American Graduate | KERA News

American Graduate

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

O.D. Wyatt – and the Fort Worth neighborhood around it – looks a lot different now than when the school opened in 1968.

Lara Solt / Special contributor to KERA

A classroom used as a prayer room at Liberty High School in Frisco got the attention of the Texas attorney general’s office this month. The office sent a letter raising constitutional concerns about the room. The Frisco superintendent called the letter a "publicity stunt" and said the prayer room has been in use for several years without complaints. 

Samantha Guzman / KERA News

Duncanville High School has undergone big demographic changes in recent years. Today, about 70 percent of the students are considered economically disadvantaged — students like Rykeyia Branch. The high school senior is juggling classes with a part-time job and her role as manager of the Panthers softball team.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Frisco Superintendent Jeremy Lyon responded sharply to questions about Liberty High School's prayer room Friday, calling a letter from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office "a publicity stunt."

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

As the city of Frisco has morphed from small town to boom town, its schools have transformed, too. These days, the majority of Frisco students are non-white. 

Amna Salman (foreground) and other Muslim students gather to pray inside a classroom at Liberty High. Photo/Lara Solt
Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

The city of Frisco has transformed over the last quarter century – from a country town to a booming suburb that’s home to high-end shops and the Dallas Cowboys. Its schools have been transformed, too. Here's a look at how one school — Liberty High — is changing.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Through demographic and economic changes over the years, Duncanville High School, in a suburb south of Dallas, has maintained one constant — a winning girls basketball team.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Poverty is surging at Kimball High School in Dallas. Fifteen years ago, 57 percent of the families were economically disadvantaged. Today, it’s 83 percent. The Oak Cliff school is battling those numbers and turning around a dismal academic record — in part with its hospitality and tourism program.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Kimball High School in Dallas has endured a demographic earthquake over the past 50 years. First came integration, then busing and white flight, followed by waves of immigration, economic troubles and competition from charter and private schools. Again and again, the educational landscape has been reshaped — and so has the Oak Cliff neighborhood of southern Dallas.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

For decades, public schools across North Texas have endured demographic changes – from integration, then busing and white flight, followed by waves of immigration, economic troubles and competition from charter and private schools.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

In Richardson, high school students are learning about all kinds of health care jobs, from emergency medical technician to nurse’s aide. They’re also getting hands-on experience, but they’re not getting it in a traditional classroom.

Bill Zeeeble / KERA News

On an Oak Cliff boulevard near the iconic Texas Theatre stands a colorful tree-trunk-like structure with a hand on top. The 17-and-a-half-foot sculpture’s only been there a few weeks and was officially dedicated in December. 

This legislative session, Texas lawmakers have some tough discussions ahead of them about how Texas funds its public schools, but some are asking how lawmakers can have those conversations without an updated look at how much it actually costs to educate kids.  

John Koetsier / Flickr

The 2017 Legislative session kicks off next week. Among the many topics sure to spark debate is education. KERA looks ahead to several of the education issues Texas lawmakers will tackle when they meet.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Keeping young kids focused in school can be tough. That’s why the Dallas Independent School District and Dallas Yoga Center are working together to create a mindfulness meditation program for students and teachers.  

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.

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.

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.  

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The top local stories this morning from KERA News: Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner yesterday gave an annual state of education address to the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

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
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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

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.

The Secret To Raising Smart Kids

Sep 15, 2016
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There’s plenty of advice out there for parents on how to raise smart kids. What works, though, is still a question researchers are trying to answer.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

We met Denzel Bailey, a UT-Arlington student, a year ago. He's a homeless student in college. He spent the summer with his grandparents in south Fort Worth. Bailey is entering his senior year – and trying to balance work and school, while hoping to find a place he can call home.

This week, in an American Graduate series called “The First Week,” we’ve been listening to conversations about race after a summer of racial turmoil in America and police shootings in Dallas. We’ve heard from parents, students and a teacher. Today, it's Gregg Anderson, a school resource officer who’s building relationships in the  Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district.

Christopher Connelly/KERA News

It’s the first week of school in many districts across North Texas, and students are returning to the classroom after a summer of racial turmoil in America and police shootings in Dallas. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In this series, The First Week, KERA's reporters are listening in on the conversations about race happening in and around North Texas schools. Today, what students are saying about the violence this summer: police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, and a gunman's July ambush that killed five law officers in downtown Dallas.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Over the next five days, in a series called "The First Week," we’ll listen in on the conversations students, parents, educators and police officers are having after a summer of racial turmoil in the U.S. and police shootings in Dallas. First, we look at race through the perspective of a black family in Arlington.

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