KLRU Fun Fact, win a piece of music and political history!

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Year-round, KLRU is busy creating special productions to highlight local politics, public issues, and arts and culture. Programs like Civic Summit, a series of town hall programs, panels and candidate debates incorporating a live studio audience.

YOUR COMMUNITY supported PBS station values your interests in support of public television, that’s relevant to you! With YOUR SUPPORT KLRU serves all of Central Texas through thought provoking and engaging stories that enhance YOUR WORLD. Will you consider making an INVESTMENT in KLRU today?

When you give a gift via the form below you are automatically entered into a giveaway for a Peter, Paul and Mary: 50 Years in Music & Life Book with Autographed Bookplate signed by Petter Yarrow and Noel (Paul) Stookey

Follow the trio as it leads America to discover the passionate soul of folk music. Join the struggle for racial equality, social justice and freedom in this memorable photographic journey, from the historic 1963 March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr. to the trio’s appearance before a half million people in 1969 to end the Vietnam War, to their singing at the Hollywood Bowl for “Survival Sunday” in 1978, helping to launch the Anti-Nuke movement, the world’s first international environmental movement.

Through these images, you can feel, and almost hear, the trio’s songs calling for a more caring, better world as you see them performing before hundreds of thousands of people with a courage and conviction that became, for so many, the embodiment and soundtrack of their generation’s awakening to conscience, to activism, and to a new dream for all of humankind.

And donating isn’t the only way to enter this giveaway – stay tuned to KLRU’s social media to share, tweet and post across your social media platforms for entry as well! Be sure to tag @klru and/or use #yourklru.


American Graduate: Eastside Memorial Makes State Accountability for First Time in Over a Decade

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Austin’s embattled Eastside Memorial High School has made state accountability for the first time since 2002. The Texas Education Agency published ratings for all campuses and districts in the state on Friday. Eastside has been under threat of closure since 2013. In order for the school to keep its doors open, administrators, teachers, staff, and students have worked to resuscitate failing test scores and close achievement gaps. The school’s quest was chronicled this spring in An Eastside Education, a digital documentary produced by KLRU.

In June 2013, Education Commissioner Michael Williams said Eastside could stay open, but gave school leaders and the Austin ISD School Board three years to make accountability or be shuttered for a year. They are now partnered with Johns Hopkins Talent Development Secondary, a contracted partner out of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.


At a press conference Austin Independent School District’s Superintendent Paul Cruz shares that all AISD high schools met state accountability. The Texas Education Agency released the accountability results for Texas schools August 7, 2015. This is the first time in over 10 years that Eastside Memorial High School has met state accountability standards.

Austin ISD Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz expressed pride in Eastside’s ability to break through at a press conference Friday.

“The teachers, staff members, the leadership at the school, parents really focused on one thing and that’s student results and they stayed on it,” Dr. Cruz said. “They stayed on it to make sure that all kids would learn.”

He said he spoke with Eastside Principal Bryan Miller once the scores were announced.

“[Principal Miller] was elated,” Dr. Cruz said. “We look at preliminary indicators, we never know until the state puts out accountability results, but he was elated and now that it is here, he’ll be sharing it with his staff members as well.”

Throughout filming of An Eastside Education, teachers, staff, and administrators warned of the dangers in trying to predict a rating before results are announced. All were cautiously optimistic after STAAR test scores were returned in June but stressed the importance of waiting until August when the state makes ratings official.

111 out of AISD’s 124 schools made state accountability this school year, including all of the district’s high schools. That’s up from 109 last year. The state’s current accountability ratings are Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard, Not Rated, or Improvement Required. Eastside Memorial’s official rating before this year was Improvement Required. It is now Met Standard, the highest rating possible.

State accountability for each school in the state is based on four indexes: Student Achievement (or STAAR test scores), student progress from year to year, closing performance gaps between high and low performing students, and Postsecondary Readiness. Eastside has continuously been unable to meet standards on Index 4, Postsecondary Readiness. In previous years, the school met standards on each of the other indexes.

To meet the standard on Index 4, Eastside students needed to not only pass the end of course STAAR exams but also score well enough on the college-readiness scale to be “Level II Recommended.” This year they outperformed the state’s target scores in all of those indexes. The school earned an additional three of seven possible distinctions, including academic achievement in math.

