American Graduate: Education

KERA's ongoing American Graduate initiative charts the journey from childhood to graduation. Scroll down to catch up on the latest education coverage from KERA.

Also, check out our special series, American Graduate: Generation One, about how schools are educating students who are immigrants or the children of immigrants. And, in American Graduate: Homeless In High School, meet some of the 110,000 homeless students who attend Texas public schools. 

Brian Goodman /

The Dallas Independent School District is paying its teachers differently this year. The new system bases pay on merit, not years of service – and student evaluations also play a role. Some teachers love the Teacher Excellence Initiative, while others blast it.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Last week, President Obama’s immigration plan suffered a setback, when a three-judge panel upheld a lower court’s injunction against it. The controversial program would have deferred deportation for more than 4 million undocumented immigrants across the country.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Many African-American youth grow up in poverty and come from single-parent households. And about 60 percent of African-American males drop out of school by the ninth grade. Cedar Valley College, south of Dallas, is trying to change those numbers with a $2.45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Dade Middle School in Dallas ISD has historically faced many problems -- from student discipline issues to high staff turnover. Parents and community leaders are organizing a summit this weekend to try to boost neighborhood involvement and turn Dade into what’s called a “community school.”

JD Hancock / Flickr

On Tuesday, Dallas voters passed the largest school bond package in the district’s history. So what happens next? Here’s a look at what residents can expect.

leisuretime70 / Shutterstock

The Dallas Independent School District has a high percentage of students who are economically disadvantaged and learning English. Given these challenges, district officials were pleased with how some students fared on the recent Nation’s Report Card. Here are some of the highs and lows.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

For children who come from low-income families and have gotten little early childhood education, oral language skills are often slow to develop.

That’s why teachers in Dallas are making an effort to get young students to speak in complete sentences. 


Steve Payne, principal of Allen High School, has retired. District officials made the announcement on Tuesday, but didn’t give many details.

As part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, we dig into the $1.6 billion bond issue that Dallas voters will decide on November 3. First, we look at what exactly is in the package -- new schools, expanded cafeterias and a lot of new technology. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Millions of kids play the computer game Minecraft. That’s inspired the University of Texas at Dallas to create its own game, something called Polycraft World.

Winners get more than bragging rights. They win $5,000 UT Dallas scholarships.