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:

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Texas school districts and campuses received their own report cards Friday from the Texas Education Agency, and many school officials aren’t pleased with the results or the new grading system.

John Koetsier / Flickr

The 2017 Legislative session kicks off next week. Among the many topics sure to spark debate is education. KERA looks ahead to several of the education issues Texas lawmakers will tackle when they meet.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In 1995, Texas lawmakers approved public charter schools to give parents more education options. The law created a marketplace that’s challenging traditional public schools to compete and improve, or potentially lose students. 

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

On a frigid December afternoon, a couple dozen volunteers were busy unloading a U-Haul truck outside J.W. Ray Learning Center in Old East Dallas. They were delivering supplies to the elementary school – chairs, shelves and gym equipment.

They also brought along laundry detergent. Lots of detergent. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Federal officials have fanned out across the state after allegations that Texas capped special education enrollment at 8.5 percent to save money. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Keeping young kids focused in school can be tough. That’s why the Dallas Independent School District and Dallas Yoga Center are working together to create a mindfulness meditation program for students and teachers.  

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Federal and state education officials got an earful from angry parents Monday night at a meeting in Richardson. Most say their school districts have denied special education services to their kids who deserved them.

Courtesy of University of North Texas at Dallas

Betty H. Stewart will serve as the new provost and executive vice president of the University of North Texas at Dallas, university officials announced Wednesday.

Duncanville ISD

Superintendent Marc Smith is creating new programs and partnerships he hopes will help Duncanville schools stand out. With 13,000 students, Duncanville is twice as big as Marshall Independent School District in East Texas. That's where Smith had worked since 2012 before heading west this spring. 

Robert White / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A proposed bill from a Tarrant County lawmaker is causing a stir in education circles. Texas Sen. Konni Burton said the bill is intended to bolster a parent’s right to information about his or her child. But critics say it’s vaguely worded, and some worry it could put LGBT kids at risk.

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U.S. Department of Education officials want to hear from Texas families and students on getting access to special education services. The two-hour sessions are scheduled to begin Dec. 12.

Educators Say Parental Rights Bill Could Harm Trust With Students

Nov 30, 2016
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

A state senator’s bid to expand parental rights to information about their students is drawing spirited criticism from educators and LGBT activists who argue it does not protect students at risk of abuse if teachers or school officials out them to their families.

Marina Kuperman Villatoro / Flickr

In the 10 days after the election of Donald Trump, nearly 900 incidents of harassment and intimidation were reported around the country. And in a new nationwide survey, educators report the election results have had a negative impact on students.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas school and county leaders have unveiled truancy reforms aimed at keeping more kids in class.

Nawal Rahman

Since the presidential election, incidents of hate have dominated headlines. Many of the incidents have been targeted at minority groups, but some have also been directed at Donald Trump supporters.

More Money, Certainty Needed To Upgrade Pre-K, Study Finds

Nov 25, 2016
Robert W. Hart

If state lawmakers want to upgrade pre-K programs in Texas schools they need to kick in more money and make a longer-term commitment, according to an early report card on a new state grant program aimed at bolstering early education.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Most kids in Dallas schools get free breakfast and lunch on campus every school day. So what happens when Dallas schools are closed all week for the Thanksgiving break?  

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Imagine coming to this country and not knowing how to speak the language. More than 7,800 refugees came to Texas during the 2016 fiscal year, and many of them didn’t know English. 

UNT Dallas Law School Gets Second Chance To Earn Accreditation

Nov 16, 2016

The University of North Texas at Dallas' law school will get a second chance to earn the accreditation that would allow its graduates to practice law in the state, the school learned Wednesday. 

Texas State Board Of Education Rejects Mexican-American Studies Textbook

Nov 16, 2016
Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

The State Board of Education voted 14-0 Wednesday to deny the adoption of a Mexican-American studies textbook decried by opponents as racist and inaccurate.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Just about everyone is using technology, and kids are practically experts. The issue for teachers is how to get kids to use these digital tools effectively in the classroom.

KERA visited one elementary school in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch district that’s finding technology can help students learn.

Texas Foster Youth Struggle To Get College Degrees

Nov 13, 2016
Allison V. Smith for The Texas Tribune

Shortly before her ninth birthday, Briana Dovi and her five siblings were placed into foster care in Central Texas. Dovi enrolled in school for the first time, battling speech disorders and dyslexia.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Schools face a constant challenge — how to get families more engaged in what’s happening in the class. In North Texas, some schools are experimenting with teachers making home visits. In Irving, one teacher’s been doing just that for years.  

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There’s something on the ballot in North Texas that isn’t getting a lot of attention. It’s an election to raise taxes in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district.

TEA Denies Allegations Of Cap On Special Education

Nov 2, 2016
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Education Agency told the U.S. Department of Education Wednesday that it has never set a cap or limit on the number or percent of Texas public school students receiving special education support — but added that upcoming changes to the system should help district staff who may have been confused.

Graphic by Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

The superintendents and elected school boards of 11 Texas districts — including Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth — have been ordered by the state education agency to attend two-day training programs to learn how to fix their failing schools.

ThunderKiss Photography / Flickr

There’s a big push in education to boost students’ math skills. One group hopes to do that by taking elementary and middle school kids on a series of math- and science-focused walks through the Dallas Arts District.  It's called walkSTEM. Beginning in March, these free walks will take place monthly and led by area teachers.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

There’s a construction boom in North Texas. It’s so hot that builders not only need workers, but managers. To fill that need, local colleges have seen their own boom of students seeking construction management degrees.  

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Three Texas schools made the top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report list of best global universities. And none of them are in North Texas.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A new report out today says Texas needs to do a better job of educating young kids. And parents also need help finding affordable, quality childcare.

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