A sticking point for many teachers and students at Eastside has been the so-called “choice policy,” which means that since Eastside has been rated a failing school parents can opt out of sending their child there in favor of a higher rated school. This has led to very low enrollment and, according to many on campus, a brain drain of smart kids leaving Eastside for other area high schools. Dr. Cruz said regardless of the new rating, that policy is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

“I don’t see a change [in the choice policy] for Eastside Memorial High School,” Dr. Cruz said. “We do have a choice policy around the district so I do see that we would continue that with the school. We have choice in all of our schools. It’s a little bit different [at Eastside] with transportation but some of our other schools have that as well. I do think it’s important for parents to choose schools, choose programs, and so that is something that we value as a district.”

The final chapter of An Eastside Education will be released September 1, 2015.

 An Eastside Education is part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public BroadcastingAmerican Graduate is aimed at increasing awareness about factors that lead to dropout in Central Texas.

What’s happening this weekend: Aug. 8-9

Austin Skyline

Stay cool this weekend with these event recommendations!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for the Austin Ice Cream Festival!

With this mid-August heat, the only way you can spend any time outside is if you’re eating or drinking something ice cold. Bring yourself, your friends, your family and even your dog to the 9th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival on Saturday. There’s even a homemade ice cream making contest and a popsicle stick sculpture contest! Even better, the festival benefits charities like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Austin Children’s Shelter. In case you feel like making your own ice cream before venturing over to Fiesta Gardens, check out PBS Food’s recipe for homemade soft-serve!


Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission: $10 ticket includes ice cream! Details here.

Go to a carnival! Kind of…

If you’re a bibliophile like us, this is right up your alley. Join BookPeople on Saturday for their Carnival of Books as they celebrate all things books and reading with raucous merriment, bookish carnival games, giveaways, readings of kids’ stories, free books and, of course, CAKE! Test your literary strength with trivia and old fashioned book-balancing, win prizes at Book Pong, visit a fortune teller for predictions of this year’s big fall books, and much more! They’ll also reveal their full fall author event line-up and toast the coming season with champagne.

Before you go…get in the bookish spirit with the best thing to happen on Netflix since House of Cards: volume one of Reading Rainbow is now streaming! We’re not saying to stay inside Friday night and binge-watch all of them…okay, yeah we are.


Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here.

Grab the kids and cool off with Junie B. Jones

Everyone’s favorite ridiculous childhood book character is coming to life for free for 15 days this month! The Austin Summer Musical presents Junie B. Jones The Musical, based on the famous books by Barbara Park, at the Boyd Vance Theater inside the George Washington Carver Museum. The show is recommended for children between the ages of 3 and 10.


What better way to get in the spirit than by getting together with your kids and reading (or rereading) some Junie B.? PBS Parents recognizes the books as good reading material for your kids – Junie B. is fun, spunky and hilarious. All the books are clever and cute, but some of our favorites are Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook, Junie B. Jones Is A Beauty Shop Guy, and Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy. Click here for a full list of the books!

Showtimes: Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (The play runs weekends through August 23.) Admission: Free. Details here.  

Brave the heat for the flea market

The Summertime Austin Flea will not disappoint if you’re looking to take a look inside Austin’s creative culture and even purchase items from local artists and vendors. The Austin Flea has been featuring local, handmade, and vintage vendors in Austin since 2009, and even lived in a few iterations a few years before that. This year it’s taking place at The Highball, right next to the newly renovated Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.

Before you go, you have to check out this episode of In Context, “Design Build Ballet.” Among other artists, sculptor Paul Reimert creates life-sized, classic figure studies out of flea market kitsch.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission: Free. Details here and on Facebook.

Race a duck 

Okay, not a real duck. Benefitting The Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area, the Austin Duck Derby features 10,000 rubber ducks dropped into Lady Bird Lake from the Ann Richards Bridge on Congress Avenue. Ducks will race to the finish line, and winners will receive prizes. During the race, enjoy kids’ activities, music, food and fun at the mini festival on the grounds of the Austin American-Statesman parking lot. You can rent a duck for $5 at duckrace.com/austin. 

