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.
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.
The required reading at Highland Park High School is still in flux. Some parents convinced administrators to remove books with adult material -- then other parents, alumni and teachers petitioned the administration to reverse that decision.
Mostly missing from the public debate has been the voices of teenage students whose classes have been affected. As part of the KERA Yearbook project, we hear from three students about what English class has been like this fall.
A few students at Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth and at Dubiski Career High in Grand Prairie had their own version of the StoryCorps oral history project. They were assigned to interview a family member. The students learned more than they expected when they pressed "record."
On a recent Wednesday morning, Branch Park Academy looked like any other bustling suburban middle school. Beyond a packed parking lot, a banner hanging near the entrance boasted that the school had earned the “highest academic distinction” from the Texas Education Agency. Inside, students’ voices drifted from their classrooms.
By law, those students were not supposed to be there at all.
Hundreds of super-bright Latino teens spent four days in Dallas for leadership training. It was part of the National Hispanic Institute’s annual meeting. As part of KERA’s American Graduate Initiative, Bill Zeeble talked with a pair of the students from McAllen about stereotypes of South Texas and cultural pride.
More than 600 Latino high school students from North and Central America are in Dallas for the annual meeting of the National Hispanic Institute. The organization was created to foster future Hispanic leaders, like A.C. Gonazlez, the Dallas city manager and an Institute alum. Meet some of the next generation.