Following State of the Union, the Price of Higher Ed in Austin

During the State of the Union Tuesday evening, President Obama focused part of his address on the price of higher education. This weekend during PBS NewsHour, we take a closer look at his proposals.

“By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education. Two in three. And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not smart for our future,” President Obama said.

In our Saturday story, we speak with Dr. David Laude, Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment and Graduation Management at the University of Texas. Dr. Laude is tasked with increasing UT’s 4 year graduation rate to 70%. To reach that goal, the school is focusing on low-income students.

“There was an article that had a pretty blunt headline that said ‘rich kids graduate, poor kids often do not.’ If you take a look at whether or not a student’s going to graduate, the most important indicator if they will struggle is if they come from an under-resourced background,” Laude said. “They don’t really have the money to be able to hang in there and to graduate in 5 years or 6 years. Yes, it’s possible, some of them will do it, but every time they do it they’re taking out more loans. Every time they’re doing it, they’re running up more debt.”

We also spoke to Jeff Webster, Assistant VP for Research and Analytical Services at TG. TG is a nonprofit corporation which “offers resources to help students and families plan and prepare for college, learn the basics of money management, and repay their federal student loans.”

You can see our Saturday story in the video above.

On Sunday, our story looks at President Obama’s other higher education proposal: free community college. Webster told us about a TG study that found graduates with a four-year degree, if they started at a community college, “tend to have no less debt than someone who started at a four year school, and sometimes they have even more debt.”

We spoke with Neil Vickers, Austin Community College’s VP of Finance & Budget, about that survey and about President Obama’s proposal.

“We’re very interested in affordability for our students. It’s actually in our mission, to provide affordable higher education,” Vickers said. “When you just focus on tuition, to what extent does that really get to the root of the problem? I think part of the conversation is that a community college student can take out a similar sized loan as though they were at the university. I think there needs to be other discussions about loan programs and maybe this will serve as a good catalyst for those.”

The Texas Association of Community Colleges released this statement in response to President Obama’s plan for free community college:

“TACC has not yet voted to take a position, but, as a whole, the community college presidents in Texas appreciate that President Obama has recognized the importance of community colleges and the importance he has put on providing students with pathways to the workforce and to continue their education.”

You can see that story in the video below.

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour weekend, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 6:30. Both of these stories are part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative, which is aimed at increasing awareness around the dropout crisis in Central Texas. Do you have an American Graduate story idea? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at CivicSummit@klru.org, post a comment, or tweet at us using #amgradtx. 

Odd Squad Saves the World

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The Boys & Girls Club at HACA’s Flores Education & Training Center enjoyed an afternoon watching the ODD SQUAD “Saves The World” premier before it’s national debut on Monday, January 19th.

Clifford the Big Red Dog stopped by to kick off a fun math puzzle activity before the special. Kids were hard at work trying to be the first to figure out the puzzle before the premier.  Seventy Kindergartners through 5th graders enjoyed the special and left with a bookmark and a fun pocket-sized math riddle handout.

Highlights Jan. 25-31

KLRU Highlights

Almost half-way through the baking competition, the remaining bakers face pies and tarts on Great British Baking Show at 7 pm Sunday.

As Edith’s access to Marigold slips away, news about Gregson arrives on Downton Abbey season 5 episode 4 on Masterpiece Theater at 8 pm Sunday.

Sidney’s former flame throws an engagement party that leads to murder on part 2 of Grantchester on Masterpiece Mystery! at 9 pm Sunday.

Find out what the appraisers found when they visited Austin last summer. Antiques Roadshow Austin hour one airs Monday at 7 pm and Tuesday at 10 pm.

Join New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristoff, Ashley Judd, Blake Lively and Malin Ackerman as they meet activists fighting sex trafficking in the U.S. on part one of A Path Appears at 9 pm Monday.

At Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories on Genealogy Roadshow at 7 pm Tuesday.

Edison: American Experience at 8 pm Tuesday profiles the holder of 1,093 patents whose name was nearly synonymous with invention.

Nature at 7 pm Wednesday takes viewers to the Antarctic Peninsula where there’s a post office surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery and 3,000 gentoo penguins.

Nova at 8 pm Wednesday investigates the cause of giant sinkholes with compelling eyewitness video of collapsing sinkholes.

Secrets of the Dead Ben Franklin’s Bones at 9 pm Wednesday looks at the founding father’s illegal anatomy school that helped shaped modern medicine.

Great American singer/songwriters Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis return to the Austin City Limits at 10 pm Wednesday and 10 pm Friday.

William Gibson, acclaimed science fiction novelist, essayist, and screenwriter, talks about his writing career on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm Thursday.

Arts In Context at 7:30 pm Thursday profiles the Rude Mechs, a group that creates original productions that represent a genre-defying cocktail of big ideas, cheap laughs, and dizzying spectacle.

