Education

Education
1:30 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

CPS Energy Grant Helps Jefferson Students Study Renewable Energy

Junior Chris Harrison (left) demonstrates how the model ethanol plant creates the usable fuel.
Joey Palacios TPR News

Thanks to a grant from CPS Energy, students at Jefferson High School are using state-of-the-art equipment to study renewable energy before their senior year. The program is part of the school’s architecture & environmental studies magnet.

In Blu Odam’s advanced energy and environmental technology class, his six students have been studying how to generate renewable energy.

“Wind energy, solar energy, biofuels which includes bio-diesel and ethanol, and hydro energy which includes damns and water falls,” Odam explained.

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Pre-K 4 SA
3:36 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Designs Unveiled For East And West Side Pre-K 4 SA Centers

The Pre-K 4 SA West Side Center is similar in design to the South Side Center.

Pre-K 4 SA is growing by two education centers in the fall. That means construction will soon be underway as the public gets its first look at the new center designs.

The centers, said CEO Kathy Bruck, are still heaps of dirt. But leaders are giving the first look at the new centers, which will hold up to 350 students when school begins.

The new centers means that Mayor Julián Castro's vision will be fully operational in the program's second year.

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Higher Education
4:31 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Alamo Colleges Prepping High School Students For College Success

San Antonio Colleges

High school students are invited to San Antonio College this weekend for a sneak peek into the young leadership program and to get some valuable college prep.

As an extra incentive, the Alamo Colleges are offering a chance to earn one of ten $1,000 scholarships for students planning to attend an Alamo Colleges campus.

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Texas Public Schools
9:49 am
Fri February 14, 2014

ACLU Of Texas Targets Use-Of-Force Policies In Public Schools

Flickr user Bill Selak cc

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has been attempting to change the Texas school system’s use-of-force policies for on-campus police officers since a November 2013 incident that left a Bastrop student in a coma (see video below).

"We sent a letter originally to the Commission on Law Enforcement and we were unfortunately told by them they didn’t have the authority to institute a ban," said Matt Simpson with the Austin office of the ACLU of Texas.

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Charter Schools
2:16 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Education Commissioner Set To Revoke Six Charter School Licenses

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams.
Christopher C. Leonard cc

Six open-enrollment charter schools have been notified by the state that they are about to have their license revoked. A new law passed by the legislature gives the education commissioner greater authority, including revoking a failing charter school’s state license.

This week Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams sent six open-enrollment charter schools notices of mandatory revocation. Under the new law calling for more charter schools, the commissioner was also given additional authority to revoke failing charter schools state license.

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Education
2:15 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Davis Calls On Abbott To Settle School Finance Lawsuit

Likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis speaks in front of Austin Community College's Rio Grande Campus on the Texas school finance lawsuit.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the likely Democratic nominee for governor, is calling on Attorney General Greg Abbott to come to the table and reach a settlement agreement in legal case challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system.

As Travis County District Judge John Deitz weighs hundreds of pieces of evidence in the lawsuit, Davis called on Abbott, who is representing the state in the case and is Davis' likely Republican opponent in the governor's race, to make sure Texas school districts are adequately funded.

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Education
11:51 am
Mon February 10, 2014

School Finance Trial Wraps Up In Case Likely Headed To State Supreme Court

Flickr user SalFalko cc

Travis County District Judge John Dietz has finished hearing closing arguments in the Texas school finance lawsuit and now attorneys from both sides await a decision. Dietz is taking his time to formulate an opinion because the case will likely go to the Texas Supreme Court.

"I think the evidence was pretty compelling that restoring some of the money just didn’t fix all the problems," said Houston attorney David Thompson, who represents a large group of schools in the lawsuit.

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Higher Education
11:44 am
Thu February 6, 2014

State Launches Affordable College Degree Program For Half The Cost

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a new degree program aimed at making college affordable.

The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Degree Program has been in the works since it’s conception in 2011 when it was one of the needs Gov. Rick Perry expressed during his State of the State Address. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board announced they had finished designing that program this week.  

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Texas Public Schools
2:02 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

SBOE Postpones Decision On Mexican-American Studies Class

Last week the Texas State Board of Education discussed the possibility of offering a statewide Mexican-American studies class as part of the statewide curriculum, a decision the board has postponed until this spring.

Of the five million students in Texas schools, 51 percent are Hispanic, leaving some to wonder why efforts of Tejanos that have shaped history, culture and the arts are not a part of curriculum.

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Education
10:37 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Texas Overhauls Textbook Approval To Ease Tensions Over Evolution

Kansas Board of Education members look over language for a science textbook in 2007. The fight over the teaching of evolution has been particularly fierce in Texas, which because of its size influences many textbook publishers.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 11:01 am

The Texas Board of Education, which has long been an ideological battleground for the teaching of evolution, says it will limit the use of citizen review panels and instead give priority to teachers in determining science and history curricula.

Because Texas public schools represent such a large market for textbook publishers, the state has an outsized influence on what is taught in the rest of the country.

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