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education

KERA News

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.

Rosanna Boyd / UNT

More than 800,000 students whose first language is not English attend Texas public schools. About a quarter of them are in North Texas classrooms. The challenge for many educators is figuring out the best way to teach these students. A hotly-debated question is whether they should learn English through immersion or some other technique such as bilingual education.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says it’s time citizens do more to improve education, even if they have no kids in school. His friend Todd Williams, who founded an education nonprofit, says more kids need to know they can go to college. Both will be part of an education convention in Dallas beginning today, where participants will share emerging best practices.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

It took 16 years for the seed of an idea for a children’s garden to blossom at the Dallas Arboretum. But this weekend, the public will finally get to see what the $62 million dollar project looks like.

Sure, it’s got water blasters, CSI mysteries and secret garden mazes, but your kids won’t be able to escape without learning something.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

After saying it was treated unfairly, the Duncanville School District has decided not to appeal the state’s low academic rating.  

When the Texas Education Agency (TEA) issued new ratings for school districts last month Duncanville was the only large North Texas district that was labeled, “needs improvement.”  The rest were found to have met state standards.

KERA News

Superintendent Mike Miles has just started his second school year in Dallas, and already board members are talking about whether he should stay or go.  

The story has a familiar ring to those who’ve watched the district churn through superintendents, and experts say the succession of short-timers is surely taking a toll on education.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas schools Superintendent Mike Miles twice violated the terms of his contract during an investigation of him, a report turned in Friday concludes. “Under the terms of his employment contract," the report says, "violations of Board policy constitute 'good cause' for dismissal."

KERA News

Supporters of Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles believe he can still be effective despite an investigation into whether the school leader interfered with the granting of a contract.  Critics say community trust has evaporated.

The investigation report is due today in this latest controversy of Miles’ contentious tenure.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Duncanville began this school year as the only large North Texas district that got the label of “improvement required” under a new statewide school rating system.  

District Superintendent Alfred Ray claims the rating is unfair but the state’s education commissioner is defending the numbers.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

Did the victories of feminism spawn underachieving boys? In an effort to level the playing field for all, how did boys fall behind? We’ll talk at noon with Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming Our Young Men."

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Today was the first day back to school for  most Texas kids.  – including a Richardson Schools 2nd grader named Thomas Jefferson the 5th. And like a lot of other kids, TJ strolled into Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet elementary side by side with a family elder. But here’s where the story gets interesting. The great grandfather TJ accompanied is 70 year-old Thomas Jefferson, Jr. – who attended Hamilton Park himself six decades ago. He made the same walk with his son, Thomas Jefferson the 3rd, and grandson, Thomas Jefferson the 4th. Here’s a look at an African American family legacy.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

This month, when the state handed out its newest version of school district ratings, Richardson once again scored more accolades than almost any other district in the state.  How do they do it?

A new documentary about teachers is coming to CBS this fall. The two-hour TV special Teach will focus on the year-in-the-life of four public school teachers during the 2012-13 school year. One of them is Lindsay Chinn, a 2003 graduate of Coppell High School. Chinn teaches at Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College in Denver, Colorado.

Willow Blythe / KERA News

Like most 14-year-olds, Jerry Harris is out of school for the summer. That means time to take it easy and hang out with friends. But for Jerry, it also means a contract -- one that he wrote -- to start many mornings at 5:30 a.m. and, as he printed in block letters, to "WORK."

Jerry's one of the students KERA is following all the way through high school in the series Class of '17, part of the station’s American Graduate initiative. And as tough as that summer contract might be, even tougher is what comes in just three weeks: high school.

Everyone agrees that graduation is a crucial milestone on the path to adulthood. And according to a recent Education Week report, the national graduation rate has actually increased to nearly 75 percent – a level not seen since the 1970s.

Andrea Estrada

The shooting of Trayvon Martin last year focused attention on what’s known as “the talk” – the conversation many African American parents feel compelled to have with their kids about racial profiling.

In the days since George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting, that discussion about stereotypes has intensified.

Eighteen year-old Dashon Moore-Guidry and brother Gabriel live in Mesquite with their mother, Andrea Estrada. Dashon and his mom agreed to share their thoughts on "the talk" and the trial. 

At their first meeting since three top DISD leaders quit their posts, Dallas school trustees could discuss the future and possible elimination of the superintendent’s Leadership Academy.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Making the jump from middle to high school is one of those big moments in a kid’s life. In the latest installment of KERA’s education series Class of ’17, we meet Kelli Bowdy and her strongest educational influence, her grandmother, at the 8th grade graduation ceremony at Morningside Middle School in Fort Worth.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Many Texas lawmakers said their top priority for the legislative session that just ended was to improve public education.  So what did they accomplish?

As part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, three North Texas legislators came to our studios to talk education: Rep. Helen Giddings, a Dallas Democrat; Rep. Diane Patrick, an Arlington Republican, and Rep. Jason Villalba, a Dallas Republican.

Marlith / flickr.com

The Dallas Catholic Diocese dismissed school at noon today because of the threat of severe weather in North Texas . 

beri-school.com

After leading the charge for accountability in public education, how did Texas land in the center of a revolt against standardized tests? We’ll find out with Texas Monthly senior editor Nate Blakeslee, who traces the evolution of high-stakes testing in his story "Crash Test," at 1 p.m.

Horia Varlan / Flickr

The first two-day Summit on the Education of African American Students in DISD this past weekend got people thinking and talking about one of the most pressing issues, but the real challenge will be what comes out of that conversation, say those who attended.

“It’s always a great exercise to have a discussion about education, and it’s always a great exercise to talk about the inequities, but to me what’s most important is the action,” says Sherasa Thomas, a former teacher who now works as an education consultant for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Lisa Krantz for The Texas Tribune

Dozens of teachers on Thursday attended a recruiting fair hosted by the City of San Antonio at the Dallas Public Library.

The lure? A potential job teaching pre-K students and the chance to earn between $60,000 and $90,000 a year.

DISD

Update: Cause Of Death

The Dallas County medical examiner's office on Friday ruled the Mount Auburn Elementary School student's death accidental due to food asphyxia. The boy has been identified as Manny Ramirez.

Our Original Post: 

A four-year-old boy died Thursday morning after choking on his lunch at school.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Millions upon millions of people are on Twitter, especially student-aged users. Teachers are trying to catch up by learning how to use Twitter in class.

State lawmakers are more than a third of the way through their session and key legislation is beginning to take shape. 

As a member of three powerful committees Rep. Helen Giddings of Dallas is among a few House Democrats positioned to influence some of the biggest bills.  She talked with KERA about some of the latest developments and her priorities.

Sara Robberson / Special to KERA

District Judge John Dietz has ruled the Texas school finance system, which serves over 5 million public schoolchildren, is unconstitutional. 

“The court declares the school finance system  is not adequately funded and therefore fails to make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of the system,” Dietz said Monday, explaining one of the reasons he ruled against the state. 

KERA News

An Austin judge is expected to announce Monday whether Texas’ school finance system is constitutional or must be overhauled.  It’s a decision that could lead to greater funding of public schools.

Bill Zeeble / KERA

As part of a nationwide public broadcasting initiative called American Graduate, KERA is following a diverse group of North Texas eighth graders all the way through high school. Today in the series “Class of ’17,” we meet a kid whose dad dropped out of college but passed on a love of hoops and a passion for hard work.

Bill Zeeble / KERA

The Garland School Board has unanimously picked Dr. Rob Morrison as its lone finalist to be the next GISD superintendent.

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