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:

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

KERA is looking into the remarkable number of help-wanted ads for school superintendents across the country, from Los Angeles to Newark to Fort Worth. Today we dig into the checkered history of the top job in Dallas. With Mike Miles’ departure last month, the district is looking for its eighth permanent leader in two decades. How has that turnover shaped a struggling district that’s the second-largest in the state?

Dixon School of the Arts / flickr.com

More than 230,000 students attend charter schools in Texas. And, on average, those students show less progress in reading and math than their peers in traditional public schools. That’s according to a new study out of Stanford University. But the report also shows some bright spots for charter schools since the last Texas study in 2009.

Fort Worth ISD

Dallas is searching for a new school superintendent. So is Fort Worth. They join districts coast to coast that are also looking for new leaders. Over the next few Tuesdays, KERA will explore why it's so tough for a big-city superintendent to survive, let alone thrive. We kick off the series with a conversation with Patricia Linares, the Fort Worth Independent School District's interim superintendent.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual study on children’s poverty and well-being today. Last year, Texas performed pretty dismally. Not much has changed in 2015.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The mayors of Dallas, Fort Worth and three other North Texas cities got together on Thursday with a single purpose – to tackle what’s known as the “skills gap.” A booming economy is producing jobs, but the mayors say too few people are coming out of school with the skills to do those jobs.

How Textbooks Can Teach Different Versions Of History

Jul 14, 2015

This summer there's been an intense debate surrounding the Confederate flag and the legacy of slavery in this country.

In Texas that debate revolves around new textbooks that 5 million students will use when the school year begins next month.

The question is, are students getting a full and accurate picture of the past?

Eleventh-grade U.S. history teacher Samantha Manchac is concerned about the new materials and is already drawing up her lesson plans for the coming year. She teaches at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a public school in Houston.

Standardized tests tied to the Common Core are under fire in lots of places for lots of reasons. But who makes them and how they're scored is a mystery.

For a peek behind the curtain, I traveled to the home of the nation's largest test-scoring facility: San Antonio.

The facility is one of Pearson's — the British-owned company that dominates the testing industry in the U.S. and is one of the largest publishing houses behind these mysterious standardized tests.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

An oddball bit of presidential history gets made tonight in Dallas. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will share a stage at the Bush Presidential institute with billionaire Shark Tank panelist and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

In Texas, the debate over same-sex marriage has spilled out of county courthouses and into public libraries across Dallas-Fort Worth.

Not All Texas School Districts Will Bring Back Sodas And Fried Foods

Jul 1, 2015
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Students eager to purchase soda and fried foods when they return to school in the fall may be disappointed, despite Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's recent announcement that both will be welcome back on Texas public school campuses after a 10-year ban. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

He’s back. Former Dallas superintendent Michael Hinojosa was unanimously named interim superintendent by the school board late Friday.

Dallas ISD/YouTube

Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles makes his final school board appearance Thursday night.  He announced his resignation on Tuesday. When Miles first arrived in Dallas, he had much different plans.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A day after he announced his resignation, and a day before he leaves the job, Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles talked with Krys Boyd on KERA’s Think. Miles defended his record and talked about the district moving on.

Dallas ISD livestream / YouTube

Mike Miles, who pushed for controversial reforms in the Dallas Independent School District, announced Tuesday morning that he’s resigning as superintendent. 

For two decades, Texas has treated truancy as a criminal offense. That means most cases were prosecuted in adult courts where children, along with their parents, faced jail and fines of up to $1,500 for missing school — usually 10 or more unexcused absences.

Texas lawmakers now say this policy went too far. So last week, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed a law that no longer treats truancy as a Class C misdemeanor.

Lara Solt / For KERA News

North Dallas High School has the most homeless students in the Dallas Independent School District -- one out of eight are without a home. Many see North Dallas High as a center of innovation, thanks to its homeless outreach efforts.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

For more than 15 years, Charles ‘CJ’ Johnson has unofficially fostered homeless kids from North Dallas High School.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Over the next few days, thousands of young Texans will receive their diplomas. Some of those students squeaked by thanks to a new state law. High schoolers no longer have to pass all five end-of-course exams to graduate. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Allen High School’s $60 million stadium closed last year due to cracking concrete. The school district announced today the stadium will reopen this week in time for graduation Friday.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

Desmond Davis is one of those 18-year-olds that schools like to brag about: He's a runner, wrestler and drum major. He’s graduating from North Dallas High School in June and he’s heading to college in the fall. Desmond just happens to be homeless.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

There are about 110,000 homeless students in schools statewide, including thousands right here in North Texas. As part of KERA’s American Graduate series Homeless in High School, Monday on Think, Krys Boyd talked to a panel of experts about the issue:

Andy Canales / Commit!

Only about one in three third graders are reading at grade level in Dallas County schools. And that can have big implications down the road since only one in five kids who read below grade level go on to college. A new kind of virtual tutoring aims to tackle that problem even earlier. And the volunteer tutors don’t even have to leave the office.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

About 110,000 kids in Texas public schools are considered homeless. Many stay with relatives or friends. Others live in shelters or motels. Some even live on the street.

Dianna Douglas

Thousands of students in North Texas are just one or two tests away from graduating high school. This year’s seniors are the first to have to pass five STAAR tests. So many haven’t passed, that Gov. Greg Abbott just signed a law giving those students a loophole.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Tuesdays are when KERA’s American Graduate project charts the journey from childhood to graduation. Today, we chart a different sort of journey – the one Dinesh Mali made from childhood in India to his spot as the first Indian-American elected to the Irving school board.

Christina Ulsh

The University of North Texas had a campus-wide commencement over the weekend – a first for the school in Denton. The keynote speaker, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, ignored a few protestors and stayed focused on the graduates in his speech.

Theresa Thompson / flickr.com

When Fort Worth voters head to the polls on Saturday, the school board ballot will have a range of familiar faces and newcomers. One of those political newcomers is a principal – in Dallas.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

There’s a new after-school club in the Denton school district where kids can play computer games. But they’re not just staring like zombies into screens. This is also an introduction to computer coding. The goal is for kids to learn while having fun.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas school board decided to keep Superintendent Mike Miles in a late-night vote Friday. It sent him a “letter of concern” instead. Several trustees who once backed Miles say they now want a succession plan so he’s replaced with as little disruption as possible.

Dianna Douglas / KERA News

North Lake College in Irving is home to hundreds of Nepali students, and they're feeling the impact of last week's earthquake.

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