Chet goes to Orange and Port Lavaca on back-to-back episodes of The Daytripper at 8 pm Thursday.

Hugh Bonneville looks into the story behind A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Shakespeare Uncovered at 8 pm Friday. Christopher Plummer explores how King Lear might have been staged during Shakespeare’s time at 9 pm Friday.

Fend off disaster with Trisha Shirey’s top tips from her book, Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southwest on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday. On tour, Farmshare Austin accelerates its organic mission through on-site training for aspiring young farmers.

The best contemporary rock hits with the Black Keys and J. Roddy Walston & The Business on Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday.

 

 

Science Night Jan. 28

Science Night for Jan. 28th goes to a penguin nesting ground, looks at why sink holes occur and examines what bones found in Ben Franklin’s home actually mean.

Nature Penguin Post Office at 7 pm
In the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula there’s a post office surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery and 3,000 gentoo penguins. Every summer, as staff put stamps on postcards, the penguins return from their fishing grounds to their breeding grounds, trek nearly two miles across sea ice and snow, rush to find a partner, build a nest, lay eggs and protect them from predators, and finally get down to the task of raising their young. We see their four-month drama unfold as cruise ships come and go, bringing tourists to buy postcards and photograph penguins — the backdrop to the penguins’ lives.

NOVA Sink Holes at 8 pm
In Tampa, Florida, in February 2013, a giant hole in the ground opened up and swallowed half a house, killing 36 year-old Jeffrey Bush as he slept in his bedroom. A month later, a golfer in Illinois survived an 18-foot fall when the 14th hole caved in beneath his feet. Both were victims of sinkholes-a notorious worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone bedrock is found. Filled with compelling eyewitness video of collapsing sinkholes and authoritative science from expert geologists, NOVA investigates what it’s like to have your world vanish beneath your feet.

Secrets of the Dead Ben Franklin’s Bones at 9 pm
When skeletal remains of at least 10 people, including several infants, turned up in the basement of Benjamin Franklin’s British residence, people wondered if the Founding Father might have had a much darker side, as the bones had been meticulously cut and drilled. Franklin was aware of the bodies in his basement, but they weren’t the victims of violent acts. Rather, they were used for the purposes of an illegal anatomy school that helped shaped modern medicine.

 

2015 PBS KIDS Writers Contest

KLRU announces the PBS KIDS Writers Contest! Designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on and active learning, the contest encourages children in grades K-3 to submit their own original illustrated stories.

How the Contest Works
Children in Central Texas can submit their entries to the PBS KIDS Writers Contest either by mailing their entries to KLRU or emailing their stories to writerscontest@klru.org.  All entries will be posted to klru.org/writerscontestEntries must be postmarked or emailed by March 31, 2015.

PBS KIDS Writers Contest Honorary Judges
A panel of Austin ISD librarians, Austin Public Youth Librarians, local authors, publishers, poets and bloggers will convene in April to judge the KLRU entries. Local winners will be acknowledged by a celebration in May 2015. The 1st place local winners from each grade level will then be entered into the national contest where a panel of esteemed judges will rank the top 12 entries!  National winners will be announced during the summer of 2015.

Teacher Can Win Too!
Teachers can enter their classroom to win one of two (2) special Arthur® prize packages including a library of Arthur books, courtesy of Little, Brown Books for Young Children, and a special appearance from PBS KIDS’ own Arthur.   There will be two random drawings.  All you need to do is fill out the 2015 Contest Classroom Entry Form-KLRU when you submit your students’ story to KLRU.  Deadline is March 31, 2015.

To enter the Contest and for more information on entry rules and contest resources visit: http://www.klru.org/writerscontest.

Q Night at the Movies 1/24

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

Q Night at the Movies presents a conversation with filmmakers and a musical for Jan. 24th’s presentation.

On Story presents part 1 and part 2 of  A Conversation with Jonathan Demme & Paul Thomas Anderson at 7 and 7:30 pm
Filmmaking legends Paul Thomas Anderson and Jonathan Demme pay tribute to Robert Downey Sr.’s cult classic Greaser’s Palace. Next, Andrew Napier’s short film, Grandma’s Not a Toaster, where a whiskey-guzzling mother-to-be aims to enlist her neurotic brother in attempt to thieve from their ailing grandmother’s fortune.

Great Performances Oklahoma! at 8 pm
Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2013, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s landmark musical “Oklahoma!” returns to Great Performances for a special commemorative encore telecast. This acclaimed production from London’s National Theatre, directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, set box office records during its original runs in the West End and then later on Broadway, with critics and audiences alike captivated by its fresh new take on a venerable classic. The original London production also featured a sensational, star-making performance by Hugh Jackman as Curly before his ascent to international movie stardom in the X Men film franchise. Also featured are original cast members Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey, Maureen Lipman (The Pianist) as Aunt Eller, and 2002 Best Supporting Actor Tony-winner Shuler Hensley as the menacing Jud Fry.

