Education | KERA News

Education

Liberty High School in Frisco has grown rapidly and become more diverse since opening in 2006.
Credit Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Every week, KERA reporters go inside the classroom, meeting students, teachers and administrators, to explore the latest in education in North Texas. KERA's ongoing education coverage is part of the national public broadcasting initiative American Graduate

Explore in-depth education multimedia projects: Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools, a look at the changing demographics at four North Texas high schools; What’s Next For The Class Of 17?, stories about North Texas students from eighth grade to graduation; Homeless in High School, how schools and kids deal with homelessness; and Generation One, meet first-generation Texans who are reshaping schools.

Support for KERA’s education coverage is made possible in part by:

Updated 12/19 11:15 a.m.

When the exclusions and exceptions the state grants charter schools are stripped away, Texas charter schools have an average graduation rate almost 30 percentage points lower than the state’s traditional school districts.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Students across the country aren’t just learning how to spell or solve math problems. They’re also learning what are known as social and emotional skills, like managing stress and having empathy. In Dallas ISD, teachers are learning how to teach these skills in the classroom.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Gym class every Thursday at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy in Pleasant Grove is unusual. Instead of typical sports or activities, the Boy Scouts take over, teaching the students camping and other skills.

Something else sets this school apart: It’s the district’s first all-boys school that’s not a magnet campus.

Rosa Say / Flickr

Voters chose to dissolve the school bus agency known as Dallas County Schools last month. The bus service will continue through the end of this school year while a committee oversees the dissolution of the agency.

In the meantime, the Dallas Independent School District and other districts that used the service are trying to figure out how they’re going to get kids to school next year.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

A report finds that Texas is among the states that have made the deepest funding cuts to K-12 education over the past decade.

Plano ISD/Facebook

The superintendent of the Plano school district has resigned – and school officials remain tight-lipped about his sudden departure.

Kzenon / Shutterstock

Recent headlines, like the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict travelers from certain countries, have raised questions in education circles about whether U.S. politics are having an impact on foreign student enrollment at American universities. 

UT Dallas International Center

To get a sense of the importance of international students to the University of Texas at Dallas, you only need to look at the annual Homecoming Parade.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT News

Tuesday brought a rarity in politics: a bipartisan event favoring immigration reform. Two members of Congress — a Democrat and a Republican — spoke out for so-called DREAM legislation at the Dallas Regional Chamber. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

One in five North Texas children lives in poverty, and more than a quarter million are hungry as their parents struggle to feed them.

Those are just a few statistics from a recent 97-page report issued by Children’s Health, the Dallas-based children’s hospital network. The study offers possible solutions, too.

Juan Paulido / Children's Health

One in five North Texas children lives in poverty, according to a report released Tuesday from Children’s Health. 

Courtesy of Ibrahim Ali

Seventh-grader Zahir Hameed says many students don’t have a problem with him. But there’s one kid who calls him names.

He just calls me 'stupid' and 'idiot,' and he just acts like I’m about to bomb the place,” said Zahir, on a recent Saturday morning at the East Plano Islamic Center.

The Wylie student is one of many Muslim kids here who shared their stories about bullying.

Shutterstock

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Special ed enrollment in Texas is up; there are new maps of Trump’s border wall; Wendy Davis’ filibuster is getting made into a movie; and more.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In just three years, the Fort Worth School District could have about 4,000 more students than it does today. To help pay for a growing student population, district voters on Tuesday will consider a “penny swap” election and a $750 million bond package.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Barry Jacobs has spent the past couple of months collecting complaints from parents at Solar Preparatory School for Girls in Dallas.

Their complaints are about the bus system, Dallas County Schools. It provides transportation for nine North Texas school districts, including the Dallas Independent School District. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

For 30 years, the Milken Family Foundation has been identifying and rewarding top educators across the country. Earlier this month, an English and college prep teacher in Arlington earned the distinguished Milken Educator Award — and $25,000. 

Like many teachers and past Milken winners, however, money does not motivate Jennifer Fuller.

Q&A: Dallas ISD Superintendent Says Merit Pay 'Has Possibility' For State

Oct 27, 2017
Dallas ISD

Very few school districts in Texas tie teacher compensation to performance evaluations. But in Dallas, whose merit pay system is in its third year, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says he has already seen good results. Earlier this year, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath — a former member of the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees — circulated a statewide merit pay plan based on the Dallas system, but so far, no such system has been implemented. We sat down with Hinojosa to see whether Dallas' approach could work statewide. 

The cost of college continues to creep higher and higher – and financial aid isn’t keeping up.

More Texans are receiving those hefty student loan bills in the mail after graduation, but is college still worth the investment?

Nonprofit online college WGU Texas took the temperature of how Texans are feeling about the state of higher education in their annual poll, which you can read here.

Josh Blank of Strategic Research Associates conducted the study, and he says most Texans are still on board with higher ed.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Outside at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Trisha Cunningham stands in front of a food bank on wheels. It’s filled with 3,000 pounds of fresh corn, cauliflower and potatoes. Volunteers are handing out the food to students.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Jennifer Fuller, an Arlington high school English teacher, won a national education honor worth $25,000 Wednesday.

The Milken Educator Award came as a surprise announcement and brought cheers from students and tears to Fuller.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

It’s a little after 6:30 at night inside Daugherty Elementary in Garland, but classes are in session. Alvaro Méndez stands in front of a group of eager students: They're parents learning English.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A unanimous school board says Dallas Independent School District must change the names of four schools named for Confederate leaders: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and William L. Cabell elementary schools. 

The board will consider new names in February. Until then, the process of coming up with different names could be emotional — like it was at a recent meeting at Stonewall Jackson.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Five years ago, the Dallas Independent School District opened its first drop-in center for students at North Dallas High School. The campus sits near homeless shelters and pricey apartments, and has one of the largest homeless high school populations in the city.

Since then, high school drop-in centers have multiplied across the school district to 20.

IrinaK / Shutterstock

A 19-year-old Texas Tech University student was charged early Tuesday with capital murder of a peace officer in the fatal shooting of a police officer at the campus police station, where he was being questioned in a drug-related case, authorities said.

Brad Wilson / Flickr Creative Commons

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The recent flurry of hazing news; the growth of women entrepreneurs in Texas; a nostalgic 1960s look at the State Fair; and more.

University of North Texas

Lee Jackson plans to do a lot more than just clean out his desk and say his goodbyes during his last full workday Friday as chancellor of the University of North Texas System. He's got a meeting at 7:30 a.m., a charity fundraising luncheon at noon and a visit to University of North Texas at Dallas scheduled for the afternoon.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Some kids in Fort Worth are getting a little bonus with their haircuts -- a chance to read with their barbers. It's part of a new effort by the city's schools to place books inside barbershops and encourage barbers to dive into them with their pint-sized patrons. 

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Royal Furgeson, a former federal judge, will step down as dean of the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law next summer.

 

Furgeson will continue working with UNT on fundraising for the downtown Dallas law school he helped establish and push toward accreditation.

J.J. Pearce High School Football Facebook page

The Richardson Independent School District has suspended two high school students after they posted racially charged messages on social media.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath was in Dallas this week to talk about how the state’s schools are doing -- and the impact Hurricane Harvey has had on education.

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