Before you go, check out what The Boys and Girls Club of the Austin Area does for low-income children during the summer months to combat “summer brain drain” in this KLRU American Graduate News Brief.

Hours: Race starts at 11 a.m. Admission: $5 to rent a duck, all other activities are free. Details here.

Attend a Central Texas Gardener TAPING on 09/17

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Did you know that KLRU’s very own Central Texas Gardener, CTG for short, is a huge resource for the green thumbed here in our area?

The CTG team is always here to help! See how to tackle the techniques, pick drought-tough plants for wildlife, fill up your kitchen with fresh food, and enrich your soul with artistic designs and homegrown philosophy from hands-on gardeners. Get growing, right here, right now, for the future! On-air and online.

From your home to your backyard Central Texas Gardener relies on YOUR SUPPORT to help with the annual production cost of $115,344. Would you consider giving a gift today?

Give a gift via the form below and you will be entered in the giveaway to attend a taping on Thursday, September 17th and have lunch with the CTG team! And donating isn’t the only way to enter this giveaway – stay tuned to KLRU’s social media to share, tweet and post across your social media platforms for entry as well! Be sure to tag @klru and/or use #yourklru.

Q Night at the Movies 8/8

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This week’s Q Night at the Movies is a night filled with cinematic passion. After an episode of On Story featuring the iconic works of Jonathan Demme, the Corinth Films Collection brings you the suspenseful, romantic classic, Charade. Then, Variety Studio: Actors on Actors takes you into conversations between some of the most influential actors in Hollywood, and the night concludes with Frank Sinatra: The Voice of Our Time.

On Story A Conversation With Jonathan Demme & Paul Thomas Anderson Part 2 at 7:30 pm
In this second installation featuring Paul Thomas Anderson and Jonathan Demme, the duo look back on the vision, style, influences and creative passion for Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs, Stop Making Sense, Rachel Getting Married and Something Wild.

Corinth Films Collection Charade at 8 pm
Romance and suspense fill Paris as a woman (Audrey Hepburn) is pursued by several men (including Cary Grant) who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Who can she trust?

Variety Studio: Actors on Actors Episode #201 at 9:55 pm
Exclusive conversations between some of the most exciting actors working today. Featuring Julia Louis Dreyfus (Veep) with Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Queen Latifah (Bessie) with Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), with Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), Liev Schrieber (Ray Donovan) with Maggie Gyllenhaal (An Honorable Woman), Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) with Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul).

Frank Sinatra: The Voice of Our Time at 10:55 pm
Hosted by singer Mel Torme, this film chronicles the career of the legendary singer, focusing on his rise to fame in the music world, his acting career and his involvement in politics and fundraising.

KLRU-Q is broadcast channel 18.3. It is also available to digital cable subscribers of Grande on 284 and Time Warner on 20.

Highlights August 9 to August 15

KLRU Highlights

Enter the world of Edwardian manners with Alastair Bruce, historical advisor to “Downton Abbey” on Manners of Downton Abbey: A Masterpiece Special at 7 pm on Sunday. Bruce and the series’ leading cast members explain how they re-create the authentic etiquette of aristocrats and servants.

Downton Abbey Rediscovered at 8:30 pm and 10 pm on Sunday and 8:30 pm on the following Saturday will combine clips, interview bites, and behind-the scenes footage, and will be hosted by a well-known actor to provide a seamless flow of fondly remembered moments from the show.

On PBS Previews – Best of the Fall on Sunday at 11:30 pm, Tuesday at 10:30 pm and Thursday at 10:30 pm, get a look at PBS’ fall 2015 programs, including Walt Disney: American Experience, Indian Summers on Masterpiece, Gorongosa Park, American Epic, Earth’s Natural Wonders, NOVA, Nature, I’ll Have What Phil’s Having and PBS Arts Fall Festival.

Pyanki is a nine-year-old monk living in Laya, a Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas. The nearest road is a three-day walk distant, and Pyanki has never left his village. In 2012, however, Laya will be connected to electricity, and the first television will flicker on before Pyanki’s eyes. Learn how these images shape a child so isolated from commerce, materialism and celebrity on Independent Lens Happiness at 8:05 pm on Monday.

