Stella M. Chávez | KERA News

Stella M. Chávez

Reporter/Blogger

Stella Chávez is KERA’s education reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35. The award-winning entry was  “Yolanda’s Crossing,” a seven-part DMN series she co-wrote that reconstructs the 5,000-mile journey of a young Mexican sexual-abuse victim from a small Oaxacan village to Dallas. For the last two years, she worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was part of the agency’s outreach efforts on the Affordable Care Act and ran the regional office’s social media efforts.

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Amazon

Amazon has narrowed the list of cities under consideration for its second headquarters to 20 — and Dallas is one of them.

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This has been a brutal flu season in North Texas. More than 40 people have died so far, and Tuesday, the Bonham Independent School District announced it was closing for a week because of the flu outbreak.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

More than three million adults in Texas don’t have a high school diploma or the equivalent of one. And the number of adults in Texas taking the General Equivalency Diploma test, or GED, has been dropping for the past decade, according to a new report.

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A battle is brewing in the city of Dallas over school crossing guards. It comes after the Dallas County Schools bus agency said it doesn’t have the money to continue paying for crossing guards past Jan. 31.

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The Texas Education Agency recently announced 20 school systems will be part of a pilot program to develop local accountability systems. That’s now possible because of a law passed during the recent legislative session, which allows school districts to develop their own protocol to evaluate their schools.

IN OUR OWN VOICE: NATIONAL BLACK WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE AGENDA

A new survey shows black adults in Texas and around the country have a lot of concerns about reproductive health. Experts met in Dallas this week to talk about the findings and their implications.

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A memorial service for Ruth Altshuler will be held Thursday at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Altshuler died last week after complications from breaking her hip. She was 93. 

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Students across the country aren’t just learning how to spell or solve math problems. They’re also learning what are known as social and emotional skills, like managing stress and having empathy. In Dallas ISD, teachers are learning how to teach these skills in the classroom.

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Voters chose to dissolve the school bus agency known as Dallas County Schools last month. The bus service will continue through the end of this school year while a committee oversees the dissolution of the agency.

In the meantime, the Dallas Independent School District and other districts that used the service are trying to figure out how they’re going to get kids to school next year.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

A report finds that Texas is among the states that have made the deepest funding cuts to K-12 education over the past decade.

Plano ISD/Facebook

The superintendent of the Plano school district has resigned – and school officials remain tight-lipped about his sudden departure.

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Recent headlines, like the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict travelers from certain countries, have raised questions in education circles about whether U.S. politics are having an impact on foreign student enrollment at American universities. 

Courtesy of Ibrahim Ali

Seventh-grader Zahir Hameed says many students don’t have a problem with him. But there’s one kid who calls him names.

He just calls me 'stupid' and 'idiot,' and he just acts like I’m about to bomb the place,” said Zahir, on a recent Saturday morning at the East Plano Islamic Center.

The Wylie student is one of many Muslim kids here who shared their stories about bullying.

Stella M Chávez / KERA News

Oak Cliff's Bishop Arts District is in the midst of a makeover with new retail and apartments. A few blocks away, a new art gallery – Mercado Artesanal – aims to help the neighborhood keep its cultural identity.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Opponents of Dallas County Schools have won a battle to dismantle the troubled bus service provider. About 58 percent of voters chose to force the agency to wind down operations.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Barry Jacobs has spent the past couple of months collecting complaints from parents at Solar Preparatory School for Girls in Dallas.

Their complaints are about the bus system, Dallas County Schools. It provides transportation for nine North Texas school districts, including the Dallas Independent School District. 

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

It’s a little after 6:30 at night inside Daugherty Elementary in Garland, but classes are in session. Alvaro Méndez stands in front of a group of eager students: They're parents learning English.

Sylvia Komatsu / KERA News

Vivian Castleberry, a North Texas journalism pioneer and peace activist, died Wednesday morning, her family said. She lost a battle with breast cancer at age 95.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Some kids in Fort Worth are getting a little bonus with their haircuts -- a chance to read with their barbers. It's part of a new effort by the city's schools to place books inside barbershops and encourage barbers to dive into them with their pint-sized patrons. 

J.J. Pearce High School Football Facebook page

The Richardson Independent School District has suspended two high school students after they posted racially charged messages on social media.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath was in Dallas this week to talk about how the state’s schools are doing -- and the impact Hurricane Harvey has had on education.

Stella M Chávez / KERA News

Richardson high school students got to rub shoulders with music industry insiders on Wednesday, including Grammy award winners.

The professionals were in North Texas for Career Day, an event organized by the Grammy Museum.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Immigrant evacuees in Houston are already struggling to rebuild their lives after Harvey. Now, some are worried about their future after President Trump’s decision to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Hurricane Harvey has been a tough slog for most Houstonians. For immigrants without papers, the barriers are even more daunting. An undocumented couple whose rental house was trashed by flooding is still waiting for help.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Houston bills itself the most diverse big city in America. A quarter of the population was born outside of the U.S. – and a third of that number is undocumented. Because of federal rules that limit aid to those residents, that presents a huge challenge after a disaster like Hurricane Harvey.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Fateyva Miles has been a mail carrier in the Houston area for three years. She moved there from Michigan.

“I kinda don’t like the flooding, but I love Houston,” she said.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

In Houston, baseball fans welcomed back their team on Saturday. The Astros played a double-header against the New York Mets – the first games at home since Harvey slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Nereyda Rangel sang to her newborn daughter at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi. The building sits only a few blocks from Corpus Christi Bay, which spills into the Texas Gulf Coast.

As Hurricane Harvey brewed in the Gulf, Shaddai Jireh Leija fought for her life. Soon, she and other newborns would need more than just medical care. They would need help getting out of there.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving officials made preparations Monday to house evacuees from Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.   

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

Earlier this summer, KERA reported on a new law that allows certain community colleges in Texas to offer four-year degrees in areas like nursing and early childhood education. Supporters say this will help fill shortages in those fields. But not everyone’s happy about the effort.

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