Education Stories

Held Back Documentary

Held Back is a 30 minute radio documentary that looks at the achievement gap in Austin. In Austin ISD, that achievement gap is stark between low income students, mainly black and Latino, and their white, affluent peers. In 2018, only a third of black students and half of Latino students passed state reading exams. Leaders in the school district and the school board have publicly discussed how to improve these numbers.

The documentary and accompanying web story looks at how students are struggling, and the controversy over tactics to try and fix this problem.

To Better Market Its Schools, Austin ISD Turns To Realtors

Austin ISD is losing student enrollment every year. One tactic to try and combat this is getting realtors educated on all of the schools in the district. KUT’s Claire McInerny rode along with a group of realtors as they took a school bus on a tour of an elementary, middle and high school.

Coming Out As Transgender Strengthened This Teacher's Commitment To His Students

When he graduated from college more than a decade ago, Mario Suarez knew two things for sure: He was going to be a teacher and he was going to transition from female to male.

This story aired as part of an NPR series on LGBTQ teachers.

Will New Diploma Types Leave Behind Special Ed Students? 

When Indiana wanted to raise standards on graduation requirements, many worried special education students would struggle to meet new standards. (A version of this story appeared on NPR's Ed blog.)

Non- Education Stories

What’s The Real Story Behind Dan’s And Fran’s Hamburgers?

As part of KUT’s ATXplained project, Claire looked into the rumors around the history of two iconic Austin restaurants. She found a story of love, allegiance and hamburgers.

A 'True' Friend, Draylen Mason Remembered For 'Radiating Positivity'

In 2018, a domestic terrorist set off three package bombs in Austin, TX. One killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason. This obituary ran on KUT and a version also ran on NPR.

Now You See It, Now You Don't: Branded Pop-Ups Transform Austin Venues During SXSW

South By Southwest, the annual festival that takes place in Austin, transforms the city in many ways. One of the more visual differences is normal bars and restaurants being turned into branded pop-ups overnight. KUT’s Claire McInerny explores the logistics of this transformation.