Education

Education
7:01 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Officials: Restored State Education Cuts Won't Help AISD

AISD's 2014 Budget is expected to have a $30 million dollar shortfall and the public education cuts restored by the 2013 legislature aren't expected to help close the gap. The district expects to use reserves to make up the difference.
KUT News

AISD's Chief Finance Officer, Nicole Conley, presented a revised proposed $879 million  budget for the next fiscal year Monday night.

She said although Texas public schools may be getting $3.9 billion dollars restored from the $5.4 billion state lawmakers cut in 2011, AISD isn’t expecting much of a benefit locally from the partial funding restoration. 

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Education
8:12 am
Tue June 4, 2013

AISD Trustees Approve Plan for Eastside Vertical Team

TEA Commissioner Williams is expected to make a decision soon on whether to accept the district's proposal.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

The Austin Independent School District Board approved a plan last night for the elementary and middle schools that feed into Eastside Memorial High.

Eastside hasn’t been meeting academic standards and could be shut down. In an effort to keep it open, the board approved a partnership with Johns Hopkins last month.  But that program’s plan didn’t include an outline of what should happen at feeder schools.

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Education
7:45 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Higher Loan Rates Could Make More Students Part-Time

KUT News

There could be test votes this week in the U.S. Senate in the latest showdown over student loan rates. Interest rates on federally-backed student loans are set to double on July 1.

It’s the same situation as a year ago when the scheduled rate increase was delayed for a year.

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Education
7:11 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Threat of Deportation Haunts Immigrant Students

Some advocates at Saturday's Immigration Forum.
Kate McGee, KUT News

More than 100 Austin parents, teachers and community members gathered at Mendez Middle School Saturday for an immigration forum sponsored by the teachers union, Education Austin. Advocacy groups and organizations provided information to undocumented immigrants about a pathway to citizenship and the latest on immigration reform.

It's a process that advocates say can stress out many parents. But it can be a stressor on children as well.

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Education
4:47 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Group Rallies Against Possible Eastside Memorial Plan

Johnston High School alumni say Johns Hopkins may not be able to serve the students of Eastside Memorial because they are unfamiliar with the community.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Alumni from Johnston High School, now known as Eastside Memorial High School, are voicing concern over the likely takeover of their former campus by John Hopkins University. Austin ISD signed a contract with Johns Hopkins as part of a state-mandated effort to revive sagging test scores at the school. But Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams still has to approve the plan, or shut down the campus.

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Education
3:51 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

What's The Meaning Of This? A New Twist In The Spelling Bee

Minka Gill of Kokomo, Ind., participates in Round 2 of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 2:32 pm

If Snigdha Nandipati, the 14-year-old who won last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee, had been asked to define her winning word, "guetapens," things might have turned out differently.

This year, a vocabulary test with word definitions is, for the first time in the bee's 86-year history, part of the competition. Preliminary and semifinal contestants must pass the test to get to the finals of the grueling competition.

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Education
5:34 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Tuition Revenue Bond Bill is Refiled in Special Session

A state senator has re-filed a bill that authorizes Tuition Revenue Bonds for capitol projects at public universities.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

As heard on KUT 90.5 FM

State Sen. Kel Seliger has re-filed a bill in the special session allowing state universities to issue Tuition Revenue Bonds for capital projects.

However, lawmakers wouldn't be able to take up the issue unless Gov. Rick Perry adds it to the list of  topics for the special session.

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Education
12:13 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Two Big Education Bills Gain Approval from Texas Legislature

The Texas House and Senate passed committee reports on House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 2 on May 26, 2013.
morguefile.com

House and Senate members exchanged high fives and congratulations Sunday night, as they approved  conference committee reports on two bills impacting public education across Texas.

One bill increases the cap on charter schools, while the other reduces the number of end-of-course exams in public high schools.

Both bills are now heading to Gov. Rick Perry's desk for his signature.

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Education
4:58 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

CSCOPE to Cease Making Lesson Plans for Texas Public Schools

Dr. Kyle Wargo, member of CSCOPE's governing board, speaks at a Capitol press conference on May 20, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Update: In a statement released late Friday afternoon, Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill says CSCOPE's decision to remove all lessons plans from its website is a "recognition of the concerns raised by Texas parents, State Board of Education members and legislators. 

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Education
11:21 am
Fri May 24, 2013

After Oklahoma Tornado, Austin Campuses Examine Storm Plans

Even though Austin isn't in the so-called 'Tornado Alley', UT and AISD both have plans in place in case of a tornado
flickr.com/inventorchris2

The recent tornado in Oklahoma and the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut last year have increased people’s awareness of emergency management at schools. 

