core. That means there are more people eligible to vote for Austin ISD School Board trustees who don’t have any children in their neighborhood schools. Here are a few reasons why you should still care about these school board elections, even if you don’t have kids.

Most dictionary definitions of "learn" make reference to acquiring knowledge or skills, becoming informed or finding out something. Sure, that makes sense, but what does it really mean to learn something? How do we know if we've actually learned it? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed , KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss what learning does and doesn't mean.

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. Every year, Espinoza says, Citlali's behavior got worse. Last year, in second grade, "she stopped paying attention in class ... ...

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? Ken...

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.

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