Education

Education
10:50 am
Fri July 27, 2012

A&M's Outsourcing Plans Have Workers Concerned

Callie Richmond for Texas Tribune

When the Texas A&M University System announced that its flagship would gain $260 million in new revenue and savings in the next 10 years by outsourcing its building maintenance, landscaping and dining services, Chancellor John Sharp said the plan was an unprecedented way to raise money in financially struggling higher education.

“Today’s announcement means more money will be available to recruit, pay and retain faculty and researchers,” he said at a news conference on June 21.

But excitement over the plan is not universal. Many people on campus and in the surrounding community are worried and angry. A&M staff members who perform the support services have expressed concern over their future employment. And Bryan-College Station vendors fret that they could lose one of their biggest clients.

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Education
12:21 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

SCOTUS to Hear UT Affirmative Action Case in October

The lawsuit challenges the affirmative action policy at UT.
KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in October in a case challenging the use of affirmative action at the University of Texas at Austin.

Abigail Fisher filed a lawsuit against UT-Austin in 2008. She says she wasn’t admitted to the university because she’s white.

The Supreme Court will hear the case October 10.

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Education
11:51 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Report: Federal Spending On Kids Declines For First Time In 30 Years

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:35 am

For the first time since the early 1980s, the federal government will spend less on American children this year, the Urban Institute's latest "Kids' Share" study (pdf) finds.

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Education
12:52 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Texas Weighs State-Based Alternative to GED Exam

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Texas may soon add one more item to the list of national education practices it has bucked over the years.  

Because of changes coming to the GED in 2014, the Texas Education Agency is putting out feelers to figure out how much a new state-based high school equivalency exam would cost.

Last year, the American Council on Education, a national organization of higher-education institutions that develops the exams, partnered with Pearson, a London-based testing company. They formed a jointly owned entity called GED Testing Services, which has since overhauled the exam in an effort to better test the skills needed in the workplace.

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University of Texas
11:15 am
Wed June 27, 2012

When UT Appeared to Be in UVA's Shoes, Many Spoke Out

William "Bill" Powers, Jr., president of the University of Texas at Austin, at Trib Live on April 28, 2011.
Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

On Tuesday, the University of Virginia reinstated President Teresa Sullivan after her forced resignation this month sparked a dramatic outcry. Throughout the ordeal, observers have drawn parallels to Sullivan’s former stomping grounds: the University of Texas at Austin, where she worked for nearly three decades.

For the last year and a half, speculation has swirled about the intentions of some University of Texas System regents. Many feared that those regents — appointed by Gov.Rick Perry — were put in place to implement a controversial set of dramatic policy changes the governor had promoted that some criticized for being anti-academic and overly business-minded. So when Sullivan was abruptly terminated at UVA, apparently over her opposition to her board’s eagerness to push rapid top-down changes, UT observers’ antennas perked up.

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Education
4:32 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

A&M to Join Texas Wesleyan to Create New Law School

Texas Tribune

According to Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, a law school is "one of the few things that have been missing from A&M for a very long time."

That era is coming to a close.

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Education
11:21 am
Tue June 26, 2012

'Revisionaries' Tells Story Of Texas Textbook Battle

Don McLeroy has served on the Texas State Board of Education for more than a decade.
Silver Lining Film Group

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:39 am

Controversy erupted in 2009 when the Texas State Board of Education debated changes to the state's textbooks that centered on the teaching of evolution.

The Revisionaries documents the Board of Education's contentious battle, focusing in large part on Don McLeroy — a young-earth creationist and, at the time, chairman of the Texas Board of Education. The film is being screend at the American Film Institute's Silverdocs Film Festival.

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Education
12:24 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

AISD Offices Operating on Summer Schedule

AISD Headquarters and other offices will be operating on a four-day week starting today.
KUT News

A temporary schedule change for Austin ISD schools and offices goes into effect today. AISD says the change is an effort to cut energy usage this summer.

Starting today and running through July 27, AISD offices will be closed on Fridays. Employees will work 10-hour days Monday through Thursday. Office hours will be 7 a.m to 6 p.m.

