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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments: The Blind Boys of Alabama

Feb 19, 2017

The Blind Boys of Alabama have been around since 1939, when a group of 9 year olds started singing spirituals at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind. The group was originally called the Happy Land Jubilee Singers. And today, they're a Grammy-award winning group. 


WACO ISD Looking for Input on Superintendent Search

Jan 12, 2017
JILL AMENT

The Waco Independent School District Board of Trustees has announced the district’s first step in its search for a new superintendent.

Districts and schools throughout Texas got an idea of how they’ll be evaluated under the state’s new accountability system -- which goes into effect at the start of the 2018 school year -- and they're not pleased.


Waco Independent School District Officials and its Board of Trustees announced that investigations into University High School revealed "fatal errors" in grading and attendance reporting, which ultimately allowed some students to graduate even though they didn’t meet state requirements.


Q&A: Andrea Ramirez on Education Equity and Faith

Oct 18, 2016

Today, the 7th annual National Hispanic Education Summit was held in Waco. The event centered on addressing challenges and discussing solutions for increasing Latino college graduation rates. Andrea Ramirez is one of the presenters. She’s  the executive director of the Faith and Education Coalition, a group born out of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. She talked to us about education equity and how faith can play a role in that.  


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.

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