American Graduate | KERA News

American Graduate

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.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Unlike a lot of kids his age, Chance Hawkins needs help with the most basic of needs – getting out of bed, getting dressed and brushing his teeth. That’s common for those diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The disease is almost always fatal before the age of 30. Chance is a member of KERA’s Class of ’17. KERA checked in with him to see how he’s working on gaining some independence.

Western MAJ/Flickr

As part of its American Graduate initiative, KERA is looking for a North Texas high school media class to become a partner on a project called the Class of ’17 Yearbook. The idea is for the students in the class to team with teachers and KERA journalists to write posts on the KERA education blog, record and edit audio and video, and create social media streams with student-generated content.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

A new Texas law requires public school students to decide a career track in eighth grade. It’s a sea change with challenges for schools -- and some anxiety for kids.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Kelli Bowdy, one of the students we’re following in our Class of '17 series, is almost through her freshman year at Fort Worth’s O.D. Wyatt High School. She’s even thinking about graduating early. Nationwide, only 3 percent of high school kids manage that.  

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

One in 10 adolescents suffers from depression by age 18. It’s something that one of the members of KERA's Class of '17 is wrestling with. The series is part of a nationwide public broadcasting initiative called American Graduate. This week, we check back in with Cedar Hill ninth grader Phantasia Chavers.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

For decades, it’s been a rite of passage for American teens. Now it’s Ricky Rijos’ turn. The Flower Mound freshman is learning to drive.

Ricky is a member of KERA's Class of '17, a group of North Texas kids we’re following from eighth grade through graduation.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

State lawmakers reviewing new graduation requirements that go into effect in the fall say they’re confusing and districts may not be prepared to implement them.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Ninth-grader Joel Luera is a smart kid in a tough neighborhood. Sometimes other kids don’t get why he’s so studious. He loves to read – so much that he’s in a book club at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas. Joel is the latest kid to join KERA’s series Class of ’17 – a five-year project following a group of North Texas students from eighth grade to graduation. It’s part of the national public media initiative American Graduate.

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A new report raises questions about whether tests like the SAT and ACT are a good indicator of how well students will do in college. The study, which was published by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, looked at student data from 33 colleges and universities around the country that have optional admissions policies.

You can see an interview with the study’s author below and read more about it here.

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For a teacher, education is so much more than just taking attendance, assigning homework and administering tests; it’s figuring out creative ways to challenge and inspire kids.

Tonight at 7, KERA-13 will broadcast Teaching the Future: A KERA American Graduate Special. During the program, meet a group of cutting-edge North Texas teachers, see them in action as they bring their innovative approaches to the classroom and hear their thoughts on the future of education in a roundtable discussion led by KERA’s Krys Boyd.

Teachers have a huge responsibility as they prepare students for the future. Tonight, you’ll hear how they do that in Teaching the Future, the second installment of a two-episode television series focused on education in North Texas.

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Middle school can be a tough transitional period. Students leave the comfortable nest of elementary school and face new challenges like harder classes and older kids.

Middle school students and the obstacles they face were the focus on Monday’s noon hour of “Think.” The show reairs tonight at 9 on KERA 90.1 FM or listen online.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Middle school can be a tough transitional period. Students leave the comfortable nest of elementary school and face new challenges like harder classes and older kids.

 

KERA News

Earlier this year, we introduced you to a diverse group of students making the transition from middle school to ninth grade. The series, called Class of 17, is part of a nationwide public broadcasting initiative called American Graduate.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

All year long, KERA has followed the Class of ’17 from eighth grade to high school as part of the American Graduate initiative. Today, we catch up with Alex Gutierrez whose struggles in math sent her to summer school. Alex is now in a brand new charter school with a multicultural twist.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

When you think of book clubs, you don’t necessarily think of boys. And when you look at the most recent Nation’s Report Card, the scores reveal that boys don’t fare as well as girls on reading tests. Here’s one book club that’s bucking that trend.

A new documentary airing next week on KERA-TV takes an in-depth look at the challenges facing Latino students, their families and educators. Bernardo Ruiz, executive producer of The Graduates/Los Graduados will be speaking with “Think” host Krys Boyd during the 1 p.m. hour of the show today. You can tune in on 90.1 FM or listen online.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

In KERA’s Class of ’17 series we’ve been featuring students as they begin their journey through high school. For Chance Hawkins, that trip has been bumpy. Chance, who has a form of muscular dystrophy, started the year at Cassata, a small, private Catholic high school in Fort Worth. But he didn’t stay long. He has since transferred to a big public school, Dunbar High. His story shows the challenges schools face in adapting to a student’s special needs.

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The national American Graduate public media initiative gets its own day Saturday — you can watch a live broadcast here or on your TV’s KERA World 13.2 channel from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time. The seven-hour broadcast will feature notables ranging from Colin Powell to Brian Williams to Christine Ha, a star chef from Houston who’s also blind.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Jarrell Brown made an impression last month as one of the stars of Student Speak Out: A KERA American Graduate Special. During the hourlong TV show, he and five of his peers asked each other questions and talked about what it takes to graduate from high school.

Willow Blythe / KERA News

Phantasia Chavers has faced a lot of heartachce for a 14-year-old: a stepdad who died in a car crash, a dad in prison, a cousin shot to death. But this 9th grader has her sights set firmly on college, and she's just started out as a football trainer.

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