American Graduate: Education | KERA News

American Graduate: Education

Liberty High School in Frisco has grown rapidly and become more diverse since opening in 2006.
Credit Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

KERA's ongoing American Graduate initiative charts the journey from childhood to graduation. It’s part of the national public broadcasting project American Graduate: Let’s Make It HappenThis multi-year initiative is playing out on all of KERA’s platforms, with news stories and community outreach through radio, television, websites, social media and events. 

Explore in-depth education projects: Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools, a look at the changing demographics at four North Texas high schools; What’s Next For The Class Of 17?, stories about North Texas students from eighth grade to graduation; Homeless in High School, how schools and kids deal with homelessness; and Generation One, meet first-generation Texans who are reshaping schools.

Support for KERA’s American Graduate initiative is made possible in part by:

Educators Say Parental Rights Bill Could Harm Trust With Students

Nov 30, 2016
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

A state senator’s bid to expand parental rights to information about their students is drawing spirited criticism from educators and LGBT activists who argue it does not protect students at risk of abuse if teachers or school officials out them to their families.

Marina Kuperman Villatoro / Flickr

In the 10 days after the election of Donald Trump, nearly 900 incidents of harassment and intimidation were reported around the country. And in a new nationwide survey, educators report the election results have had a negative impact on students.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas school and county leaders have unveiled truancy reforms aimed at keeping more kids in class.

Nawal Rahman

Since the presidential election, incidents of hate have dominated headlines. Many of the incidents have been targeted at minority groups, but some have also been directed at Donald Trump supporters.

More Money, Certainty Needed To Upgrade Pre-K, Study Finds

Nov 25, 2016
Robert W. Hart

If state lawmakers want to upgrade pre-K programs in Texas schools they need to kick in more money and make a longer-term commitment, according to an early report card on a new state grant program aimed at bolstering early education.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Most kids in Dallas schools get free breakfast and lunch on campus every school day. So what happens when Dallas schools are closed all week for the Thanksgiving break?  

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Imagine coming to this country and not knowing how to speak the language. More than 7,800 refugees came to Texas during the 2016 fiscal year, and many of them didn’t know English. 

UNT Dallas Law School Gets Second Chance To Earn Accreditation

Nov 16, 2016

The University of North Texas at Dallas' law school will get a second chance to earn the accreditation that would allow its graduates to practice law in the state, the school learned Wednesday. 

Texas State Board Of Education Rejects Mexican-American Studies Textbook

Nov 16, 2016
Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

The State Board of Education voted 14-0 Wednesday to deny the adoption of a Mexican-American studies textbook decried by opponents as racist and inaccurate.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Just about everyone is using technology, and kids are practically experts. The issue for teachers is how to get kids to use these digital tools effectively in the classroom.

KERA visited one elementary school in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch district that’s finding technology can help students learn.

Texas Foster Youth Struggle To Get College Degrees

Nov 13, 2016
Allison V. Smith for The Texas Tribune

Shortly before her ninth birthday, Briana Dovi and her five siblings were placed into foster care in Central Texas. Dovi enrolled in school for the first time, battling speech disorders and dyslexia.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Schools face a constant challenge — how to get families more engaged in what’s happening in the class. In North Texas, some schools are experimenting with teachers making home visits. In Irving, one teacher’s been doing just that for years.  

Shutterstock

There’s something on the ballot in North Texas that isn’t getting a lot of attention. It’s an election to raise taxes in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district.

TEA Denies Allegations Of Cap On Special Education

Nov 2, 2016
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Education Agency told the U.S. Department of Education Wednesday that it has never set a cap or limit on the number or percent of Texas public school students receiving special education support — but added that upcoming changes to the system should help district staff who may have been confused.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

The superintendents and elected school boards of 11 Texas districts — including Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth — have been ordered by the state education agency to attend two-day training programs to learn how to fix their failing schools.

ThunderKiss Photography / Flickr

There’s a big push in education to boost students’ math skills. One group hopes to do that by taking elementary and middle school kids on a series of math- and science-focused walks through the Dallas Arts District.  It's called walkSTEM. Beginning in March, these free walks will take place monthly and led by area teachers.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

There’s a construction boom in North Texas. It’s so hot that builders not only need workers, but managers. To fill that need, local colleges have seen their own boom of students seeking construction management degrees.  

Shutterstock

Three Texas schools made the top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report list of best global universities. And none of them are in North Texas.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A new report out today says Texas needs to do a better job of educating young kids. And parents also need help finding affordable, quality childcare.

Bill Zeeble / KERA public radio

Texas has the lowest special education enrollment numbers in the nation. Parents of some special needs students say they’ve spent years fighting with Texas schools to get services for their kids — services schools are required to provide under federal law. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

In Fort Worth public schools, just three out of every 10 third graders are reading at grade level. That’s a problem the school district, city and business community is trying to fix. They’ve just formed a coalition to boost literacy.

KERA visited one elementary school that’s been touted as a model for the district.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

A Dallas elementary school teacher is in jail on felony charges of continuous sexual abuse and indecency with a child.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

High schools have been teaching business courses for years. But a curriculum new to North Texas is bringing a hands-on approach to eight schools this year.  In our continuing American Graduate Initiative, we visit a class in Fort Worth’s Trimble Tech High School.

Lessons From A Substitute Teacher

Oct 3, 2016
Shutterstock

Nicholson Baker earned just $70 a day working as a substitute teacher in Maine public schools. What he gained, though, was a wealth of insight as to what happens in the American education system.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas school district launched a program last year designed to turn around its most troubled schools. It’s called ACE – accelerated campus excellence. Last year, six of the seven ACE schools got off the state’s improvement required list. 

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Marcelo Cavazos, the man who leads Arlington’s schools system, was named Texas Superintendent of the Year this afternoon. The honor came at the annual Texas Association of School Boards conference in Houston – and it includes a $5,000 prize. The five finalists also included another North Texan, DeSoto superintendent David Harris.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

There’s room for improvement for Texas public school children according to Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. He was in Dallas on Wednesday talking about the state of education in Texas. Morath said the state needs to do more to better prepare students for the future.

Houston Public Media

As of this fall, the eight largest cities in Texas have Latino superintendents leading the school districts. The latest to join the list: Richard Carranza in Houston. He impressed the Houston Independent School District with his credentials — and his voice.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

On Tuesday morning, the Bush Institute hosted some Texas mayors and superintendents to talk about education -- and a new online tool that looks at education data from more than 100 cities. For North Texas officials, the data is a call to action.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

With a new school superintendent taking over this fall in Houston, every one of Texas’ eight largest cities now has a Latino running the school district. That’s a big deal in a state with a surging Hispanic population and a history of political underrepresentation. In the first chapter of a statewide collaborative series, KERA digs into the implications for students, schools and the politics of education.

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