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.

PSAT. STAAR. ACT. SAT. Does the thought of taking standardized tests make your palms sweat and heart race? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what standardized tests can and cannot measure, and the role they play in education and learning.


Kate McGee/KUT

Cynde Kaply sits in front of her open laptop, looking at the teacher website for her daughter’s social studies class. Her daughter is in middle school in Leander Independent School District. The website is supposed to have all the online resources her daughter uses for class.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Ever since Alberto Perez was a kid growing up in Dove Springs, he knew he wanted to go to UT Austin.

“I remember telling my mom, pointing at the tower, saying, 'that’s where I’m going to go to school,'" Perez remembers.


Think back to someone who has really influenced you in your life. Maybe it has been a teacher, a coach, a boss, or someone from less obvious quarters. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the crucial way role models and mentors can encourage us on our learning paths.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The Texas Lottery Commission says, since 1992, it has put $24 billion toward state programs – primarily education.
With tonight’s Powerball jackpot up to a record $1.5 billion, let’s take a look at whether that means more money for public schools.


Shrinking AISD Enrollment Could Be New Normal

Jan 13, 2016
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

From the Austin Monitor: Trustees for the Austin Independent School District are asking district staff to let them know what variables they have control over after hearing grim student enrollment projections.

At Monday’s workshop meeting, board members heard the results of an annual demographics report conducted by Davis Demographics & Planning Inc. The yearly report estimated that AISD’s enrollment will drop to 77,628 students by 2025, a reduction of 6,140 from AISD’s total 2015 enrollment. The decline is greater than was previously predicted.


We are already well into 2016. How are those New Year's resolutions holding up? Don't feel bad; it can be hard to keep some of the lofty goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.  In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about some easy ways to make - and keep - a resolution to learn and explore more in 2016.


The fame and money that comes from a professional sports career can captivate the dreams of high school and college athletes. But some argue families and communities need to encourage younger student athletes to pursue other careers besides professional sports—especially among black students. That’s one message coming out of the Black Student-Athlete Summit happening at UT Austin this week.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Most schools tell students to stay out of jail, but Akins High School in South Austin sends some of its students there once a week to learn how to become correctional officers. The program’s part of the school’s criminal justice curriculum, and allows students a hands-on look at life in the world of corrections officers.


Doubt. It can make us question some of our deeply-held beliefs. But is that necessarily a bad thing? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the value that doubt can have for our learning and education.


By now, we've all heard about how body cameras could prevent more police violence, or at least catch it in the act. But what about cameras to protect special-needs kids from their own teachers — and the teachers themselves from false accusations?

It'll be a reality soon in Texas. The Lone Star State passed a law in June that made it the first in the nation to make it mandatory for schools — if asked to do so — to videotape interactions between teachers and their special-needs students.

A Higher Ed listener emailed in asking about letter grades: are they good? Bad? Do they hinder students' desire to take classes that might be interesting but challenging, too? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the impact letter grades can have on how we experience and approach our formal education.


Affirmative action in higher education was once again under attack before the Supreme Court Wednesday.

In the past the court has allowed race as one of many factors in college admissions. But as it has grown more conservative, it has moved to reconsider the issue — including a test case from Texas that was before the court today for the second time.

Affirmative action in college admissions is once again under attack at the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1978 and in 2003 the Court ruled definitively that colleges and universities could consider race and ethnicity as one of many factors in admissions, as long as there are no quotas. By 2013, though, the composition of the Court had changed and grown more conservative, and the issue was back in a case from Texas--a case that eventually fizzled that year but is back again now.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

The number of investigations involving teacher-student relationships has increased 53 percent in Texas over the past seven years—188 cases so far this year. The State Senate Education Committee met this week to discuss ways to reduce these relationships, but that may be tougher than they realized.


"Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption."

Frank Sinatra sings about regret in "My Way."  In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the decisions we make along the way in our formal education, and the role regret can play in lifelong learning.


flickr user Bill Selak, / Creative Commons

Texas no longer requires students to take Algebra II to graduate, but new research from a local non-profit finds that when Central Texas students don’t take advanced math courses, they’re less likely to get a post-graduate degree within six years.

The data also show that Algebra II may not be enough.


Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Almost a year ago the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Austin school district to examine equity between its higher- and lower-income schools, or it would file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Now the district is finally expected to set a timeline to conduct that assessment at its Dec. 10 meeting.

When does it make sense for an undergraduate student to continue formal education and attend graduate school? Sometimes, it's an easy call; if someone wants to be a doctor or a lawyer, it's a necessity. But how does a student know if that's really what they want to pursue? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what to weigh when deciding about that next step in school.


Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Weeks after a Houston-area mother sparked an uproar over a caption in her son’s textbook that inaccurately described African slaves as “workers,” the State Board of Education tentatively approved several changes to its textbook adoption process.


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