Education

News about education issues in and around San Antonio.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

While some young men are shown to lose interest in school early, the San Antonio Independent School District is gathering boys as early as 4th grade for a new experience to hopefully keep them engaged before the urge to drop out arises.  And on Monday, Bexar County’s only all-male public school opened its doors for the first time. 

Thousands of San Antonio area kids will be going back to school Monday morning. It won't be Pedro Martinez' first day though, when kids return from summer vacation.

Martinez started his job in June, meeting with 300 new teachers the district hired this year and by meeting last year's graduates.

And he devised a five-year plan for district-wide improvement.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Texas more than $2.6 million in grants to help low-income students take Advanced Placement tests.

“The cost of an AP exam is $91 and this grant knocks $16 off that price,” said Debbie Ratcliffe with the Texas Education Agency.

“We have other fee subsidies through the state, the local districts, and the College Board itself. So by the time all those fees are added together, those fee waivers, the cost of the exam can drop from $91 to only $7 for our low income kids.”

More and more kids are taking the tests.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

With students heading back to school this month, there’s concern about teacher shortages across the country. 

Teacher shortages are also being felt in the Alamo City.

“We actually, consistently for the last several years have had a teacher shortage, particularly in the areas of math and science, and a really big shortage for bilingual teachers,” said Carolyn Castillo, Component Director at Education Service Center – Region 20 in San Antonio.

Many high schoolers hoping to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C., one of the top private universities in the country, breathed a sigh of relief this week.

GWU announced it will no longer require applicants to take the SAT or ACT.

The move comes after the school formed a task force to study the pros and cons of going "test-optional." GWU attracts lots of high-achieving students who do well on both exams, but the task force concluded that the school's reliance on these tests was excluding some high-achieving students who simply don't test well.

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