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:

Dianna Douglas / KERA News

North Lake College in Irving is home to hundreds of Nepali students, and they're feeling the impact of last week's earthquake.

New College Rankings Put Some Dark Horses At The Top

May 1, 2015
Jorge Salcedo / Shutterstock.com

A new college ranking from the Brookings Institution has some surprising results—Rice and St. Mary’s in Texas are way above Northeastern elites like Dartmouth and Wellesley. The ranking is based on how much of an income boost you should get from college, versus what you actually get.  

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

On Friday at 4 p.m., Dallas school board members will meet to decide the future of superintendent Mike Miles.

flickr

Texas health officials recently made a change to doctor reimbursements that hasn’t gotten much notice. They’ve made it a little easier for low-income women and girls to get IUDs. Many health professionals see these contraceptives as the best way to stop unintended pregnancies. But many teens are skeptical.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Texas legislators are debating whether to repeal the Texas Dream Act. Signed by then-Governor Rick Perry in 2001, the law allows certain undocumented students to pay in-state tuition. A recent Texas Tribune analysis revealed that the majority of undocumented students who pay in-state tuition rates don't attend four-year universities – they’re in community colleges. And most are in school here in North Texas.

Shutterstock

Three trustees from the Dallas Independent School District are suing one of their own -- the board president. 

Dianna Douglas

An elementary school in Dallas is tearing up their grass courtyard, and turning it into a garden of native plant that don’t need a sprinkler system. Cochran Elementary is the first of many schools that will see new landscaping as part of a citywide effort to curb water use.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Seventy percent of the students in the Dallas Independent School District are Latino. That’s by the far the largest ethnic group. But some parents say they’d like a better relationship with the district. Earlier this week, Superintendent Mike Miles visited a predominately Latino neighborhood in Oak Cliff to talk to some of those parents and their kids.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

When voters to the go polls in Dallas next month, there’s only one school board race without an incumbent. A strong opponent of Superintendent Mike Miles is stepping down. Trustee Elizabeth Jones decided not to run again. The race to replace her pits a Miles fan against a Miles foe.

Dianna Douglas

For every exasperated teacher who feels like students have become surgically attached to smartphones, a new study from the Pew Research Center confirms that it’s true. A quarter of teens say they are online all day long with their phones.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

For a kid with severe physical disabilities, having an aide at school can make a huge difference. It can affect whether a student stays in school or drops out, whether the student passes or fails. As part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, Stella Chavez catches up with Class of ’17 student Chance Hawkins, a sophomore at Fort Worth’s Dunbar High School.

Pint-Sized Triathletes Learn Big Lessons In Training

Apr 17, 2015
Dianna Douglas

In Dallas, the Tom Landry Triathlon will be held this weekend--it’s 400 meters of swimming, 15 miles of biking, and then 3 miles of running. Among the athletes at the starting line on Saturday will be a group of middle schoolers from South Dallas.

Michael Ahler, Flickr Creative Commons

While family farms are quickly disappearing in Texas, small-scale agriculture is still alive and well in some immigrant communities in North Texas.

Dianna Douglas

A thousand teenagers in Dallas got their first taste of interviewing for jobs over the weekend, as part of the mayor's intern fellows program. It puts young people in businesses across Dallas for a couple of months each summer. 

Christina Ulsh

Teenagers getting their first jobs in North Texas are finding a very welcoming job market. Many are being offered above minimum wage right away for jobs that usually don’t budge from the federally-mandated hourly pay.

Stella M. Chávez
KERA News

During the past decade, it seems like every school has added a garden. Educators say the benefits range from kids learning about healthier food to improving their social and emotional health. In Grand Prairie, there’s an elementary school that goes way beyond the traditional school garden.

Christina Ulsh

The federal government announced last week that it is investigating Dallas County for how it arrests and prosecutes students who miss school. More than 20,000 children and their parents were caught up in the truancy courts in Dallas County last year, in what the Department of Justice called a “school-to-prison pipeline."

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Faith Family Academy, an Oak Cliff charter school, will stay open after all. The state had ordered the closing of the school, and a dozen others statewide, because of financial and student-performance problems. But last week, the state ruled the Dallas school could stay open -- by using the charter of its Waxahachie branch.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Stuart Spitzer, a Republican from Kaufman, kicked up a controversy about sex education during a recent marathon budget debate in the Texas House. He succeeded in moving $3 million to abstinence education from programs aimed at preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

A 19-year-old woman who’s three years into motherhood explains how this plays out in real life.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Gov. Greg Abbott talks repeatedly about his commitment to pre-kindergarten education – and it was one of the key points of debate in this week’s budget marathon in the Texas House. 

Kelli Hauser / Twitter/@MMScheerios

How can a video about school testing go viral? When it’s performed to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

Dianna Douglas

The last two decades have seen a rise in the number of police officers in middle and high schools. One unintended consequence is that many students will get criminal records long before they graduate, for offenses that aren’t necessarily criminal.

A new study is out – and it’s focused on America’s charter school petri dish, New Orleans. It shows that the charter schools there are more focused on marketing and advertising themselves, rather classroom performance. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports on what the research, from the University of Texas and Tulane, could mean for charters in North Texas.

Dianna Douglas

Recent pep rallies at elementary schools across Dallas have included a little gift for every kid in attendance -- a T-shirt with the name of their local high school and the year they’ll graduate.

Suspensions Fall Out Of Favor For Texas Educators

Mar 24, 2015
Christina Ulsh / KERA News

Suspending rowdy students has long been a popular way for schools to keep order in their classrooms. New research shows that this punishment is counterproductive and is administered unequally to minorities and kids with disabilities.

Brad Wilson / Flickr.com

On Tuesday, Southern Methodist University announced the largest single gift in its history. The $45 million gift from the Meadows Foundation is going to the arts on campus.

Shutterstock

When it comes to state by state education rankings, Texas often lands near the bottom. Yet, numbers released this week by the National Center for Education Statistics showed Texas at the top of the class in the graduation rates for black and Latino high school students.

Christina Ulsh

Four years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics said no more energy drinks for adolescents. But anyone trying to keep kids away from drinks like Red Bull and Monster Energy is up against not just a $12 billion industry, but the appeal of something that many adults disapprove of. 

Dianna Douglas

The Dallas Independent School District was recently commended by the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Youth Sports Safety Alliance for putting athletic trainers at all 23 of its high schools over the last two years.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Human trafficking refers to people who are forced into labor or sexual exploitation. And the issue hits close to home.

The Interstate 10 corridor through Houston is the No. 1 trafficking route in the U.S. Some of the business reaches deep into North Texas. The public policy advocacy group Children at Risk recently led a tour of the seedier side of Dallas that’s the heart of the trafficking trade.

Pages