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.

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman/MarkFisher

From the Texas Tribune — The University of Texas at Austin needs to consider race in admissions if it wants a diverse, representative student body, the school told the U.S. Supreme Court 0n Monday in a 70-page brief filed in advance of oral arguments in the case Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin.

Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger is obviously a pretty busy guy. But he does make time to teach a class each year. This fall, he's teaching a class that's centered on puzzles. Puzzlers. Teasers. Questions that really make students grapple for the solution. Why a class focused on that? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Dr. Ed Burger puzzle over the value of puzzles to learning.

Courtesy of AISD

In the Travis High School locker room, there is a basket of apples for students to grab a snack after practice. That basket is usually empty by 5:30 p.m., according to students, when the varsity and junior varsity football teams finish practice and head to the cafeteria for study hall. 

"I'm always hungry after practice," says Darrell Davis, a sophomore. "I'm always hungry, period."

Image via skeeze/Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

This week, the University Interscholastic League, which oversees athletic competitions throughout the state, asked school superintendents to approve a policy that would use a student's birth certificate or other government-issued documents to determine gender.

The UIL has a nondiscrimination policy that includes gender – but this new rule would put Texas junior and high school sports on a gender binary system.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The discussion over whether to rename Austin schools named after Confederate figures probably won’t be decided until the end of this year, but one city commission already has a list of names they’d like the school district to consider.

Pu Ying-Huang/KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin continues to discuss the issue of allowing concealed firearms throughout the campus as per the campus carry law, which was passed in the 2015 legislative session and signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

This year, Texas public schools won’t measure instructional time by days, but they’ll do it by minutes. In the past, Texas public schools years were required to be provide 180 days of instruction. Now, a school year must provide a minimum of 75,600 minutes.

Image via Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

It's college application season, and for many colleges the due date is next month. That means now is the time for writing essays, rounding up letters of recommendation and – lest we forget – figuring out how you're going to pay for a college education.

Kate McGee/KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is targeting a new ally in the battle to boost student enrollment at some South Austin schools: real estate agents. The district opened the doors of three neighborhood schools to give real estate agents a better look at what's going on in the classrooms. 

Technology allows us to access so much information so easily.  There are not many subjects we cannot learn at least a little something about. But does that knowledge make us all experts? What does it even mean to be an expert anymore? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss expertise in this age of adaptability.


UT Austin is holding its first of two public forums tonight as it decides how to comply with the new law that allows concealed weapons on college campuses in Texas. Public universities must comply with the law, which goes into effect August 1, 2016, but private universities can opt out. Still, there is plenty of uncertainty for private institutions going through the opt-out process.

Fernando Aguilar has five kids and named his only son after his hero, Isaac Newton.

"I looked up to him and so does my son, and hopefully one day we can make contributions to society like he did," says Aguilar.

Isaac's in third grade at Herrera Elementary School in Houston. Aguilar thinks his 8-year-old is a smarty, just like the famous physicist: "I think he's going to be a lot smarter than I am."

But when the local school tested Isaac in kindergarten for the gifted and talented program, he didn't qualify.

Image via Flickr/Ashraf Saleh (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It seems that every year, we hear how college is becoming more and more expensive.

Have you ever heard anyone talk about "getting through" a class or "knocking out" course requirements? What exactly is the point of a "formal" education - just to get a degree, or set a course for lifelong learning?

KUT News

About one in five female undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin experienced some type of sexual assault or misconduct while in college, according to a newly released survey by the Association of American Universities

Twitter/Ahmed Mohammed

Ahmed Mohamed is a 14-year-old who loves tinkering with electronics. On Monday, he brought a homemade clock to school. After he showed it to a few of his teachers, the clock was confiscated. Ahmed was then questioned by police and taken to a juvenile detention facility in handcuffs – accused of making a hoax bomb. He was wearing his NASA t-shirt at the time he was arrested.

Four public schools in North Austin have received a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the federal government to implement a full community school model on their campuses. Austin ISD is expected to announce the grant later this morning. 

The four schools are Lanier High School, Burnet Middle School, Cook Elementary and Wooldridge Elementary. 

Joy Diaz/KUT News

A creative writing competition for English- and Spanish-speaking children is accepting submissions through Thursday.

It's the second year the Austin-based non-profit Voces Latinas has sponsored the event. The group says last year's competition was an experiment of sorts, but its success made the group want to do it annually.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

To understand the challenges many college-bound students face, KUT’s Kate McGee followed three students this summer as they graduated high school and prepared for college. She tracked their progress on a Tumblr site, The Months Between.

Confederate Group Pushes to Save Jefferson Davis Statue

Sep 7, 2015
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis may have been removed from the south mall of the University of Texas at Austin, but the Sons of Confederate Veterans isn't giving up its fight to save it.