Schools and offices will be completely closed the week of July 2.

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Education
11:00 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Texas Ranked 41st on Per Student Spending

Lockers at Bowie High School
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Only nine states spent less on education spending per student than Texas in the 2009-2010 school year, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The numbers reflect spending levels before $5.4 billion in education spending cuts were enacted by the state legislature in 2011.

Texas spent $8,746 per student in 09-10. That compares with a national average of $10,615, an increase of more than one percent from the previous year.

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Education
12:21 am
Tue June 19, 2012

AISD Approves Spending Plan, Historic Tax Exemptions

The Austin school board has unanimously approved a billion dollar spending plan for next school year. The expenditure budget includes a $30 million deficit. That will be paid for with money from AISD’s emergency cash reserve, which it calls the fund balance.

A large portion of that deficit is the result of a one-time, three percent pay raise for staff. The board will officially adopt the full budget in August, after it decides whether to call for an election on raising property taxes.

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University of Texas
1:50 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Former UT Prof at Center of Higher Ed Storm

Teresa A Sullivan was let go as University of Virginia president under vague circumstances.
virginia.edu

A University of Texas professor is at the center of controversy in her new home at the University of Virginia, where until just recently she was president of the school. 

Teresa A. Sullivan taught for decades at UT-Austin, ultimately rising to Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the UT System. In the summer of August 2010, she was named president of the University of Virginia (UVA).

It was a position she held without apparent controversy – until news broke she was stepping down from her position, apparently under pressure, eight days ago.

In a way, the controversy in Virginia recalls a similar action closer to home: rumors that University of Texas president Bill Powers had been marked for ouster by the school’s Board of Regents. Speculation regarding Powers’ job grew after he clashed with the board after it declined to approve a tuition increase Powers sought.

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Education
11:02 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Budget, STAAR, Single-Sex Schools at Tonight's AISD Meeting

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Austin school board members meet tonight and they have a lot to talk about. The nine men and women who govern the largest district in Central Texas will get a first glance tonight at how well students in Austin did on the state’s new standardized test – the STAAR exam.

So far, much like the state outcomes, AISD results are mixed. Almost half of high school students failed the writing test. But more than four out of five passed the high school biology test.

Why the big difference? One major reason is this: A passing grade on the writing test is 65 percent. A passing grade in biology is 37 percent.

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Education
9:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

AISD's Free Summer Meal Program Underway

28 AISD schools are offering free breakfast and lunch throughout the summer.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/USDAgov

The Austin Independent School District will be feeding free breakfast and lunch to children starting today. The summer food service program is in place at more than two dozen campuses.

Students don’t have to apply for the program. The free meals are open to any child ages one through 18 regardless of family income.

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Education
2:18 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

RFIDs on School IDs? One School District Thinks So

School districts are mulling the use of RFID tags to track attendance.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

Should schools be able to keep tabs on a student’s location?

Because Texas schools are funded per student in attendance, budgets hinge on the accuracy of morning roll call. The use of Radio Frequency Identification tags, or RFIDs, can certainly improve accuracy, but some consider them an invasion of privacy.

RFIDs are small beacons that both transmit and receive information. They’re often used to track product inventory. But some school districts have attached RFIDs to students’ photo ID cards, letting administrators know which students are on campus.

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Education
10:21 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Making Dreams Come True: Scholarship Assists Undocumented Manor Student

High school student Audrey Vivar (right) sold bracelets to finance a scholarship for an undocumented student.
Photo courtesy makedreamsrealityscholarship.webs.com

As college-bound high school seniors graduate this month, many of them will have to worry about how they’re going to pay for their education.

But for one Manor, Texas student, her senior year has focused instead on helping to pay for someone else to go to school, by creating a scholarship for a fellow student from Manor – an undocumented student.

Make DREAMs Reality is a campaign created by Audrey Vivar, a senior at Manor New Technology High School. Vivar is offering a $500 scholarship for a Manor graduate who wants to go on to college, no social security number required.

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