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 year, Texas public schools won’t measure instructional time by days, but they’ll do it by minutes. In the past, Texas public schools years were required to be provide 180 days of instruction. Now, a school year must provide a minimum of 75,600 minutes.

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. 

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In July, a report by the Waco Independent School District found that parents of students were moving their students out of the district, citing concerns about campus misbehavior. To help address those longstanding concerns, the district is looking at an emerging form of discipline being used in various cities across the state. KWBU’s Carlos Morales has more on the program.

A bi-partisan group of House members has found a way to change the funding formula for school districts this session.   Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe reports the effort related to property taxes would fully restore the cuts taken from public education in 2011.


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.

Lawmakers Look At Revising Truancy System

Oct 23, 2014

Since 2001, Texas students who fail to attend school have been tried in criminal courts. Some advocates are trying to keep truant students and their parents out of court.

Jill Ament

Four years ago Waco ISD piloted a program to try and reduce the number of referrals and suspensions of students. It’s called suspending kids to school. The district says this effort has helped keep kids in class and out of the court system—and it’s helped some schools change the entire way they look at discipline. KWBU’s Jill Ament has this report on University High’s student court, where students have a say in the disciplinary process.

Starting last year, students ages 10 to 17 to couldn’t be issued Class C misdemeanors in Texas public schools. It’s kept kids out of the court system, but critics say it’s also taken disciplinary tools out of the hands of school administrators.

Jill Ament

A new district wide program at Waco ISD is utilizing behavioral specialists on campuses struggling with student behavior and discipline referrals. Overall -- district leaders are hoping this more ‘individualized’ approach will help boost STAAR scores at lower performing schools.