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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District formally approved a plan last night to spend $25 million to renovate Norman Elementary School. During that two-year renovation, students from Norman will relocate to Sims Elementary about a mile away.

The vote could also mean a consolidation of the two under-enrolled schools at the renovated campus if enrollment doesn’t improve in the next two years – an option some say wasn't clear in the run-up to the board's final decision.

Students and young scholars may not have had as much time in the classroom, but that doesn't mean their work lacks insight, value and rigor. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the valuable contributions younger learners can make, and how society can better regard and embrace their thinking.

Carlos Barria/REUTERS / Texas Tribune

Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is being courted as a candidate to be the next University of Texas System chancellor, a source familiar with the effort told The Texas Tribune. 

The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Tillerson, a UT-Austin alumnus, left the State Department less than two weeks ago. Prior to joining President Donald Trump's administration, he served as CEO of Exxon Mobil. 

If chosen, he would replace Chancellor Bill McRaven, a retired Navy admiral. It's unclear whether Tillerson would except the job.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

After the Columbine school shooting in 1999, the Texas Legislature created the School Safety Center, a research center at Texas State University that helps schools prepare for different kinds of disasters.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Part 2 of a two-part series

When the State Board of Education passed new social studies standards in 2010, there was an outcry from critics who said they prioritized conservative views over historical facts. As the board edits the standards this year, some see an opportunity to correct these inaccuracies.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Part 1 of a two-part series.

During the debate about renaming Austin schools, a recurring theme emerged: The problem isn’t just about schools being named for men who served in the Confederate military or government, but how schools teach about the Civil War and slavery.

This episode was originally posted on Oct. 1, 2017.

Sometimes school can feel like a really solitary endeavor. Writing papers and reading are usually done solo. But teachers at all levels of formal education also assign group projects or presentations. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the pros and cons of learning solo and of working with a group - both in school and beyond.

With so much information available to us so quickly and easily these days, it might feel as if there is just too much to learn. But encountering massive amounts of information is not the same as actually discerning and then learning what is essential. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss information saturation.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted Monday night to move forward with renaming five district buildings named for men who served in either the Confederate military or government.

Lanier, Reagan and Eastside Memorial high schools, Fulmore Middle School and the Allan Center will get new names.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

The Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees will vote tonight on whether to change the names of five district facilities named after people who served in the Confederate military or government.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves and his wife violated school policy by flying first or business class “multiple times” without a regularly-approved reason why, a UT System audit says.

Making decisions – large and small – is not always easy. We are called upon to make countless decisions in life, but when do we receive effective tools for doing that? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how lessons from our formal education can help us make better decisions.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

The Austin Independent School District met with community members Thursday night to get feedback on whether to change the names of five district buildings. All five buildings were named for people connected to the Confederate military or government during the Civil War.

Austin Price for KUT

Three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have happened in the last five months. The most recent was just last week, when a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

Seventeen people were killed.

It’s easy to feel helpless in a situation like this, but one pre-med student at UT Austin says there is something people can do, and she’s making it her mission to train everyone on campus.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees is seeking community feedback on whether to rename five district facilities named after people who served in the Confederacy. The board is gathering community input before it votes on whether to change the names at its meeting Monday. 

District administration asked the board to consider renaming the following buildings at a November board meeting:

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District has received no offers to run Mendez Middle School, which is on the brink of state takeover. 

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Margaret Hunsicker and two other actors stand in front of a classroom at IDEA Rundberg, performing a scene for a group of seventh-graders. Hunsicker plays the role of a student named Jessica. Another actor slaps her butt while taking a selfie, so he can post it to social media. 

Texas State University

The leader of Texas State University is defending the San Marcos campus as a place of diversity and inclusion after a series of racially charged incidents over the last year.

Texas State University

Texas State University students have called for the resignation of their student body president after racially insensitive social media posts surfaced last week. This follows a tumultuous year of racial issues on campus.

Alayna Hamade

Ten-year-old Truman Hamade is a reporter for Scholastic News, a news outlet for kids. In November, he interviewed veteran journalist Dan Rather. He talks with KUT education reporter Claire McInerny about the experience. 

The Foundry
Austin Price for KUT

On the second floor of UT-Austin’s Fine Arts Building, there is a library like no other, with sounds of creativity coming from students using 3-D printers, laser cutters, audio recorders and sewing machines.

This noisy and artistic place is called The Foundry. It’s UT-Austin’s first makerspace library that any student can use, regardless of major.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees is slowing down its timeline for a vote on whether to change the names of five schools named after Confederate figures.

Austin Price for KUT

On a Thursday after school, Taylor Barron begins a new lesson. She hits play on a YouTube video and the infamous cello notes fill the room. They get faster and faster, then slowly crescendo.

She asks the class of Hart Elementary students what kind of movie the music belongs in.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When most school principals think about goals for the coming year, academics or maybe budgets usually top the list.

But Griselda Galindo-Vargas, the principal at Brooke Elementary, hopes for something else.

"We’re hoping that a new queen bee will come and find it," she said, referring to the beehives on campus. "And then it will bring another hive."

Note: This episode was originally released on Sept. 17, 2017.

Sometimes, a relationship doesn't feel like a good match. That feeling can crop up in personal relationships, as well as in our relationships with schools. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answer a question from a listener curious about how to know when it is time to move on.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Truman Hamade is new to journalism here in Austin, but he's hit the ground running. In the last few months he's covered Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, booked an interview with Dan Rather and is researching a story on Ballet Austin.

And he just turned double digits. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District's headquarters on West Sixth Street will be turned into retail space.

AISD sold the property to Schlosser Development Corp. for $36.5 million last month.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Mendez Middle School in Southeast Austin has failed to meet state standards over the past four years. If it doesn’t improve academics by summer, it will face takeover.

Mendez is the only school in the Austin Independent School District in its fifth year of failing the annual state assessment, or STAAR, test. What’s going on?

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A new Texas law allows organizations, rather than the state, to take over schools that repeatedly fail the state's standardized assessment, or STAAR, test.

Tamir Kalifa for the Texas Tribune

After subtracting student fees and paying for insurance, doctoral student Tom Millay takes home about $15,000 per year from a Baylor University stipend. But soon he could be taxed as though he earns three times more.

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