SongwritingWith:Soldiers offers intensely immersive retreats to military veterans and active duty soldiers where they write songs about their experiences with the help of professional songwriters on Arts in Context In Their Words at 9:10 pm on Monday.

Hitmakers at 10 pm on Monday is an up-close look at the music industry’s resilience in the digital age, from the perspective of groundbreaking artists, music label mavericks and game-changing managers. These crucial players have shaped the music business over the past 100 years, changing pop culture in the process.

On Ken Burns: The Civil War at 7 pm on Tuesday, celebrate the 25th anniversary of the landmark series in September 2015 with this in-depth overview of the iconic documentary. See video clips and interviews with Ken Burns, Geoffrey Ward, Ric Burns, Buddy Squires and others.

During the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, North Vietnamese forces closed in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance crumbled. On Last Days in Vietnam: American Experience at 8:30 pm on Tuesday, with the clock ticking and the city under fire, an unlikely group of heroes took matters into their own hands.

The animals of the world may increasingly need our help with big issues like preserving habitat or species conservation. But sometimes individual animals need our help as well. On Nature My Bionic Pet at 7 pm on Wednesday, left disabled without fins, flippers, beaks or tails because of disease, accidents or even human cruelty, these unfortunate creatures need what amounts to a miracle if they are to survive.

Follow the historic rescue of Hubble—the space telescope that unveiled the cosmos on NOVA Invisible Universe Revealed at 8:05 pm on Wednesday.

Only in the last 200 years have humans learned how to make things cold. On How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson Cold at 9:30 pm on Wednesday, Johnson explains how ice entrepreneur Frederic Tudor made ice delivery the second biggest export business in the U.S. and visits the place where Clarence Birdseye, the father of the frozen food industry, experienced his eureka moment.

On Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm on Thursday, Evan talks with S. C. Gwynne, best-selling author and journalist, whose most recent book Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson is a finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award. His 2010 book Empire of the Summer Moon was a New York Times best-seller and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Learn how the brisket became a popular centerpiece of Central Texas BBQ on BBQ with Franklin Brisket at 7:40 pm on Thursday. Hear from legends of Texas BBQ and be guided through a step-by-step brisket cook experiment using three different methods.

50 Years with Peter, Paul and Mary at 8:30 pm on Thursday is a documentary that celebrates the impact of the preeminent trio that brought folk music to America’s mass audiences, combining their artistry with their activism and inspiration over the last 50 years. The program will feature powerful, moving, performances by Peter, Paul and Mary starting with the era of the group’s emergence in Greenwich Village through the Civil Rights and anti-war eras.

Join the iconic duo and the more 500,000 fans who came out for this once-in-a-lifetime 1981 benefit concert for the world’s most famous urban park during Simon & Garfunkel: The Concert in Central Park at 8 pm on Friday. The concert features the pairs’ greatest hits, from “Mrs. Robinson” to “Sounds of Silence.”

Soar with the perfect harmony of the charming trio as they pay homage to their home country. The young tenors perform classic Italian favorites and original songs in Il Volo: Live From Pompeii at 9:30 pm on Friday, filmed in the spectacular ancient ruins of Pompeii.

Mingle those structural succulents with floppy and flowering plants in drought defiant companionship on Central Texas Gardener Succulent Companions at noon on Saturday. Then, on tour, a front yard has become the family’s new playground since homeowners swapped grass for food, layers of perennial texture and cozy hangouts.

Texas country reigns on Austin City Limits at 7 pm on Saturday with Kacey Musgraves and Dale Watson. Contemporary songwriter Musgraves sings tunes from her winning LP Same Trailer Different Park, while honky-tonker Watson plays tunes from throughout his career.

Science Night August 12


On this week’s Science Night, Nature takes you inside the lives of disabled animals and shows you what it takes to help them thrive. Then, after NOVA takes you into the stars to explore the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, How We Got to Now leaves you out in the cold. But in a good way.

Nature My Bionic Pet at 7 pm
Support KLRU & Nature today
The animals of the world may increasingly need our help with big issues like preserving habitat or species conservation. But sometimes individual animals need our help as well. Left disabled without fins, flippers, beaks or tails because of disease, accidents or even human cruelty, these unfortunate creatures need what amounts to a miracle if they are to survive.

