Education

Education
9:34 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Program Helps Texas Foster Care Youth Go to College - For Free

Loretta Edelen, foster care alumni coordinator with Austin Community College, shares college tips with foster care alumni at the Round Rock Campus on July 24, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Heading to college is confusing under the best of circumstances. But for many young people aging out of foster care, the challenges can be almost impossible to overcome.

Some schools in Texas host programs each year aimed at trying to help foster kids make the transition.

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Education
4:53 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

HB 5 Architect Wants to Leave Implementation to Districts

HB 5 would create different paths for graduation for students to choose based on their interests.

The author of the new state law overhauling many aspects of public education in Texas says he wants school districts to decide how to implement the new standards, not the State Board of Education.

State Rep. Jimmie Aycock (R-Killeen) told the Board Friday that HB 5 was crafted to give local school boards flexibility in establishing paths to graduation. But he’s concerned the SBOE will create too many requirements that will counteract the goal of the bill. He wants to leave it local school districts.

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Education
5:14 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

What’s in Texas' $500 Million Testing Contract with Pearson?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40964293@N07/4728093020/

Update: The Texas State Auditor has uncovered problems with the $462 million contract between the Texas Education Agency and the testing company, Pearson. The auditor released a report Tuesday. It found TEA doesn’t have a process or the training in place to monitor the contract.

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Education
11:35 am
Tue July 16, 2013

How the School Finance Trial Will Impact Texas Education

A revamped school trial will begin in January to determine whether the 2013 legislature went far enough to fund the state's public education system this session.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

If you're confused by the all the lawsuits, arguments and recent rulings in the ongoing Texas school finance case, you're not alone.

Last month, the drawn out saga took a new turn when the presiding judge in the case said he'd need to reopen the case in January to determine whether the way the state pays for its public schools still needs fixing. In essence, it looks like Texas has another six week trial to look forward to.

It seems like now is as good a time as any to get up to speed on where the case has been, and where it could go from here.

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Education
4:31 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Austin Schoolteacher Using Superheroes to Teach Science

In one of Lin's videos, she explains the flaws of invisibility.
Ted Ed Radio


The non-profit organization famous for its inspirational talks and videos, TED, has taken the lesson plan of an Austin school district teacher and turned it into an animated video series.

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Education
7:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Could Halving the Dropout Rate Save Texas Half a Billion Dollars?

A new study finds if Texas cuts its dropout rate in half, it could save the state $547 million dollars in Medicaid spending
flickr.com/nodivision

Reducing the high school dropout rate in Texas by 50 percent could save the state $547 million in Medicaid spending annually, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education

The study finds raising education-attainment levels could reduce health-related costs – specifically surrounding obesity, tobacco and alcohol use and heart disease. 

"An educated citizen is a healthy, productive and happier citizen," Bob Wise, president of Alliance for Excellent Education, said in a statement released Wednesday.

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Education
6:47 am
Thu July 11, 2013

At Summer Camps, Austin Girls Gain Empowering Skills

GirlStart camps teach girls about scientific inquiry and related fields.
courtesy flickr.com/txkimmers

It's summertime, so most Austin students are out of school and many are in summer camps. Some are using this time to empower young girls through various programs, including a few camps trying to encourage girls to explore careers in typically male-dominated areas.

At the Latinitas camp in Austin, about a dozen girls hear from local director Sharon Arteaga talking about her work at Cine Chica Camp. The girls are learning to write, shoot and edit their own movies and discuss stereotypes of Latinas in the media.

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Education
4:43 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Student Loan Reprieve Fails Again; Interest Rate Remains Doubled

Bad news for grads: The government had gradually lowered student interest rates, but they doubled as of last week.
flickr.com/hmocopymonkey

U.S. Senators failed Wednesday to pass legislation to extend lower interest rates on federally-backed student loans. Republicans banded together to block the bill. But they have their own plan.

Interest rates of federally subsidized student loans have doubled to 6.8 percent. But there’s time for the rates to be reduced before students begin receiving their loans in late August.

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Education
8:58 am
Thu July 4, 2013

UT-Austin Evacuates Study Abroad Students in Egypt

UT's Arabic Flagship program takes students to Egypt and Morocco.
facebook.com/ArabicFlagship

The University of Texas at Austin has evacuated six students from Egypt, according to Dr. Richard Flores, Senior Associate Dean at the university. A military coup there ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the country is in a transitional stage.

Flores says the UT undergraduates were evacuated to Morocco late Sunday night or early Monday morning for security reasons.

