Education

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First, a story:

Late one night, a man searches for something in a parking lot. On his hands and knees, he crawls around a bright circle of light created by a streetlamp overhead.

A woman passes, stops, takes in the scene.

"What are you looking for? Can I help?"

"My car keys. Any chance you've seen them?"

"You dropped them right around here?"

"Oh, no. I dropped them way over there," he says, gesturing vaguely to some faraway spot on the other side of the lot.

"Then why are you looking here?"

The man pauses to consider the question.

This week students from across the city returned to school. At Waco Independent School District that means kids in pre-kindergarten too. But this year’s a bit different. A bill passed during the state’s last legislative session will send more than $116 million dollars to 578 districts and charter schools in the state. The money is intended to boost pre-kindergarten programs in the state. 


JILL AMENT

The Texas Education agency has released the accountability ratings of more than 8,600 school campuses in the state, of which roughly 88 percent earned a passing grade.

Just a few weeks ago, students across Texas public schools were taking the STAAR test, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. The standardized assessment not only measures student performance – but the performance of schools as a whole. When a student fails these tests, there are make-up exams or second chances. But what happens if a school fails to meet educational standards? 


Across the country there are more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which are commonly referred to as HBCUs. A new book, by Baylor assistant professor Lakia Scott, takes a look at HBCUs – their historical roots and their questionable future. KWBU’s Carlos Morales sat down with Baylor Scott to talk about the book.  


Last November, the Waco Independent School District asked voters to pass a net increase of 5 cents in the district’s maintenance and operation tax rate. Officials said this move would result in an extra $8.2 million annually for the district, 47 percent of which would go towards adding qualified literacy aides in classrooms from Pre-K to 3rd grade.


Last August, the Greater Waco Advanced Health Care Academy opened its doors to an inaugural class of nearly 80 students. These high school juniors and seniors came from 10 area districts to take classes that would help them prepare for a career in the health care field. 


When you hear the phrase "makerspace," you can probably take a guess at what it all means. It’s space where you make things, but it’s not quite your parents’ workshop class. Yeah, there are tools and a workbench, but there’s also a lot of high-tech gear - and it’s all recently come to Midway Independent School district.


This week on Behind the Story we talk with Diane Ravitch, an education historian and researcher who also served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education. In this episode, KWBU talks with Ravitch about her memories growing up in the Texas education system, her thoughts on No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, charter schools and the future of education. 


Ryland Barton, KWBU News

Baylor students participating in a course called the Philanthropy Lab donated $100,000 to local nonprofits today. The class evaluated over 60 nonprofits and distributed the money based on qualities that would help Waco like education, health, culture, civil rights and community development.

The University of Virginia publicly apologized on Tuesday to a student who told Rolling Stone magazine that she was gang-raped during a fraternity party in 2012.

As we reported, the magazine's harrowing account led to protests and a university ban on fraternities until January.

Sandy Hausman, of NPR member station WVTF, filed this report for our Newscast Unit:

As we continue our series on poverty in the city of Waco this month – we’re also taking a look at Waco ISD.


Jill Ament

The road to recovery after the devastating fertilizer plant explosion in April of 2013 continues for the city of West. Today West ISD officially broke ground on their new middle and high school campus – two schools destroyed by the deadly blast.


Jill Ament

Four Waco elementary schools will receive iPads and computers through a grant from Apple. As KWBU’s Jill Ament reports, it’s part of an effort to even out the playing field for students who might not have access to technology at home.


Texans are carrying about $70 billion in student loans, according to the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. The good news is that Texans have less student debt than than the national average. The bad news is that people in Texas are more likely to be delinquent in repaying those loans.

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