Education

West Explosion 1 Year Later
4:54 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

West Schools Still In Temporary Buildings One Year After Explosion

Construction on temporary buildings continued in late August 2013, just before school was to start.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

It has been one year since the fertilizer plant explosion that leveled several school campuses in the North Texas town of West and administrators are still recovering.    

West Independent School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jan Hungate said the plant explosion destroyed three campuses, so for now an entire school system is using portable buildings.

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Special Needs Education
1:00 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Lawmaker Announces 2015 Education Choice Plan For Special Needs Children

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

April is National Autism Awareness Month and state Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, has announced plans for a bill in 2015 that allows special needs children to attend classes in a school district without living in that district.

New statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control show that 1 in 68 U.S. children have some form of autism; Simmons, who has a 29-year-old son with a form of autism, said that means 6,000 children annually in Texas will be affected.

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Pre-K 4 SA
10:06 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Citing Lack Of Participation, South San ISD Opts Out Of Pre-K 4 SA's Second Year

Pre-K 4 SA South Side Education Center.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

After two hours of debate, board members of the South San Antonio Independent School District rejected joining the city’s Pre-K 4 SA program.

South San ISD approved last year’s memorandum of understanding with the city on Pre-K 4 SA but declined to do so this year under the direction of newly hired Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra. The board voted 6-1, with Rose Marie Martinez the lone dissenting vote.

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Early College High School
4:40 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

SAISD & Alamo Colleges To Open New Early College High School At St. Philip's College

St. Philip's College will host at least 100 high school students the first year and add 100 more a year for four years.
Joey Palacios Texas Public Radio

Beginning this fall, St. Philip’s College will play host to SAISD students in the district’s second early college high school.

St. Philip’s College has 10,000 students, but 100 high school freshmen will call the campus home in August. SAISD has formally approved an agreement with the Alamo Colleges to open a school on campus where, by graduation, students will earn 60 hours of college credit or even an associates degree.

Leslie Price, a spokeswoman for SAISD, said students will take their normal educational curriculum but also take classes for college credit.

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Pre-K 4 SA
4:44 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Pre-K 4 SA Welcomes New Center Directors

Christina Reck-Guerra will join Pre-K 4 SA in the fall as the director of the West Side education center.
Credit courtesy

As the city prepares for the second year of Pre-K 4 SA, its early childhood measure, two more centers will be opening.

Christina Reck-Guerra (West Side) and Janice Hammonds (East Side) will guide the new education centers as Pre-K 4 SA expands, bringing the total number of centers to the program's maximum of four.

Hammonds comes from the Austin Independent School District where's she has served 27 years, most recently as the principal of an early childhood education center.

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2014 Governor's Race
10:16 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Gubernatorial Pre-K Platforms: Davis Wants Expansion, All-Day Programs, Abbott Focuses On Quality

Louis Malfaro, treasurer of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, speaking at Lucy Reed Pre-K Elementary School in reaction to Greg Abbott's pre-K Campaign platform.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

Teachers who are endorsing Democrat Wendy Davis for governor say Republican Greg Abbott was wrong for calling it a “waste to expand access” to state pre-K programs. But there are some who agree with the idea that quality should come before quantity.

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Textbooks
11:53 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Students At Alamo Colleges Voice Opposition To Bundled E-Books & Tuition

Students in the Alamo Colleges system may soon have certain instructional materials bundled into their tuition costs in the coming semesters. How the plan will be implemented remains to be decided, but students are already showing opposition.

In January, the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees voted to bundle electronic instructional materials into certain classes. When students pay their tuition there will be an additional cost for the pre-approved materials in the form of e-books and other items that can be accessed online.

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Texas Public Schools
3:37 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

New Board Of Education Curriculum Plan Makes Algebra II Optional

This week Texas State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill laid out how the new math curriculum standards work for Texas high school students.

There are some that still take issue with the absence of Algebra II from the list of required high school courses, and are looking for ways to add it back in 2015.

The SBOE decided to split the list of math courses between three years of required critical thinking math courses. During a student’s senior year, they would be allowed to pick a specialized math elective.

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Higher Education Funding
2:53 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

UTSA Launching Crowdfunding Site For Research And Student Projects

University of Texas at San Antonio

The University of Texas at San Antonio is launching its own crowdfunding website and UTSA Chief Communications Officer Joe Izbrand said it is likely the first university in the state to do so.

UTSA is taking the online individual-donor approach used on platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe to fund some of its own projects. 

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Texas Public Schools
12:23 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Parents Testify As Legislative Committee Considers Fewer Primary School Tests

Testimony before the Texas House Public Education Interim Committee.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

During the previous legislative session the Texas Legislature passed a bill that reduced testing for high school students. This week lawmakers on the House Public Education Committee discussed the possibility of doing the same for students in elementary and middle schools. 

Michelle Perry, who has a son in the 7th grade, testified before the interim committee about how tests have contributed to her son losing interest in school.

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