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.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is projected to lose more than 4,000 students over the next 10 years. That's mostly because of lower birth rates, private and charter schools and the increasingly lack of affordable housing in Austin, but districts just outside Austin are dealing with the opposite problem.

Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on January 10, 2016.

We are just a little ways into the new year and it's already proving tough to keep some of those well-intentioned resolutions. You know, the usual ones such as exercise more, eat better, or be nicer to people. There is actually a resolution that can be fun and not too hard to keep. In this "best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about learning more - and liking it - in 2017.


Miguel Gutierrez, Jr/KUT

Many Central Texas school districts received mediocre grades from the state under a new accountability system, according to a report of preliminary grades obtained by KUT.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

This legislative session, Texas lawmakers have some tough discussions ahead of them about how Texas funds its public schools, but some are asking how lawmakers can have those conversations without an updated look at how much it actually costs to educate kids.  

KUT News

Texas lawmakers are about to spend a lot of time talking about how the state funds its public schools. The question is: Will they make any changes during the legislative session that starts in January? If they don’t, there’s a part of the system that’s set to expire next year. That could be a problem for some school districts across the state.

Sam Ortega for KUT News

The Texas Cultural Trust has a new website that tracks arts education programs at school districts across the state. The map is one way the trust is encouraging parents and students to push for more art education in their local schools. There you can see programs broken down by elementary, middle and high schools in each school district. It looks at how many arts credits were earned by students, the number of art courses offered and the number of students per arts teacher. 

Flickr/Lokner

Few things affect how you feel more than your surroundings.  But when people want to create spaces, they generally turn to architects, not psychologists.  But some experts recently met in Austin to argue that both disciplines need  a place at the table when it comes to designing the spaces we inhabit. 

To understand why, consider the office cubicle, says Prof. Sam Gosling from UT’s Psychology Department.

With the cubicle “they have designed essentially caves, except you have your back to the door and your facing inwards,” he said.

Janine, flickr.com

For more than 15 years, the City of Austin and Austin ISD have partnered to provide services for teen parents in Austin public schools. The program helps at least 150 students with children at Eastside Memorial, Lanier, Reagan and Travis high schools throughout the school year and includes academic support, along with child care, parent education workshops and other social services. 

That sweater that doesn't fit quite right.  Or a fruitcake with ingredients that are not immediately recognizable. Do your family and friends really need more of these during the holiday season? What about giving the gift of learning instead? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how to encourage people to embrace learning at any age or stage of life.


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

More than 100 of parents and teachers from across the state came to Austin Thursday night to share their struggles getting services for their special needs children. It was the last stop in the U.S. Department of Education’s statewide special education services listening tour, sparked by a Houston Chronicle report that the state was excluding students eligible for special education services on purpose—capping the services for 8.5 percent of students. 

Robert W. Hart / Texas Tribune

The Texas Education Agency wants lawmakers to double the money they approved to expand pre-K programs last legislative session, but some worry that might be a difficult ask.

We all face questions in life that seem just about impossible to answer. Maybe it's a really tough question on a test. Or maybe it's a challenging assignment at work. What can we do when the answer just won't come to us? How about not answering the question? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Austin ISD is considering a possible relocation of its best school, the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), as it determines the future of its campuses. The district has started a months-long process to decide which schools to renovate or close, as well as where to possibly build new campuses.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Last week, Austin ISD released a proposal that suggests building an elementary school on a 10-acre tract in the Mueller neighborhood. That surprised a lot of people involved in the discussion, which has been going on for the past year, and last week’s conversations show just how delicate this situation is.

Cherrywood resident Jennifer Potter-Miller has a child in first grade at Maplewood Elementary. She has another child about to enter kindergarten and she wants to send her kid to public school. But, she has no idea where her kids will go once they get to middle school.

Do you sense that you understand things better when you read them or hear them? Do you learn better via words or images? Are there really even different learning "styles" at all? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore a listener's question about learning styles.


Photo by KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is starting to think about what its schools will look like, and where they’ll be located, two decades from now. On Wednesday, it released a set of possible options for its 120 campuses this week, including when and where to potentially renovate schools, build new ones and close others. 

Shelby Knowles for the Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The U.S. Department of Education is sending representatives to tour Texas and take comment from school community members on special education, continuing to look at whether the state is denying services to students with disabilities.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Austin School Board members bid farewell Monday night to former school board Trustee Gina Hinojosa who was elected to the Texas House of Representatives on Election Day. The start of Monday night's Board meeting was bittersweet. As Hinojosa said goodbye to other board members, she encouraged the board to continue to advocate for students across the city.

KUT News

The divide over how Texas should educate its 5.3 million public school students will become clear during the 2017 legislative session. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Textbook publisher Cynthia Dunbar was defending her company’s Mexican-American Heritage book in front of the State Board of Education last week when she made an interesting argument. Historians raised issues with some of the book's content, but Dunbar said that didn’t matter because the school board didn't specify what type of content it wanted.

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