Deep In The Stats – And The Classrooms – Of Public Schools

Mar 5, 2013

Five stories North Texas is talking about: Know the numbers and stories of the public schools in Dallas and beyond;  KERA's impending SXSW takeover, the Metroplex's creative class and more.

These are just the overview results for one school -- Dallas' Peak Academy, whose success on small means interested KERA's Bill Zeeble.
These are just the overview results for one school -- Dallas' Peak Academy, whose success on small means interested KERA's Bill Zeeble.
Credit Texas Tribune

Point for the Texas Tribune. Seriously. The site debuts Public Schools Explorer, a brightly coded, user-friendly interactive data miner that gives a comprehensive look at how our state’s schools (and neighborhoods, via demographics) are doing.

You can compare the average teacher experience, SAT score, attendance rate, and graduation rate – among other stats – of each school. Search by district or let the widget sense your location and see schools near you, which is what we did, and found Peak Academy. Overview results screen-grabbed at right.

  • Appropriately, it’s Dallas Public Schools Week, and we’re pitching in with two events: reporter Bill Zeeble’s on a panel at the Latino Cultural Center at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss media and education. Think host Krys Boyd will moderate a group of student panelists here at KERA on Thursday at 7 p.m. And today,  a related Think show looks at the big-picture state of public schools. Ron Berler spent time inside an actual failing school to see firsthand what troubling stats mean in real time. Berler talks about the kids and experiences that produced his book Raising the Curve: A Year Inside One of America's 45,000 Failing Public Schools today on Think with Krys Boyd at 1 p.m. Listen on 90.1 KERA or stream the show live.
  • It’s time again for outlets everywhere to announce their interactive coverage of South By Southwest Interactive via various interactive channels. The festival begins Friday, and KERA will be engaged on all platforms for that first section, plus music and film this year. The coolest part of that is Art&Seek, KXT 91.7, and KERA News coverage will live in one place: our SXSW 2013 page. The mega-team headed to Austin includes reporters Stephen Becker and Lauren Silverman; video editor/producer Dane Walters and his photographer cronies Stanton Stephens and Lacey Dowden; and KXT 91.7’s Mark Abbuzahab. They’re taking over KXT’s Instagram account (kxtradio) and Tweeting from the ground. Find all their handles here.  
  • Richard Florida and Atlantic Cities are finding the class divides of major cities, meaning the creative class, the service class, and the working class. In DFW’s turn, Florida and contributor Michael Seman map a “pronounced divide,” with concentration of creatives developing south of Dallas’ downtown core (hey, Oak Cliff – that means Trinity Groves’ site too) and at Fort Worth’s Near Southside. Predictably, Denton also holds status as an “island of rebirth.” But Plano also retains a cluster of creatives.
  • According to census data, Dallas County has the largest number of commuters in the state: 507,397. Also, DFW-Arlington claims the lion’s share of mega-commuters who drive 90 minutes or more to reach Dallas County’s famously byzantine highway system. [AP via Star-Telegram]