Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

Education

Amid Texas Debate Over Teaching About Racism, ‘Refusing to Forget’ Soldiers On

Since 2014, Refusing to Forget, a Texas-based nonprofit, has worked to increase awareness of racial violence aimed at Latino Texans throughout the early 20th century. Their work comes as the state enacts new guidelines aimed at limiting classroom discussion of systemic racism.

Now, with fierce debate raging over how Texas schools teach about racism, Refusing to Forget’s leadership says its mission is more important than ever. In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that critics say bans honest discussions of racism.

“Even though we’re in the midst of a battle to tell the real history to our children, it’s important for me to keep fighting, not for this politically correct fiction, but for the truth. History is both pretty and ugly,” said the co-founder of Refusing to Forget.

After COVID Put Students Behind, Central Texas Schools Are Working to Catch Up

Several studies have shown students, especially those from low-income families, fell behind academically during the pandemic.

Central Texas Christian School Enrollment Surges Amid Curriculum, COVID-19 Concerns

Enrollment at conservative Christian schools in Central Texas is booming. School administrators attribute the increase to parental anxieties surrounding COVID-19 policies, discussion of systemic racism in the classroom and the inclusion of curriculum with sexual content.

No GRE, No Problem: Texas’ Graduate Schools See Increase in Enrollment and Diversity 

More than 36,000 students applied to the graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin in 2020, a 24% increase from 2019. The university’s graduate programs set records for enrollment in 2021 — up 36% from 2020. More Asian American, Black, Hispanic and international students enrolled in graduate school at the university than ever before.

Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Texas State Universities all reported record-breaking enrollment during fall 2021 as well.

Experts credit the increases to waiving the GRE or making such tests optional, along with economic and career changes caused by the  pandemic. 

Apr 20, 2021

Houston Teachers Cope with COVID in the Classroom

In late October, the Texas Education Agency reopened public schools to in-person learning despite the state experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases earlier that month. While deaths have been comparably mild for school-aged children and adolescents, the health and safety of those teaching them is much less certain.  “Every other day, we have a case […]

Apr 07, 2021

A year into COVID-19, UT’s non-white, low income students feel left behind

Yliana Roland, an 18-year-old student University of Texas at Austin student, was raised in Houston in a low-income community of color in which mental health was a taboo topic often swept under the rug. It wasn’t until she first arrived on campus during the pandemic this year that she was formally exposed to mental health […]

Oct 24, 2020

Central Texas School Social Workers and Counselors Face Pandemic-related Challenges

Since the pandemic forced schools to limit in-person classes, social workers and counselors have struggled to maintain relationships with students. In addition to the difficulty of staying in touch with students virtually, social workers have had to navigate what experts call a mental health crisis.

Oct 17, 2020

Parents Navigate Virtual Learning for Kids

As a full-time restaurant manager and mother of three young boys, Carolina Benitez has a lot on her plate already. She works 55 hours each week and spends her two days off, Mondays and Tuesdays, supervising her oldest son, Jeremiah, while he attends school online. “I honestly am concerned that he will fall behind. I’m […]

Oct 17, 2020

UT Greek Life Struggles to Adhere to Pandemic Protocols

On the 2020 season’s first game-day Saturday, things seemed pretty normal for a University of Texas football weekend — pre-pandemic normal. At the Texas Rho fraternity house, dozens of UT students partied together in person. A leaked SnapChat video from inside the event showed attendees singing “The Eyes of Texas,” and standing shoulder to shoulder underneath a balcony packed […]

Jan 15, 2020

Austin Teachers Say They Face High Levels of Work-related Stress

Some Austin teachers say increasing levels of work-related stress make it difficult to effectively do their jobs.

May 14, 2019

Amid National Controversy, Austin For-Profit College Consulting Firm Going Strong

Hundreds students attend Berkeley2 Academy, a for-profit college consulting firm in Austin.

May 05, 2019

UT Dell Medical School’s Unconscious Bias Training Seeks to Improve Awareness in Healthcare

By eliminating bias, educators hope to improve dismal maternal mortality rates among African-American women.

Apr 29, 2019

Journalism Schools Look to Prepare Students to Confront Sexual Harassment

Journalists say schools should prepare students to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.

Feb 25, 2019

Advocates Continue Push to Lessen Importance of Standardized Tests in Texas

The debate over the proper role of standard tests in evaluating student performance returns to the Capitol.

Jan 20, 2019

School Trustee Woody Looks for Ways to Make Del Valle Better

The community of about 17,000 faces some of the most challenging issues in Travis County.

Dec 12, 2018

Austin Schools Increase Focus on Social and Emotional Learning

Austin school district staff say social and emotional learning has helped children develop the skills they need to thrive in and out of school.

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