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Education
5:05 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Backpack Drive Aims to Help Austin Schoolkids

Some kids in East Austin will get help with school supplies this year.
courtesy flickr.com/stephendepolo/

A local mobile app development company is trying to fill 1,000 backpacks for poor kids in the Austin school district. The company, Headspring, is accepting money and backpacks filled with supplies, which will be distributed across five schools on Austin’s east side.

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Education
3:17 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Tuition Revenue Bond Bill Refiled - But Will It Go Anywhere?

Sen. Kel Seliger refiled a bill in the second special session to put money towards infrastructure projects for Texas universities, but he's not confident Gov. Rick Perry will add it to the list of bills to discuss.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

State Senator Kel Seliger re-filed a bill that would provide $2.7 billion dollars to public universities for infrastructure improvements.

But he's not confident that Gov. Rick Perry will add the bill to the agenda of the state's newest special session.

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Education
4:23 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

UT System Disappointed By Student Loan Interest Rate Jump

Starting July 1, student loan interest rates will double to 6.8% for new borrowers.
courtesy flickr.com/thisisbossi

Students planning to borrow money from the federal government to pay for college will now pay 6.8 percent interest on their Stafford student loans.

Today, UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa expressed his disappointment with the increase, which effectively doubled the percentage of interest rates on student loans. 

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Education
10:00 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Video: The Summer Camp That Prepares Texas Students for Disaster

This week, forty five Texas high school students participated in the Texas School Safety Center's third annual Youth Preparedness Camp. It's a week-long camp in Kerrville, Texas, aimed to teach students how to respond to emergencies and  increase disaster preparedness in Texas communities. 

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Breaking
3:56 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Supreme Court Punts on Affirmative Action; Returns Ruling to Lower Court (Update)

A detail of a UT admissions form.
Rachel Adams-Heard for KUT News

Update: UT Austin officials are reacting today’s ruling on the university’s use of race as a factor in admissions decision. 

For UT, the 7 to 1 ruling from the Supreme Court sending the case back to a lower court doesn’t change anything – for now. President Bill Powers painted the ruling as a win for UT Austin – and higher education in general.

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Education
12:43 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Military Service for College Credit? Texas Plan Gets $1.5 Million Boost

Texas veterans are being offered expanded advantages to attend college.
flickr.com/bright_idea

The Texas Workforce Commission is awarding Austin Community College over $90,000 as part of its College Credit for Heroes program.

ACC is one of six colleges joining the program, which is designed to translate veterans’ military experience into college credit hours.

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Education
8:17 am
Mon June 24, 2013

How the Supreme Court Could Rule on Affirmative Action at UT

This week, the US Supreme Court is expected to rule on UT v Fisher, the case that questions whether it is constitutional to consider race in the college admissions process.
wallyg/flickr

Update: It turned out the Supreme Court went in an entirely different direction - returning the ruling to a lower court, essentially on a technicality. 

Read more here: Supreme Court Punts on Affirmative Action’s Merits; Returns Ruling to Lower Court

Original Post: This week, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down three major decisions that will affect Texans—including Fisher v. University of Texas.  That case asks the question if it’s constitutional to consider race in the college admissions process.

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Education
12:41 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Texas School Finance Trial Goes For Round Two

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

State district court Judge John Dietz likened the state's school finance case to the soap opera As The World Turns when he opened Wednesday's hearing on whether to reconsider evidence in the trial that concluded in February.

He drew the comparison not because of the trial's drama but because of its longevity.

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Education
5:47 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Are Schools Investing in Education Technology Properly?

A new study finds states aren't studying the return on investment of education technology, as Eanes ISD hosts iPadpalooza this week.
flickingerbrad/flickr

This week the Eanes School District is holding a conference called iPadpalooza.

Every child in the district has an iPad and schools want to find ways to use them better.

The conference comes as the Center for American Progress released a study that says states don’t know how much investments like these in education technology are actually helping students. 

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Education
9:35 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Why Passing the STAAR Exam Will Get Tougher, Starting Next Year

STAAR Test results released last week show small gains. But as students get used to the test, standards for grading are changing.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

STAAR test results released last week show minimal gains compared to 2012. It was the second year students took the new standardized tests, which teachers and administrators say are more rigorous. 

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Education
5:36 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Westlake Graduate Honored in DC as Presidential Scholar

Keyur Mehta with former Westlake High School Principal Linda Rawlings.
Eanes ISD

Listen to the interview as it aired on KUT 90.5.

Less than one percent of high school seniors across the country are named National Merit Scholars. Less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT, score a perfect 36. And just four high school seniors from Texas were recognized as Presidential Scholars on Sunday.

Keyur Mehta – a recent Westlake grad – has earned all of these honors and more. He stopped by KUT before his trip to Washington, D.C.

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