American Graduate | KERA News

American Graduate

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Over the next few days, thousands of young Texans will receive their diplomas. Some of those students squeaked by thanks to a new state law. High schoolers no longer have to pass all five end-of-course exams to graduate. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Allen High School’s $60 million stadium closed last year due to cracking concrete. The school district announced today the stadium will reopen this week in time for graduation Friday.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

There are about 110,000 homeless students in schools statewide, including thousands right here in North Texas. As part of KERA’s American Graduate series Homeless in High School, Monday on Think, Krys Boyd talked to a panel of experts about the issue:

Andy Canales / Commit!

Only about one in three third graders are reading at grade level in Dallas County schools. And that can have big implications down the road since only one in five kids who read below grade level go on to college. A new kind of virtual tutoring aims to tackle that problem even earlier. And the volunteer tutors don’t even have to leave the office.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

About 110,000 kids in Texas public schools are considered homeless. Many stay with relatives or friends. Others live in shelters or motels. Some even live on the street.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Tuesdays are when KERA’s American Graduate project charts the journey from childhood to graduation. Today, we chart a different sort of journey – the one Dinesh Mali made from childhood in India to his spot as the first Indian-American elected to the Irving school board.

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

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.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Yolanda Cuevas knew one day she’d work in an air-conditioned office.

Christina Ulsh / KERA

You're invited to a special conversation with students and educators featured in the KERA News series American Graduate: Generation One.

Mark Birnbaum / KERA

Growing up in a traditional immigrant family can be rewarding and challenging for kids born in the United States. Meet a Frisco high school student who’s managing to practice her religious faith and be a regular American teenager.

Christina Ulsh / KERA

There’s an innovative school in the Fort Worth school district with about 500 students. Not one of them has been in the U.S. more than a year or two. It’s called the International Newcomer Academy. It’s the focus of the latest installment in Generation One, a KERA American Graduate series.

Christina Ulsh / KERA

A decade ago, about 600 Chinese students attended high school in the United States. Today, there are more than 38,000. For many, it’s their first time away from home and their first time in new country. Meet one teen who’s making the transition at a school in Garland. It's the focus of the latest installment in a KERA American Graduate series called Generation One.

Dianna Douglas

Journalism students at H. Grady Spruce High School in East Dallas recently got a challenging assignment: interview family members and turn their memories into news stories. Most of the stories were news to the students, many of whom are children of immigrants.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Block schedule classes run like the multi-hour science labs you might recall from high school or college. Some schools use them. Many don’t. As part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, here’s a look at the difference a schedule can make.

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

When President Obama told the government last month to stop deporting immigrants whose children are American citizens, half a million parents in Texas were suddenly eligible, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Mark Birnbaum / KERA

North Texas schools have transformed the way they teach English – by teaching Spanish, too. 

Dual language programs are the focus of the latest installment in a KERA American Graduate series called Generation One.

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

What can Texas schools do to help immigrant students? It's the focus of the latest installment in a KERA American Graduate series called Generation One.

Messaging Apps Draw Teens Away From Facebook

Dec 1, 2014
Christina Ulsh / KERA News

Teenagers are heavy users of social media that keeps their thoughts, actions, and whereabouts private, a stark reversal from five years ago when the goal for many teens on social media was collecting public likes and friends. Here's a look at what kids are doing with their phones when their teachers face the board.

A number of retail stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day again this year, to squeeze one more shopping day into their biggest season. Many of the low-wage workers folding shirts, running cash registers, and stocking Frozen sparkle princess dolls will be teenagers. How do teenagers in Texas try cram their family holiday around their shifts?

A Better Way To Opt Out Of Required Reading

Nov 25, 2014
Dianna Douglas

A recent dispute in the Dallas suburb of Highland Park over requiring students to read the book The Art of Racing in the Rain was settled today—a committee of teachers, parents and students reviewed the book and found that it can be taught in the classrooms. One thing the debate in Highland Park has shown is that parents and students who object to certain books are also often unhappy with their options for alternative assignments. Some Texas schools have made that process smoother.

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

Over the summer, Texas was in the spotlight for the tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Two years ago, Dilcia Mazariegos made a similar trek north to escape a violent home life in Guatemala. The 18-year-old is safe in Plano. But her new life in Texas is filled with challenges. It's the latest story in KERA's American Graduate series Generation One.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Immigration is transforming the Grapevine-Colleyville school district near Fort Worth. In the last decade, it has seen its overall student population shrink while the number of non-white students doubled. It's the latest story in a KERA American Graduate series called Generation One.

Mark Birnbaum

One in three Texas kids is either an immigrant or the child of immigrants. They’re the subject of a new KERA American Graduate series called Generation One.

Christina Ulsh

Texas passed its Dream Act 13 years ago and became the first state to allow immigrant kids to pay in-state tuition at public universities. But it didn’t actually settle the issue.

KERA News

As part of American Graduate Day on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., KERA TV is airing a live national broadcast focusing on the people who are keeping kids on track to high school graduation.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The first day of school is a week and a half away, and 20 new students who just arrived from China are already settling in at International Leadership of Texas. Each kid will be assigned a student mentor at the Garland charter school. One of those mentors is a member of KERA’s Class of ’17 project.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Classes at most North Texas schools begin in a few weeks. When Phantasia Chavers starts 10th grade at Cedar Hill High School, she hopes to be spending time after school on the JV volleyball team. Phantasia’s one of the Class of ’17 students KERA’s been following as part of the American Graduate initiative. For Phantasia, a new school year means a new school and a second chance on the court.

Caydee Daniel / KERA News

These days, kids are most likely to text each other or communicate with apps like Snapchat. They post photos on Instagram and they tweet what they’re doing throughout the day. As part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, we talk to some students about how even in this fast-paced digital world, the printed yearbook is still an end-of-the-year highlight for some students.

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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting features KERA’s Class of '17 project in this month’s Station Spotlight. Class of '17 is a five-year effort that follows North Texas students as they transition from middle school to high school and through graduation.

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