KERA Yearbook | KERA News

KERA Yearbook

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.

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.

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.

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."

Christina Ulsh

Four years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics said no more energy drinks for adolescents. But anyone trying to keep kids away from drinks like Red Bull and Monster Energy is up against not just a $12 billion industry, but the appeal of something that many adults disapprove of. 

Dianna Douglas

Girls’ basketball teams from high schools across Texas are on their way to the state championships in San Antonio. Bryan Adams High School in Dallas earned a spot in the Final Four this year.

Dianna Douglas / KERA News

Hundreds of high school students from all over North Texas gathered in Denton last weekend to practice for the state’s biggest academic competition. They took tests, wrote stories, and performed monologues—all in the hopes of becoming the best at their favorite school subject.

Dianna Douglas

Administrators at Guyer High School in Denton County got tired of seeing immigrant kids miss out on college. The school started a new mentoring program with the University of North Texas to bring college students to campus in the hopes that college will seem a little less far away. 

Dianna Douglas

Journalism students at H. Grady Spruce High School in East Dallas recently got a challenging assignment: interview family members and turn their memories into news stories. Most of the stories were news to the students, many of whom are children of immigrants.

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

When President Obama told the government last month to stop deporting immigrants whose children are American citizens, half a million parents in Texas were suddenly eligible, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Messaging Apps Draw Teens Away From Facebook

Dec 1, 2014
Christina Ulsh / KERA News

Teenagers are heavy users of social media that keeps their thoughts, actions, and whereabouts private, a stark reversal from five years ago when the goal for many teens on social media was collecting public likes and friends. Here's a look at what kids are doing with their phones when their teachers face the board.

A number of retail stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day again this year, to squeeze one more shopping day into their biggest season. Many of the low-wage workers folding shirts, running cash registers, and stocking Frozen sparkle princess dolls will be teenagers. How do teenagers in Texas try cram their family holiday around their shifts?

A Better Way To Opt Out Of Required Reading

Nov 25, 2014
Dianna Douglas

A recent dispute in the Dallas suburb of Highland Park over requiring students to read the book The Art of Racing in the Rain was settled today—a committee of teachers, parents and students reviewed the book and found that it can be taught in the classrooms. One thing the debate in Highland Park has shown is that parents and students who object to certain books are also often unhappy with their options for alternative assignments. Some Texas schools have made that process smoother.

Teens Get An Earful During Interviews With Mom And Dad

Nov 17, 2014
Christina Ulsh / KERA News

A few students at Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth and at Dubiski Career High in Grand Prairie had their own version of the StoryCorps oral history project. They were assigned to interview a family member. The students learned more than they expected when they pressed "record."

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

Texas schools are required by law to protect students from bullying, ever since the Texas Legislature passed a bullying and cyber-bullying bill in 2011. As part of the KERA Yearbook project, here are three stories about bullying from three high school students who have experienced it.

Young Poet Takes Aim At Substandard Teaching

Oct 30, 2014
Courtesy Nytesia Ross

Nytesia Ross, a 19-year-old from Tyler, recently performed her original poem called "Teach Me" at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

She was one of five winners of a nationwide poetry competition about the challenges that students face as they try to graduate from high school, and her poem was addressed to high school teachers. 

Wary Of Loans, Texas Students Struggle Through College

Oct 28, 2014
Christina Ulsh / KERA News

Texans are carrying about $70 billion in student loans, according to the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. The good news is that Texans have less student debt than than the national average. The bad news is that people in Texas are more likely to be delinquent in repaying those loans.

Students Feel Cheated Out Of State Money For Education

Oct 23, 2014
Christina Ulsh

Spending on education is one of the biggest policy issues in the Texas governor’s race. We showed the Sept. 30 KERA debate to students at two different high schools in North Texas. When education spending came up, there were some strong reactions.

Christina Ulsh

Texas passed its Dream Act 13 years ago and became the first state to allow immigrant kids to pay in-state tuition at public universities. But it didn’t actually settle the issue.

Christina Ulsh

All of America has homecoming football games, parades, pep rallies and dances, but no place has a tradition quite like the Texas homecoming mum.

Christina Ulsh

Almost 90 percent of high school students in Texas graduate from high school, although there is large variation by race, ethnicity, family income, disability, and English proficiency. At Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth, 74 percent of African-American students graduate, while 80 percent of the Latino students do.

Flickr/planetchopstick

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that middle schools and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Seniors at Dubiski Career High School in Grand Prairie, participants of the KERA Yearbook Project, had a lot to say about how hard it is to get enough sleep as a teenager.

Christina Ulsh

Where does the deep mistrust of police in minority communities come from? As part of our new KERA Yearbook project, we asked four black and Latino teenagers to share their perceptions of the police in their neighborhoods and school.

An Online and Audio Yearbook Brings Out Teenage Voices

Aug 26, 2014
RedOakVideo

Producer Dianna Douglas will help KERA bring the voices of North Texas students to the radio and to the web through our new project, the KERA Yearbook. We’re exploring the forces in teenagers’ lives that affect how they perform in high school, and whether they finish.