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:

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.

New College Rankings Put Some Dark Horses At The Top

May 1, 2015
Jorge Salcedo / Shutterstock.com

A new college ranking from the Brookings Institution has some surprising results—Rice and St. Mary’s in Texas are way above Northeastern elites like Dartmouth and Wellesley. The ranking is based on how much of an income boost you should get from college, versus what you actually get.  

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

On Friday at 4 p.m., Dallas school board members will meet to decide the future of superintendent Mike Miles.

flickr

Texas health officials recently made a change to doctor reimbursements that hasn’t gotten much notice. They’ve made it a little easier for low-income women and girls to get IUDs. Many health professionals see these contraceptives as the best way to stop unintended pregnancies. But many teens are skeptical.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Texas legislators are debating whether to repeal the Texas Dream Act. Signed by then-Governor Rick Perry in 2001, the law allows certain undocumented students to pay in-state tuition. A recent Texas Tribune analysis revealed that the majority of undocumented students who pay in-state tuition rates don't attend four-year universities – they’re in community colleges. And most are in school here in North Texas.

Shutterstock

Three trustees from the Dallas Independent School District are suing one of their own -- the board president. 

Dianna Douglas

An elementary school in Dallas is tearing up their grass courtyard, and turning it into a garden of native plant that don’t need a sprinkler system. Cochran Elementary is the first of many schools that will see new landscaping as part of a citywide effort to curb water use.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Seventy percent of the students in the Dallas Independent School District are Latino. That’s by the far the largest ethnic group. But some parents say they’d like a better relationship with the district. Earlier this week, Superintendent Mike Miles visited a predominately Latino neighborhood in Oak Cliff to talk to some of those parents and their kids.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

When voters to the go polls in Dallas next month, there’s only one school board race without an incumbent. A strong opponent of Superintendent Mike Miles is stepping down. Trustee Elizabeth Jones decided not to run again. The race to replace her pits a Miles fan against a Miles foe.

Dianna Douglas

For every exasperated teacher who feels like students have become surgically attached to smartphones, a new study from the Pew Research Center confirms that it’s true. A quarter of teens say they are online all day long with their phones.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

For a kid with severe physical disabilities, having an aide at school can make a huge difference. It can affect whether a student stays in school or drops out, whether the student passes or fails. As part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, Stella Chavez catches up with Class of ’17 student Chance Hawkins, a sophomore at Fort Worth’s Dunbar High School.

Pint-Sized Triathletes Learn Big Lessons In Training

Apr 17, 2015
Dianna Douglas

In Dallas, the Tom Landry Triathlon will be held this weekend--it’s 400 meters of swimming, 15 miles of biking, and then 3 miles of running. Among the athletes at the starting line on Saturday will be a group of middle schoolers from South Dallas.

Michael Ahler, Flickr Creative Commons

While family farms are quickly disappearing in Texas, small-scale agriculture is still alive and well in some immigrant communities in North Texas.

Dianna Douglas

A thousand teenagers in Dallas got their first taste of interviewing for jobs over the weekend, as part of the mayor's intern fellows program. It puts young people in businesses across Dallas for a couple of months each summer. 

Christina Ulsh

Teenagers getting their first jobs in North Texas are finding a very welcoming job market. Many are being offered above minimum wage right away for jobs that usually don’t budge from the federally-mandated hourly pay.

Stella M. Chávez
KERA News

During the past decade, it seems like every school has added a garden. Educators say the benefits range from kids learning about healthier food to improving their social and emotional health. In Grand Prairie, there’s an elementary school that goes way beyond the traditional school garden.

Christina Ulsh

The federal government announced last week that it is investigating Dallas County for how it arrests and prosecutes students who miss school. More than 20,000 children and their parents were caught up in the truancy courts in Dallas County last year, in what the Department of Justice called a “school-to-prison pipeline."

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Faith Family Academy, an Oak Cliff charter school, will stay open after all. The state had ordered the closing of the school, and a dozen others statewide, because of financial and student-performance problems. But last week, the state ruled the Dallas school could stay open -- by using the charter of its Waxahachie branch.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Stuart Spitzer, a Republican from Kaufman, kicked up a controversy about sex education during a recent marathon budget debate in the Texas House. He succeeded in moving $3 million to abstinence education from programs aimed at preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

A 19-year-old woman who’s three years into motherhood explains how this plays out in real life.

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