At the University of Texas’s Police Building, the Emergency Operation Center is quiet right now. But David Cronk, UT’s Emergency Preparedness director, says when there’s a threat or major event, the room can get pretty crowded.

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Education
5:25 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Students Need to Be More Active, Report Says

A teachers advocate says prepping for standardized testing takes time away from physical activity.
Rune Mathisen, Texas Tribune

Students should be getting 60 minutes a day of physical activity, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine. That exercise could happen before, during or after school.

The study also recommends the U.S. Department of Education declare physical education a core subject.

Bill Kohl, who led the committee that wrote the report, says physical activity improves learning in the classroom.

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Education
12:33 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Update: Webb Middle, Elementary Schools Lockdown Lifted


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Update: The lockdown at Webb Middle and primary schools has been lifted, according to AISD officials. Schools will resume a regular schedule. APD was not immediately available to confirm whether or not the suspect has been apprehended.

Original Story (12:18 p.m.): Webb Middle and primary schools are on lock down as Austin Police search for a possibly armed suspect in the St. Johns/I-35 area, according to Austin Independent School District.

The man is suspected to be connected to a woman who tried to cash a forged check this morning on the 6400 block of US-290.

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Education
5:10 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Early TAKS Scores Up at Eastside Memorial

A TAKS Test. Unofficial data shows improvements among 11th graders at Eastside Memorial
KUT News

Preliminary standardized test scores for this school year show improvements in multiple subjects at Eastside Memorial High School – a school that has had a history of failure going back nearly a decade.

According to unofficial data presented to Eastside Memorial teachers this week, 90 percent of students passed the TAKS end of year exam in English and Language Arts. That’s a nearly 20 percent jump from last year. 

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Education
3:53 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Bill to Ban Sale of Sugary Drinks in Schools Heads to Perry's Desk

A bill that would ban the sale of sugary drinks in elementary, middle schools is heading to Gov. Perry's desk
Juan Carlos/Flickr

Middle and elementary school students craving a Coke during the school day may be in trouble.

A bill that would ban the sale of sugary drinks in Texas middle and elementary schools is heading to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk for final approval.

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Education
3:29 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Leander ISD Middle School Evacuated

Google Street View

Running Brushy Middle School in the Leander school district was evacuated this afternoon because of a bomb threat phoned into the campus. The call came in at about 2 p.m., according to Leander ISD spokesperson Veronica Sopher.

"We are taking the evacuation as a precautionary measure," Sopher said, adding that LISD officials were working with the Cedar Park Police Department to determine the nature of the bomb threat and whether it posed any risk. 

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Education
12:27 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

AISD Board Approves Contract with Eastside Memorial Partner

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen at a press conference. At Monday's Board Meeting, she expressed concerns about a partnership.
KUT News

The Austin School Board Monday night approved a contract with Johns Hopkins University to implement its program — Talent Development Secondary — at Eastside Memorial High School. The decision comes after AISD canceled a contract with a charter school company to run an elementary school that fed into the high school.

The contract now goes to the Texas Education Commissioner for final approval. Although the vote was unanimous, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen questioned if the commissioner would approve the contract.

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Education
6:09 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Non-Profit Ranks Austin Metro Area Public Schools

Harmony Science Academy, ranked top public high school by Children at Risk.
Voices Empower with Alice Linahan/flickr

In a new statewide ranking of schools, Austin has some of the best grades and some of the worst.

The group – Children at Risk – grades schools on an A through F scale. Out of the four major metro areas in Texas, the Austin area has the highest percentage of campuses with A's.

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Education
6:04 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

AISD Considers Putting Ads on School Buses

AISD is considering placing advertising on school buses at its board meeting tonight
KUT News

The Austin School Board tonight will consider contracting with a company to put advertisements on the side of school buses. 

Cynthia Calvert owns the company Steep Creek Media. AISD is recommending the board approve a three year contract with the company.

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Education
2:09 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Austin 5th Grader Represents Texas in National Geographic Bee

Chinmay Murthy, the Texas finalist in the National Geographic Bee.
National Geographic

Update: Chinmay Murthy, the 5th grader representing Texas in the National Geographic Bee, did not move on past the preliminary round of the Bee.  He missed a chance to qualify in the Top Ten by two questions. Murthy is vowing to try again next year.

Original Story (9:18 a.m.): Monday marks the start of the three-day National Geographic Bee in Washington D.C.

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Education
12:27 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Texas Students Solve Math Problems for West Recovery

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams at a check presentation ceremony. Students raised money for West, Texas disaster relief.
Texas Education Agency

Students across Texas helped raise $11,367 to the American Red Cross  West, Texas Relief Fund.

How'd they do it? By solving math problems. 

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