Five stories that have North Texas talking: TEA takes DFW schools to task, incarcerated teens find a future in food, fourth flu death confirmed in Dallas county and more.
The Texas Education Agency released this year’s annual list of the "unacceptable" schools in the state, and of 456 schools on the list, 68 are in North Texas. By my stats-savvy boss Rick Holter’s count, that means one of every seven “unacceptable” schools in Texas is in the DFW region.
DISD has 35 schools on this list. Since Fort Worth is significantly smaller than DISD, it’s alarming that that district carries 23 of the schools in question. The Dallas Morning News has the full story and a breakdown of the list. Here’s a map the paper compiled of schools in DISD, for ease of neighborhood browsing.
- When kids go to jail, the cycle of poverty and family problems can stack up so high, there’s no way to see the future. Chad Houser won’t accept that as an excuse to not work at “saving the ones who want to be saved.” He co-founded Dallas Youth Village’s Café Momentum, which puts incarcerated teens in chef’s coats and teaches them to prepare and serve food at $100 a plate. KERA contributor Jacqueline Fellows talked to Houser and the kids in the kitchen and on the floor in a piece on the program. In a video (public criers, you’ve been warned), one especially inspiring participant talks about how Café Momentum has given him the confidence to be a good dad when he gets out of jail.
- The third and fourth flu-related deaths have been confirmed by Dallas County. Both were six-year-old children. NPR’s Audie Cornish talks to the CDC about how to fend off the disease after this season’s early start.
- Could you put a price on your pet’s life? The Texas Supreme Court is trying to do that – kinda. Avery, a dog belonging to Fort Worth couple Jeremy and Kathryn Medlen, was accidentally euthanized three years ago and the Medlens are suing for damages. The state’s highest court has taken the case. [AP via Huffington Post, HT Unfair Park]
- Our intrepid reporter BJ Austin spotted a strange new sculpture garden in downtown Dallas. She thought it might have been pieces from the cartouche dismantled a few months ago. Turns out the bits are from downtown buildings long-gone and have been at Main Street Garden since it opened. But they were obscured by shrubbery until last week when landscape crews cleared out some of the greenery and revealed a crop of architecture artifacts. This has inspired a photo series we'll launch next week featuring something you couldn't have seen in North Texas the week prior.