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:

San Francisco Unified School District

When school starts this fall, the two biggest systems in Texas will be led by Latinos. Last year, Dallas rehired Michael Hinojosa as superintendent. Today, Houston's board of trustees unanimously chose Richard Carranza as sole finalist for its top job.

Panel Backpedals On Swapping Out STAAR Tests

Jul 27, 2016
Qiling Wang / Texas Tribune

A special panel charged with suggesting changes to the state’s testing and school accountability system will recommend that state lawmakers implement a series of individualized, computer-based exams to measure student performance and progress throughout the year.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Hundreds of Texas teachers recently spent a couple days in summer school to learn the best ways to teach International Baccalaureate classes. The IB curriculum has been growing statewide because of its high global standards. Today we take a closer look at what sets it apart.

Oil Patch Schools Facing Budget Nightmare

Jul 19, 2016
Robin Jerstad / Texas Tribune

In December 2014, the week Pam Seipp became interim superintendent of Runge schools, the tiny South Texas district held a symbolic groundbreaking for schools and sports facilities to be paid for by a $22 million bond that local voters overwhelmingly approved just as oil prices began to slip.

Seipp’s main responsibility since then? “The bearer of bad news,” she says.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas’ Perot Museum of Nature and Science just launched its second TECH Truck. Designed to take science to the streets, the truck recently visited southern Dallas on the campus of UNT Dallas.  

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

It’s summer, but that doesn’t mean kids are off the hook from learning. One Dallas camp is teaching its students about character – and this week, the focus is on beauty. KERA News tagged along with one group as they trekked around the Trinity River Audubon Center.

Shelby Knowles / Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the Fort Worth school district’s guidelines for transgender students violate state law.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA

David Kapuku came to the U.S. with his family in 2013 after his mother won the Diversity Visa Lottery. KERA reporter Stella Chávez met David while reporting on immigrant students in North Texas for a series called “Generation One.” She recently caught up with David, who’s just graduated from high school. He talks about how the past few weeks have been filed with triumph and tragedy.

Photo: Nada Atieh

When school's out, Texas schools are giving low-income kids free meals in the summer. The problem is five out of every six kids who are eligible don’t show up. However, the Arlington school district is trying to turn that around. 

Dustin Marshall won the district 2 trustee seat on the Dallas Independent School District school board Saturday over competitor Mita Havlick.

bill zeeble / KERA News

The Orlando shootings have brought another layer of pain to transgender kids and their families. We hear from several of them about how they’re coping - and how the rise of the Texas bathroom issue has complicated their lives.

bill zeeble / KERA News

McKinney Boyd High Valedictorian Larissa Martinez went viral this month when she revealed her undocumented status in her graduation speech. The 19-year-old says her decision to talk wasn’t hers alone. 

Shutterstock

Sunday’s deadly attack on a nightclub in Orlando has kids across the country asking questions. And with school out for summer, that leaves a lot of pressure on parents to come up with answers. Here's a range of resources to talk about tragedy death and loss with children.

U.S. Department of Education / flickr

There’s a rating Texas schools do not want – improvement required. Under a new state law, schools that have received this rating at least two years in a row have to come up with a plan that explains how they will get better. Schools are trying creative ways in the hopes of turning things around.

Shutterstock

From Alaska to Maine, Texas to North Dakota, public schools have dramatically changed during the past two decades. Walk into these schools and you’ll likely find that the majority of students are children of color.

ESPN

We’ll turn now to a follow-up of our American Graduate series “What’s Next for The Class Of ’17?” Earlier, we caught up with Ricky Rijos Jr., an 11th grader at Flower Mound High School. He’s a basketball fanatic – but he’s only 5’6”, and after sitting on the bench he says he’s giving up the sport.

Fran Fraschilla can relate. He’s a former college coach, a current announcer for ESPN and the father of two boys who never reached 6 feet tall. Fraschilla, by the way, is all of   5’7”.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

Like a lot of high school juniors, Ricky Rijos Jr. of Flower Mound High is facing uncertainty.

Lara Solt

For the past month, you’ve been hearing from North Texas high school juniors. Their stories are part of KERA's American Graduate series, “What’s Next for the Class of ’17?” Alex Gutierrez is a student at the International Leadership of Texas high school, a charter school in Garland. Alex has been struggling with math and as junior year ends, a big test looms.

Mark Birnbaum

Chance Hawkins has all the junior year challenges of his classmates at Fort Worth’s Dunbar High School. His personal challenge is even bigger – he’s battling a degenerative muscle disease. Chance is one of the students KERA has been following for its American Graduate series, “What’s Next for the Class of ’17?” In this latest installment, Chance talks about how this school year has been and what he’d like to do in the future.

Shutterstock

Highland Park High School and the Dallas school district’s Townview Magnet Center are again among the best public schools in North Texas. That’s according to the education nonprofit Children At Risk, which has rated some 1,600 schools across Dallas-Fort Worth.

Lara Solt / KERA News

Since eighth grade, we’ve been following a group of North Texas students we call KERA’s Class of ’17. 

Shutterstock

The Obama administration on Friday issued guidelines to protect transgender students from discrimination. In a letter to school districts, the departments of education and justice said transgender students should be allowed to use bathrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. The announcement has been met with applause and anger.

Lara Solt

The Class of ’17 — a group of North Texas students that KERA began following three years ago — is wrapping up its junior year. And it’s crunch time, which means these students are starting to make decisions about what will come after graduation.

Burlingham / Shutterstock

Early voting ended May 3 for a number of North Texas school board and bond elections. Here's a look at some of the items on Saturday's ballot.

Sara Ortega / Uplift Education

Many people were shocked to hear in February that kids from a Dallas charter school endured racial insults during their trip to Texas A&M in College Station. More dramatic stories came out during a symposium on Friday sponsored by the Uplift charter school chain.

As College Costs Rise, Texas Schools Open Food Pantries For Students

Apr 20, 2016
Jerod Foster / Texas Tribune

The stereotype is so old that it’s enmeshed in popular culture: College students arrive on campus to find a surplus of food — enough for food fights in dining halls or to pack on the infamous “freshman 15.” 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

On May 7, McKinney voters will head to the polls to decide on a $220 million school district bond package. It includes plans for school upgrades, new technology and a 12,000-seat stadium and event center.

Let's begin with a choice.

Say there's a check in the mail. It's meant to help you run your household. You can use it to keep the lights on, the water running and food on the table. Would you rather that check be for $9,794 or $28,639?

It's not a trick question. It's the story of America's schools in two numbers.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Last fall, KERA reported on a new scholarship program at the University of Texas at Dallas. Students could win up to $5,000 solving challenges in a computer game similar to Minecraft. Meet some of the winners.

How UT-Dallas Transformed Itself Into A Top Texas College

Apr 11, 2016
Shelby Tauber / Texas Tribune

Longtime University of Texas at Dallas administrator Hobson Wildenthal has fretted for years that his university doesn’t get the credit it deserves. That’s why he was so happy last year after meeting a candidate for a tenure-track job.  

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