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.

Ways to Connect

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Sir Ken Robinson, who boasts the most-watched TED Talk of all time, was in Dallas on Thursday for an education conference called “Changing the Odds.” Robinson argues that the current education system has some outdated assumptions about intelligence and creativity.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Dallas faced an unprecedented public health scare in the fall of 2014 when a Liberian national was diagnosed with the Ebola virus. KERA is exploring lessons learned – and taking a deeper look at what happened last year – in a new series called Surviving Ebola. The special program will air this afternoon at 2 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Twenty-five percent of teens will struggle with an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. And about 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they become an adult. North Texas students and a teacher talk about the factors that fuel these symptoms and what they’re doing about it.

Dora Rivas made national headlines for her efforts to transform the school lunch menu. Under her watch as executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services in Dallas ISD, students were given healthier food options.

Alberto G. / Flickr

Last week, The College Board released the latest batch of SAT scores for high school students – and they’re down nationwide. They’re even worse in Texas. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

When it comes to Texas rivalries, few match Dallas versus Houston. And that extends to the school systems. 

Fort Worth ISD

Fort Worth recently tapped Kent Paredes Scribner – who comes from Phoenix – to lead the district after a 21-day waiting period. He spent Monday, the first day of school, meeting with students and teachers. And last week, he sat down with KERA.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Monday is the first day of school for North Texas students. Getting them there will be up the thousands of bus drivers who are on the road practicing their routes. We tagged along for the ride with one longtime driver in the Fort Worth Independent School District.

Across North Texas, teachers and staff are gearing up for the return to school. In Dallas, the district held its annual back-to-school rally, or convocation, on Wednesday. There was music, dancing and a pep talk from Interim Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.

Eric Lewis / flickr.com

Some immigrants have what’s known as the matricula consular, a form of identification issued in their native country. The state, however, doesn’t accept the card. Neither does Dallas County, and that has immigrant advocates worried about how the policy will affect children who need a birth certificate to enroll in school.

Eric Lewis / flickr.com

Some immigrants have what’s known as the matricula consular, a form of identification issued in their native country. The state, however, doesn’t accept the card. Neither does Dallas County, and that has immigrant advocates worried about how the policy will affect children who need a birth certificate to enroll in school.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Over the past few weeks, KERA's American Graduate project has explored why it’s so tough to lead a large urban school district. Both Dallas and Fort Worth are looking for superintendents. This week, we look at how changes in urban districts have made the job even harder.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

At the Pike Park summer camp in Dallas, kids do the usual summer camp stuff -- play games, dance, draw and eat. What makes this camp different? The kids are also learning about where they're going to camp -- the once-thriving uptown neighborhood known as Little Mexico.

Dixon School of the Arts / flickr.com

More than 230,000 students attend charter schools in Texas. And, on average, those students show less progress in reading and math than their peers in traditional public schools. That’s according to a new study out of Stanford University. But the report also shows some bright spots for charter schools since the last Texas study in 2009.

Fort Worth ISD

Dallas is searching for a new school superintendent. So is Fort Worth. They join districts coast to coast that are also looking for new leaders. Over the next few Tuesdays, KERA will explore why it's so tough for a big-city superintendent to survive, let alone thrive. We kick off the series with a conversation with Patricia Linares, the Fort Worth Independent School District's interim superintendent.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The mayors of Dallas, Fort Worth and three other North Texas cities got together on Thursday with a single purpose – to tackle what’s known as the “skills gap.” A booming economy is producing jobs, but the mayors say too few people are coming out of school with the skills to do those jobs.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Hood County Commissioners said today that two LGBT-themed library books for kids will stay on the shelves.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Deep on the agenda for today’s Hood County Commissioners meeting is a topic that’s spurred national debate: same-sex marriage and LGBT-themed library books for kids.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

In Texas, the debate over same-sex marriage has spilled out of county courthouses and into public libraries across Dallas-Fort Worth.

Andrea Parrish-Geyer / flickr.com

The Supreme Court may have legalized same-sex marriage on Friday, but for some gay and lesbian couples in Texas, getting a marriage license isn’t so simple.

Stella Chavez / KERA News

In Dallas County, the first same-sex marriage license was issued to Jack Evans and George Harris, who have been together for more than 50 years.

Nicole LeBlanc / KERA News

In a case with Dallas ties, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a key enforcement tool used by the Obama administration and civil rights groups to fight housing bias.

Dallas ISD livestream / YouTube

Mike Miles, who pushed for controversial reforms in the Dallas Independent School District, announced Tuesday morning that he’s resigning as superintendent. 

Ron T. Ennis / Star-Telegram archives

The shooting deaths of nine people during a prayer service at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday night reawakened memories of a similar event for a Fort Worth congregation in 1999.

Stella Chavez / KERA News

Judge Clay Jenkins is live tweeting his assessment of the recent storm and flood damage throughout the day in various towns of Dallas County.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Hundreds of people showed up last night in McKinney to protest the police. The mostly peaceful demonstration comes after a viral video taken at a pool party.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Over the next few days, thousands of young Texans will receive their diplomas. Some of those students squeaked by thanks to a new state law. High schoolers no longer have to pass all five end-of-course exams to graduate. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Allen High School’s $60 million stadium closed last year due to cracking concrete. The school district announced today the stadium will reopen this week in time for graduation Friday.

Andy Canales / Commit!

Only about one in three third graders are reading at grade level in Dallas County schools. And that can have big implications down the road since only one in five kids who read below grade level go on to college. A new kind of virtual tutoring aims to tackle that problem even earlier. And the volunteer tutors don’t even have to leave the office.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Tuesdays are when KERA’s American Graduate project charts the journey from childhood to graduation. Today, we chart a different sort of journey – the one Dinesh Mali made from childhood in India to his spot as the first Indian-American elected to the Irving school board.

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