NOVA Invisible Universe Revealed at 8:05 pm
Support KLRU and NOVA today
Follow the historic rescue of Hubble—the space telescope that unveiled the cosmos.

How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson Cold at 9:30 pm
Support KLRU & our Science Night programs now
Only in the last 200 years have humans learned how to make things cold. Johnson explains how ice entrepreneur Frederic Tudor made ice delivery the second biggest export business in the U.S. and visits the place where Clarence Birdseye, the father of the frozen food industry, experienced his eureka moment. He also travels to Dubai to see how mastery of cold has led to penguins in the desert. From IVF to food, politics and Hollywood to human migration, the unsung heroes of cold have led the way.

Tricky tides, identical hotel rooms and the upside of sadness: Our picks from PBS Digital Studios

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Our picks this week from PBS Digital Studios are enough to blow anyone’s mind. Everything you thought you knew about the science of tides is probably wrong, every hotel room you’ve ever stepped or slept in is the same place, and feeling sad is actually a good thing, as evidenced by Inside Out. Prepare your brain for this influx of fascinating information — and delve in.

What you’ve always been told about tides is probably not factually accurate | PBS Space Time

Everything your physics teacher taught you was wrong. Okay, probably not everything, but probably what they taught you about tides and gravitational pull weren’t exactly true. The facts were right, probably, but the explanation for how tides actually work is often misunderstood. We know that gravity affects the motion of all objects equally – so why are oceans the only bodies of water with tides? Join Gabe on this week’s episode of PBS Space Time as he sets the record straight on tidal force, gravitational differential and what role the moon actually plays in tides. Why don’t lakes have tides? Watch the episode to find out!

All hotel rooms are actually the same place | PBS IdeaChannel

Stay in hotel rooms often? No, you don’t. They actually stay *around* you. Every hotel room is the same place – a place of transition, a place you visit simply for the purpose of leaving. Who are we to our hotel rooms? When you’re in a hotel room, where are you? And who are you supposed to be? We know. It’s crazy. Check out the theory from PBS IdeaChannel.

The power of sadness in Inside Out | BrainCraft

Do you ever look at someone and wonder, “What is going on inside their head?” Disney Pixar has addressed how our emotions work inside our minds in their latest film, Inside Out. In the film, we spend a lot of time with what we consider negative emotions – but are they really negative? Is there such a thing as negative emotions? It’s often culturally and socially reinforced that there’s something wrong or shameful about being sad, and we value positive thinking. But science shows people who try to suppress these “negative” emotions actually experience more of those emotions. BrainCraft explains.

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YOUR KLRU favorites are back this August fund drive!

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This August we are committed to developing more ways to innovate and excite our viewers! That’s why this fund drive is full of YOUR FAVORITES. This past June #yourklru showed YOUR COMMUNITY that KLRU is leading the way for other PBS stations. We were one of the first stations to take a fundraising drive off the air and put it completely online and we’re one of a handful of stations trying to fundraise around YOUR FAVORITE PBS programs during on-air drives.

And this August, we’re pledging to keep your regularly scheduled primetime shows on every night during our fund drive that starts TODAY. We must raise $220,000 in 17 days and we’re counting on you to do your part to support the shows you rely on each week in order to meet this goal. Best of all, if we raise $220,000 before August 20th, we’ll end our drive 3 days early!

Check the KLRU Blog daily to donate and be entered into our daily giveaway! And donating isn’t the only way to enter these giveaways – stay tuned to KLRU’s social media to share, tweet and post across your social media platforms for entry as well! Be sure to tag @klru and/or use #yourklru.

Will you become a member today?

Oddness Abounds in the Odd Squad Camp!

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KLRU and the Boys & Girls Club (B&GC) located at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) Meadowbrook site enjoyed a week of oddness only available through the Odd Squad Camp.

The B&GC campers, who were between the ages of 5 and 9, enjoyed taking on the mantle of “agent” to help solve five cases where a case was introduced one day at a time.  The agents had to figure out their agent code and wear their official badge while they trained to become “ace” agents. Solving the case as a team and making gadgets to help solve a math problem were the main activities.  Videos, digital adventures and problem solving were also part of this half-day camp but most of all having FUN was a requirement.