 

Community Cinema: American Denial 2/3

Join KLRU and the Austin Public Library for a screening and discussion of American Denial on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, at Windsor Park Branch Library (5833 Westminster Dr.). The free event is open to the public and takes place from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Using the story of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard, American Denial explores the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality, and justice still impact notions of race and class today.

Community Cinema is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring screenings of films from Independent Lens on location in 100 cities and online. Between September and June, Community Cinema brings together leading organizations, community members and public television stations to learn, discuss and get involved in today’s critical social issues.

KLRU Celebrates Black History Month 2015

KLRU celebrates black history month

KLRU broadcasts programming created by and about people from all cultures year-round, from public affairs to history to independent film to kids programming. In celebration of Black History Month, KLRU will broadcast a lineup of programs and host events honoring and exploring African American culture.

The following events will take place during February:

Community Cinema American Denial screening Feb. 3 at 7 pm at the Windsor Park Branch Library. More details

Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories screening Feb. 8, 5-7pm at Google Fiber Space 201 Colorado Street, Austin, TX 78701

Blackademics tapings on Feb. 10 & 11. Details to come

 

Programs airing this month on KLRU:

Shakespeare Uncovered Othello with David Harewood
Friday, February 6 at 9 pm.
In 1997, David Harewood was the first black actor to play Othello on stage at the National Theatre in London. In this episode, he unravels the complex issues of prejudice and jealousy that are threaded throughout the play, as well as returning to the National to meet the most recent actor to take on the role at the theatre, Adrian Lester. Interviews include Simon Russell Beale, Ian McKellen, Julia Stiles and Patrick Stewart.

Antiques Roadshow Celebrating Black Americana
Monday, February 9 at 8 pm.
Highlights include Martin Luther King, Jr. ephemera from 1966; a Madam C.J. Walker beauty book, written by the first female American millionaire; and a trip with host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Leila Dunbar to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

Independent Lens Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
Monday, February 16 at 9 pm
This is the story of the pioneering African-American photographers – men and women, celebrated and anonymous – who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations, from slavery to the present. By Thomas Allen Harris.

Mr. Civil Rights:  Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP
Monday, February 16 at 10:30 pm.
This documentary incorporates rare archival film and extraordinary interviews to explore Marshall’s life in the years leading up to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling. This compelling biography unfolds through interviews with Justice Elena Kagan, Justice John Paul Stevens, lawyer and civil-rights activist Vernon Jordan, Marshall biographers Rawn James, Juan Williams and Larry S. Gibson, and several law professors.

American Masters August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
Friday, February 20 at 8 pm
From his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway, this program captures the legacy of the man some call America’s Shakespeare. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Charles Dutton and others share their stories of the career and experience of bringing Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage.

Austin Revealed
Friday, February 20 at 9:30 pm and Tuesday, February 24 at 10 pm
This documentary presents interviews with prominent Austin citizens about their experience during Austin’s civil rights period, the effect of segregation and what gentrification has meant to the city.

Independent Lens American Denial
Monday, February 23 at 9 pm
“American Denial” uses the story of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard to explore the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality and justice still affect notions of race and class today.

The Rule
Monday, February 23 at 10 pm.
This documentary tells a rare story of success. In Newark, New Jersey,where the average high school graduation rate is abysmal, St. Benedict’s Prep is the exception – with a near 100 percent college acceptance rate. Filmmakers Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno profile the school and the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey to see how they achieve success among a vulnerable population of inner-city African-American and Latino teenage boys.

In Context Presents: Spoken 4 All
Tuesday, February 24 at 10:30 pm
Austin’s spoken word performers take center stage as part of KLRU’s focus on the arts. Also known as “slam poetry,” spoken word is an oral performance of extemporaneous or composed pieces of free poetry. Austin has a number of venues that present spoken word, this program highlights the ranging styles of poets at an all-age program hosted monthly at Mitchie’s Gallery. This event features several artists who were involved with the Austin Neo Soul Team that placed in the 2010 National Poetry Slam.

2015 Big Deal Winner Selected

FEATURED_BigDealOur 3rd Annual Big Deal raffle has come to an end and we want to all congratulate this year’s winner Jason Allgood of Austin, Texas on his year filled with the best of Austin music and events.

We’ll check in throughout the year with Jason with pictures and stories from his fun-filled year.

We want to thank everyone who purchased raffle tickets for KLRU’s 2015 Big Deal. You helped to raise over $23,000. 100% of the proceeds from the Big Deal raffle purchases go directly to KLRU and support local public broadcasting and production of local content.

Thank you all so much for your generosity, and we hope you’ll participate in the raffle next holiday season.