Dallas ISD | KERA News

Dallas ISD

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Keeping kids focused on school is a challenge for any educator. Getting them to reach higher is even more challenging. As part of our Class of '17 series, we take a look at how a local law firm created an unusual alliance between private and public schools.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Kids can be finicky eaters. Well, so can cats. But youngsters can be taught to open up their taste buds to try new and healthy foods. And their parents can be taught, too. That’s what’s behind a new effort in Dallas school cafeterias.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

An upstart move is underway to change the way Dallas schools and its board operate. Dallas school trustees met Monday night to get more information on the proposal that’s never been tried before in Texas. Board members learned, in part, that if the effort succeeds, they could all be out of a job.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

For kids, one of the benefits of rough winter weather has been days off from school. But for school districts, it’s a nightmare. Here’s a look at one hard hit district dealing with unexpected weather closures.  

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Seven experts started their week long look into Dallas schools today.  The Texas Education Agency is checking up on low-performing campuses and programs that haven’t met state standards.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Texas Education Agency monitors are in Dallas this week to see how the district is fixing its 34 worst-performing schools.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Two minutes. That’s all the time you need to teach your child something new.

That’s the idea behind a series of instructional videos several North Texas school districts are offering parents. This new tool, called ReadyRosie, is getting preschool kids ready for the classroom.

Diana Orozco-Garrett

Adelfa Botello Callejo, a longtime civil rights leader and attorney in Dallas, died early Saturday from a brain tumor. She was 90.

Callejo endured three bouts with cancer, including colon and breast cancer. In an email to friends, her nephew John David Gonzales described her as a “giant among giants who became a Texas legal legend and philanthropist who dedicated her life to the promotion of education.”

Hear what others had to say about her decades-long legacy:

Children at Risk

Spanish and English guides for Dallas and Fort Worth public schools just came out from the non-profit organization Children at Risk.

Former DISD Chief Of Staff Sentenced To Prison

Jan 8, 2014

Jerome Oberlton served five months as Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles’ Chief of Staff before resigning once he told Miles he was under federal investigation from his time in Atlanta, where he had worked for the school system.  The Dallas Morning News passed on information that he pleaded guilty to taking $60,000 in kickbacks, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, and was sentenced to 3 years, 5 months.

Mark Makela / The New York Times

Class size is an ongoing challenge for school districts around the country. The New York Times reports that though the recession has ended, the impact of budget and staff cuts is still being felt in the classroom. Many districts have had to increase their student-t0-teacher ratio.


The Nation’s Report Card for student performance came out Wednesday, and, at first glance, the news may seem disappointing for Dallas. Math and reading scores for Dallas ISD kids were below the national average. But students here have shown improvement, especially in reading.

In Texas, many students have ended up in court for getting into fights or even cursing. Some have also ended up with criminal records. In 2010, the advocacy group Texas Appleseed spoke out against the high number of students being issued citations, in particular African American students.

Lakewood PTA

An East Dallas group of residents is talking about creating an independent school district for the White Rock Lake area. They say the Dallas school district is too big and mismanaged. Former State Rep. Allen Vaught created a Facebook page, which now has more than 2,500 likes.

Lakewood PTA

A group of parents who live around White Rock Lake in East Dallas wants to split from the Dallas Independent School District. That’s right, the group wants to secede and create a new school district it’s calling White Rock ISD. But the hurdles are high.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

By a nearly two-to-one margin, first-time candidate Miguel Solis defeated another newcomer, Kristi Lara, in the Dallas school board race for District 8. Solis' victory on Tuesday might represent another vote in support of embattled Superintendent Mike Miles.

KC Ivey / Flickr Creative Commons

Update, 11:25 p.m. Tuesday: Miguel Solis has been elected to the Dallas ISD school board. He won with 66 percent of the vote, defeating opponent Kristi Lara. Solis briefly worked for DISD's embattled Mike Miles as the superintendent's special assistant, but says that won’t make him a Miles “yes man.”

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles wants to end a long tradition of granting pay hikes based on seniority. Instead, he wants to base them on performance evaluations. This is just one proposed change in teacher evaluations creating ripples in the schools.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas District 8 school board candidate Kristi Lara has dropped her lawsuit against opponent Miguel Solis.

District 8 trustee hopeful Miguel Solis asked the judge to dismiss opponent Kristi Lara's suit alleging he hasn't lived in the district the legally required six months. Solis denies the allegation, saying he meets all requirements. The case continues.

School board races, no matter how important to parents, students, or taxpayers, bring notoriously poor turnout. Even if this one's no different, the race in Dallas ISD District 8 between Miguel Solis and Kristi Lara is getting nastier. Its outcome could influence the future of DISD Superintendent Mike Miles. So far, Lara has sued Solis over an alleged residency violation. Now The Dallas Morning News reports that Solis has filed a complaint against Lara for election sign violations.


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Was Dez Bryant having a tantrum – or is he just passionate?, Jim Lehrer discusses the JFK assassination, the middle class is abandoning DISD, and more:

As expected, trustees have removed oversight of the Office of Professional Responsibility from Superintendent Mike Miles. This follows the Coggins report that found Miles violated some district rules regarding that office.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In the Dallas school board race that could affect the superintendent,  candidate Kristi Lara has sued opponent Miguel Solis. She alleges Solis doesn’t legally live in the 8th district where they’re running. Solis denies it.

And if Kristi Lara is right, Miguel Solis would be ineligible to run. But Solis denies the allegations, says he's a legal resident in District 8, and that Lara's accusation is a desperation ploy, The Dallas Morning News reports. Solis or his attorney must respond "by 10 o'clock of the Monday next following the expiration of twenty days," or Solis could lose by default.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas voters are going to the polls to elect a school board member in District 8, which includes the Love Field area and parts of central and northwest Dallas. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports the choice could affect the future of Superintendent Mike Miles.


In an interview with KERA, Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles remained mum on whether he did what he’s accused of doing by a special investigator hired by the district.

Dallas Independent School District

Every Dallas ISD student will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free, the district announced Tuesday.

Nearly 90 percent of students in Dallas public schools qualified for free and reduced-priced meals last year, and district officials say about that many could be eligible this year. Processing that many meal applications costs money, so the district is changing the program by offering free breakfast and lunch to all of its students.

UPDATE:  Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles survived a vote to fire him Monday night for violating policy and his contract. He’ll get a letter of reprimand and other sanctions instead. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas school board members this evening will talk of dismissing or keeping Superintendent Mike Miles, according to their agenda. But they aren’t expected to decide.