Education

Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Higher Ed: The Meaning and Nuance of Numbers

Credit creative commons

From pre-K and all the way through graduate studies in math, we learn about numbers. But think about it - what is a number, really? What does the concept of  "four" or a "million" of something actually mean? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger try to define what numbers really are and how we make meaning of them. It's tougher than you might first think. Listen on to hear their attempt!

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Education
11:19 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Map: The Cost of Private Schools Under Two Different Voucher Bills

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

This week, the Texas Senate Education committee started to tackle multiple bills that would create school voucher programs. The proposals are strongly supported by conservative lawmakers, especially Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

One bill filed by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) would create a grant giving parents 60 percent of the annual cost for maintenance and operations per student, or about $5,200, through the proposed Taxpayer Savings Grant. Another bill would give 75 percent of that annual per-student funding to parents, or just over $6,500 though the so-called Education Tuition Grant.

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Education
2:46 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Texas House Wants to Tackle School Finance During Session

Texas' school finance system, which a district court judge ruled is unconstitutional, is currently tangled up in the appeals process at the State Supreme Court.
Nathan Bernier/KUT

In a somewhat surprising move, the state House Public Education committee Chair announced Wednesday that the house will try to tackle the state’s school finance system this legislative session.

The school finance system, which a district court judge ruled is unconstitutional, is currently tangled up in the appeals process at the Texas Supreme Court. Many people familiar with education politics in Texas believed the legislature wouldn’t make any decisions before the court ruled. But at a press conference this morning, House Education Committee chair Jimmie Don Aycock said the state must act now.

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Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

Higher Ed: How to Understand Deeply and Make Meaning

Remember "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey," that spoof of affirmations and pithy sayings?  They're funny for sure, but the idea of understanding something deeply is a serious part of education during school and beyond. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how to understand something deeply and how that impacts learning. Sound intimidating? Listen on - it's really not!

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Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Higher Ed: Learning to 'Unlearn'

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Learning.... it's what we all go to school for, right? Well, have you ever thought about what we're actually doing when we learn? Sometimes, it's just memorizing names, dates, or facts that we can reproduce on a test. We might ace the test, but have we really learned anything?

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the important role "unlearning" plays in learning. What exactly is "unlearning?" Listen on to find out!

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Education
4:23 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Map: If the Voucher Bill Passes, How Much Would Travis County Private Schools Cost?

Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), who filed the school vouchers bill in the 2015 legislative session. The bill would allow students and their families to use state dollars to attend private schools.
Ryan Loyd/TPR

For the 61 percent of economically disadvantaged students who attend Austin Public Schools, private school tuition might seem impossible for their families to afford. Sometimes public school is the only option for parents or guardians, and they are forced to keep their children in schools that are struggling academically.

Some Republican state lawmakers say that shouldn’t be the case.

“Not just the wealthy who can send their children to private school, and not just those who have the mobility to move to the suburbs," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said at the beginning of the 2015 legislative session.  "But for parents in the inner cities where their children are trapped in failing schools, it is their right to have those same opportunities.”

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Higher Ed
3:35 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

Higher Ed: Happiness 101?

History, Biology, English, Calculus. Those are some of the more traditional subjects taught in classrooms.

But what if happiness were taught in school?

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss teaching happiness in school. What would that look like in a classroom? And if it could be taught, should it be taught?

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Gender Divide
11:19 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Video: Single-Sex Classroom May Focus Students, But Does It Help Them Learn?

Julio Villaneda (left) and Dorothy Wiese (right) both teach math at single-sex public schools in Austin.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

Do boys and girls learn differently?

Some single-sex supporters say yes, but not everyone agrees — not even those who work at the two new single-sex middle schools on Austin’s east side. 

But teachers at these schools do say there are positives to splitting the sexes.  

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Education
9:37 am
Tue March 3, 2015

#BeSomebody Speaker Draws Controversy at Austin High School

It all started with a high school assembly on the first day back from winter break. The guest speaker was the founder of an Austin-based company with a positive message about following your dreams. But what was supposed to be a motivational speech turned into a war of words between high school students and staff and Kash Shaikh, the founder of #BeSomebody, that played out on blogs and social media.

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Gender Divide
10:00 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Students Speak: What It's Like to Attend Austin's All-Boys Middle School

From left: Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy students Chris Guia, Emanuel Molina, Rodrigue Mumbili and Bryce Gable.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

This fall, Austin ISD opened its first all-boys school in Northeast Austin called Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy. It's paired with a sister school, Bertha Sadler Means Young Women's Leadership Academy.

The district turned the schools into single-sex campuses to improve them after years of academic failure at both campuses.

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Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Who's An 'Expert' in Education?

Credit creative commons

"Takes one to know one."

Remember that phrase? It's usually tossed around as an insult during an argument. But, could there be a grain of truth in that? What does it mean to be an expert in something?

