Education | KERA News


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:

Irving ISD

Irving ISD students got a surprise in their lunches on Friday – mango.

The Irving ISD Food and Nutritional Services department launched a new campaign that encourages students to try a new fruit or vegetable for free.

Dallas ISD trustees will probably hand down a combination of punishments to Superintendent Mike Miles, who was found in an investigation to have violated district policy and his contract, The Dallas Morning News is reporting. Trustees meet this evening. The News reports that a majority of trustees are leaning toward three disciplinary actions -- reprimand, putting him on a performance improvement plan or a forfeiture of a clause in his contract that allows for a one-year extension if he receives a "proficient" performance evaluation.


The national American Graduate public media initiative gets its own day Saturday — you can watch a live broadcast here or on your TV’s KERA World 13.2 channel from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time. The seven-hour broadcast will feature notables ranging from Colin Powell to Brian Williams to Christine Ha, a star chef from Houston who’s also blind.

Fewer than 20 percent of all Dallas seniors in 2013 met the critical reading benchmark, according to the SAT scores just out. That means more than 80 percent missed it.

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.

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.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Jarrell Brown made an impression last month as one of the stars of Student Speak Out: A KERA American Graduate Special. During the hourlong TV show, he and five of his peers asked each other questions and talked about what it takes to graduate from high school.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Renowned education reformer Geoffrey Canada told Dallas school and business leaders they could better their own schools with money, hard work and high standards. Canada improved long-failing Harlem schools with his Harlem Children’s Zone, launched in 1983. 

Dallas school trustees are scheduled to meet again on Thursday behind closed doors to discuss Superintendent Mike Miles.

Sujata Dand / KERA News

The Dallas school board talked for four hours Thursday night about the future of superintendent Mike Miles, but came to no decision. Miles told board members he’s ready to “reset” his relationship with them and focus on educating children.

Protesters outside the Dallas School District Administration building called on the school board to fire Miles.

The Board went behind closed doors at 5:42 this evening to hear from the Superintendent for the first time after an independent investigation found he violated district policy in an effort to discredit board members in the media.

Miles has said he wants to renew a good relationship with the Board.

Trustees could decide tonight whether to fire Miles, discipline him, or move on.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

For the first time in more than 35 years, the largest teachers' group in Dallas, Alliance AFT, is calling for the district’s superintendent to be fired.

The demand comes just hours before tonight’s school board meeting, where Mike Miles will be on the hot seat. He'll be responding publicly for the first time to an investigation that found he interfered with an investigation into a district contract, and helped write a letter that criticized board members.


Dallas’ Alliance-AFT teachers association is holding a press conference this morning to demand that embattled DISD superintendent Mike Miles be fired.

Update: State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke and answered questions regarding House Bill 5 in front of the State Board of Education today.

Patrick’s endorsement of the bill, which provides for different paths to high school graduation, was met with skepticism from board member Patricia Hardy. Hardy’s concern revolved around the removal of social studies classes from high school graduation requirements. She argued that turning social studies courses into electives limits a student’s exposure to important information.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas County’s Truancy Court has spent the summer in the spotlight. The U.S.  Department of Justice is looking into allegations that students were denied their constitutional rights.  The County rejects the charges. Meet two kids who’ve been through system.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas school board will meet Thursday with Superintendent Mike Miles to discuss the findings of the independent investigation by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins. They gathered in closed session this morning to discuss the Coggins report,  but did nothing, and said little after it ended.

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.

A long line of leaders of Dallas schools has come and gone since August 1884 when a man named W. A. Boles was elected superintendent. KERA’s Shelley Kofler looks at this revolving door of superintendents in a story that aired today.

Disciplinary actions against Dallas Independent School District students rose significantly in the past year, compared to previous years. District officials couldn’t offer a reason why. Trustees had questions and theories.


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

Critics of Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles again spoke out at Thursday’s school board briefing. It was the first time Miles officially sat with the entire school board since last week’s independent report that found some of his actions could cause his dismissal.


Willow Blythe / KERA News

Phantasia Chavers has faced a lot of heartachce for a 14-year-old: a stepdad who died in a car crash, a dad in prison, a cousin shot to death. But this 9th grader has her sights set firmly on college, and she's just started out as a football trainer.

Phantasia Chavers
Willow Blythe / KERA News

Meet Phantasia Chavers. She may only be 14, but she’s already experienced a lot of heartache. When she was 7, the man who raised her was killed in a car crash. Last year, a cousin her age was shot in the head and killed.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles made his first public appearance Tuesday since the critical Coggins report was delivered to school board members last week. That report looked into allegations against Miles and found “cause for dismissal.” Miles seems unfazed by it.


DISD superintendent Mike Miles said this afternoon that he’s committed to leading the school district, citing recent progress made, including the highest graduation rate in decades.

“I'm here -- I'm not going anywhere,” he said at a Dallas Regional Chamber function.

Vogel Alcove, a longtime champion of homeless children, has found larger digs. The Dallas Independent School District, which has a partnership with the nearly 25-year organization, said today that the group would be moving into the district’s former City Park Elementary School building south of downtown.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

One of KERA’s Class of ’17 high school freshmen, Jerry Harris, injured his foot on vacation and and is wearing a “boot” these days until it heals. He’s certainly not doing what he loves: shooting hoops.

Plano ISD's new fleet of vehicles are patrolling school campuses. Their presence is part of the district's new security plan.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

When we last talked to Ricky Rijos Jr. for KERA’s Class of ’17 project, the freshman at Flower Mound High confidently figured he would make one of two freshman basketball teams, and he has. It’s just not clear which one yet. He’s relatively short for now, but ninth graders have been known to grow. He belongs to a traveling team and works hard on his shooting, which he concluded would be at least one plus for the team.