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss what qualifies (and what doesn't) when it comes to being an expert in education. Just about all of us have been to school of some kind of at some point along the way. Does that mean we know what's best when it comes to education policy and curriculum? Listen on for a lively discussion.

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Education
7:57 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Texas Lawmaker Wants Cameras in Special Ed Classrooms

Sen. Lucio (D-Brownsville) has filed a bill that would allow school districts to put cameras in special education classrooms.
rsinner/flickr

Texas Senator Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) wants to allow school districts to put video cameras in special education classrooms in public schools and charter schools across the state.

The bill is similar to one that had bipartisan support during the 2013 legislature, which passed in the Senate but failed to make it out of committee in the House.

Lucio says he wants cameras in special education classrooms to prevent abuse of students, "especially those that are non-verbal, are afforded the same protections and safety in schools as other Texas children." 

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Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

Higher Ed: Technology, Art, Ethics and More Converge in 3-D Printing

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3-D printing seems like a great deal. Need something? Print it up. Anything from food to clothing to houses to guns can be printed and used. But just because we can print it, should we? And what about people who don't have access to the technology?

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the convergence of technology, economics, art, ethics, and morality in grappling with the issues raised by what 3-D printing can do. And what about the impact of 3-D printing on education and learning? Listen on!

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University of Texas
3:50 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Watch: UT President Powers Addresses Admissions Report Findings

University president Bill Powers speaks at a previous Tribune events.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers has helped secure college admittance for some students over the objections of the admissions office, according to an external review of lawmaker and regent influence at the flagship campus.

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Education
12:12 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Tensions Rise as School Board Discussion Turns to Race

Austin school board members Ted Gordon (left) and Robert Schneider.
KUT News

An Austin school board discussion about equity between the district’s campuses grew tense this week when the conversation between two school board members turned to diversity at the district’s nationally recognized high school, Liberal Arts and Science Academy. LASA is a magnet program located on the upper floors of LBJ High School, which mostly educates minority students.

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Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Higher Ed: Love of Learning

Credit creative commons

Think back to your early days of school - nursery school and kindergarten, even into first grade. Learning was full of fun and creative discovery. But as time goes by, that fun disappears from the scene, and so can our love of learning.

In this Valentine's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how we've lost that lovin' feeling in learning, and how we can get it back. Listen on to hear whether they harmonize about what a love of learning can bring to our lives.

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Education
2:58 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Why Parking Rates Are Going Up at UT

Parking rates are set to go up for UT students, staff and faculty.
Credit UT Parking Strategies Committee Report

Parking around the UT campus when classes are in session is never easy, but it's also going to get more expensive soon. Parking rates are set to go up on the UT Austin campus, and it's an increase that will continue for several years. Outgoing President Bill Powers asked a committee of faculty and administrators to look into how to get more money for the university out of parking, and not surprisingly, the answer was higher fees.

The increases vary based on which permit you get, but it is an increase across the board. Let's say you have an "F Garage" permit, which currently costs $420 a year. Five years from now, that same permit will cost $588.  A "C" permit, for students parking in surface level lots, which is currently $120, will go up roughly $6 a year over the next five years, up to $150.

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Education
2:38 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

McRaven: Keep In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

Chancellor Adm. William McRaven discusses his vision for the UT System at a Texas Tribune event on Feb. 5, 2015.
Credit Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition is the “morally right thing to do,” University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven said Thursday.

“My job is to help educate the young men and women of Texas,” McRaven said in an interview with Texas Tribune CEO and Editor in Chief Evan Smith. “If we have been doing that for these undocumented students for, at a minimum, the past three years as they’ve made it through high school, and in many cases since they were in elementary school, I think it’s appropriate to continue to educate them.”

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Education
12:52 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Bipartisan Full-Day Pre-K Bill Won't Increase Standardized Tests

A new bipartisan bill would increase funding for full-day prekindergarten programs in public schools.
Jennifer Whitney/Texas Tribune

Two members of the Texas House have filed a bipartisan bill that would help school districts fund full day pre-kindergarten programs as long as they fulfill a variety of requirements – and can wait until third grade to assess if the pre-kindergarten program helped students learn. 

Right now, the state funds half-day pre-K programs for students who qualify, who are usually low-income, English Language Learner or special education students.

Under this new bill, written by Representatives Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) and Marsha Furney (R-Georgetown), public school districts could either continue to offer a half-day program or choose to operate a full-day program.

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Gender Divide
12:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Austin All-Boys School Teaches Students How to Interact with Police

Gus Garcia YMLA held a panel discussion with students about how to interact with authority, including police officers. The panel included AISD Police Chief, Justice of the Peace, parents and teachers.
Photos: Filipa Rodrigues, KUT Design: Andrew Weber, KUT

Principal Sterlin McGruder thinks it's his responsibility to teach more than reading and math to his middle school students at Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy. Throughout the first year at the all-boys school in Northeast Austin, McGruder has tried to instill a sense of respect in his students: respect for others and respect for themselves.

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