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:

Texas Education Board Moves To Reinsert Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller Into Curriculum

14 hours ago
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and author and political activist Helen Keller (1880-1968).
REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein: Clinton/Public domain: Keller

The Texas State Board of Education backed a motion Tuesday evening to reinsert Hillary Clinton into the state's 11th-grade U.S. History standards, two months after voting to remove the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee from the state's curriculum. In a separate action Tuesday, the board backed restoring disability rights advocate Helen Keller to the state's third-grade social studies curriculum standards.

The front of the new Fannie C. Harris Youth Center, near Fair Park in Dallas. Dallas ISD and several non-profits held a ceremony t
Stella Chavez / KERA

An estimated 4,000 students in the Dallas Independent School District are considered homeless. On Tuesday, Dallas ISD and several non-profit groups marked the opening of the first phase of a homeless youth center. 

From Texas Standard:

A federal appeals court last week affirmed that the state of Texas owes more than $30 million to the federal government after it cut funding for special education in 2012. Now, disability rights advocates say they've found documents that could put the state on the hook for over $40 million more.

Texas Education Board Set To Approve Curriculum Some Say Is Historically Inaccurate

Nov 12, 2018
Gaby Mondragon teaches AP U.S. History to a class of juniors at United South High School in Laredo.
Rachel Zein for The Texas Tribune

After a politically-charged September meeting, the State Board of Education meets this week to approve "streamlined" social studies curriculum standards. Teachers' responses are mixed.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Texas Education Agency owes the federal government millions of dollars for failing to match a special education grant.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

For years, school finance reform has been a messy political challenge that Gov. Greg Abbott has been reluctant to wade into.

LM Otero / AP

Updated, 11:53 a.m. 

Former Dallas County Schools Board President Larry Duncan, 72, has pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion.

According to court filings Monday, Duncan pleaded guilty to the federal charge in connection with the bribery scandal that brought down the troubled school bus agency last year.

Bill Zeeble/KERA

It’s time to restore the billons that were cut from the state’s education budget more than half a decade ago because the state depends on it, Tom Luce said Thursday at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Luce, the former assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education, targeted his message to his audience: North Texas business leaders.

Shutterstock

The latest version of the Tuition Tracker was released Thursday to help students figure out the true cost of any college in Texas and across the country. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Despite longstanding awareness of the problem, bullying persists — in schools, online and well into adulthood.

That’s why dozens of students and teachers from 15 public and private schools in Texas and Oklahoma gathered last week for the No Place for Hate Youth Summit. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Voters in the Dallas, Frisco and Richardson school districts will decide on tax ratification elections, or TREs, this November. These tax measures, which have becoming increasingly popular ballot items in the last decade, are meant to generate millions for school districts.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Tuesday’s the last day to register to vote in Texas, and a record’s already been set: More than 15.5 million Texans are eligible to vote, with registration continuing to climb. But being able to vote and actually pulling the lever are not the same thing. 

Lara Solt for KERA News

When it comes to traditional public schools and charter schools, many take sides — but Todd Williams says both models have strengths.

He's president and CEO of The Commit Partnership, a Dallas-based nonprofit working to boost student outcomes in North Texas. He also helped establish Uplift Williams Preparatory, a Dallas charter school.

Alan Diaz / AP

It's hard to talk to kids about sex.

But the U.S. consistently has among the highest teen pregnancy and STD infection rates in the developed world.

Bonnie J. Rough has had "The Talk" with her kids — and she knows how hard it is, and how important. She's the author of "Beyond Birds and Bees." 

She recently talked with KERA's Krys Boyd on Think about the need for comprehensive sex education, even when it's uncomfortable.

Lara Solt for KERA News

The Dallas school district is home to high schools with the lowest graduation rates in Dallas County, according to a report by the education nonprofit Children At Risk.

Rice University is "dramatically expanding" its financial aid offerings, promising full scholarships to undergrads whose families have incomes under $130,000. The school says it wants to reduce student debt — and make it easier for students from low-income families to attend.

"Talent deserves opportunity," Rice President David Leebron said while announcing the plan on Tuesday.

Lara Solt for KERA News

Many West Dallas middle schoolers and teachers headed to a new campus this school year — a high school. Edison Middle Learning Center closed over the summer and those students now attend classes in a redesigned wing of nearby Pinkston High School.

Bob Daemmrich/BDP, Inc. Via Texas Tribune

Seventh grade Texas social studies teachers will likely still be required to describe Alamo defenders in terms of their “heroism” and refer to William B. Travis’ letter “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” contrary to an initial recommendation of a board-appointed work group.

Miguel Perez / KERA News

Fort Worth has set an ambitious goal: to have every third grader reading on grade level by 2025. That's the key milestone for a public-private effort called Read Fort Worth, which just hired a new executive director, Anel Mercado.

An advisory committee is expected to recommend today that the Texas State Board of Education remove the word "heroic" from social studies curriculum when referring to defenders of the Alamo.

Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune

Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin are the only Texas schools to rank in the top 50 nationwide, according to rankings released today from U.S. News & World report that placed the Houston private school in the 16th spot and UT-Austin in the 49th.

From Texas Standard:

Two years ago, the Houston Chronicle investigated how Texas had been creating the false impression that there was declining demand for special education. The investigation was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and it showed that Texas had found ways to cap the number of special-education students, and block others from even qualifying. It was essentially a money-saving strategy, but now the federal government says it's time to pay up, and fix the system.

Popular culture tells us that college "kids" are recent high school graduates, living on campus, taking art history, drinking too much on weekends, and (hopefully) graduating four years later.

The U.S. Department of Justice is throwing its support behind an anti-affirmative action group that is suing Harvard University over alleged racial discrimination in its admissions policies.

In a document filed in federal court on Thursday, the Justice Department said it is siding with Students for Fair Admissions in its request for a trial, currently scheduled to begin in mid-October.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Two teacher associations sued Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath and the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday, arguing they rolled out a law incentivizing partnerships with school districts and charter schools in a way that weakened protections for public school employees.

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Before Arne Duncan served as the Secretary of Education under President Obama, he spent seven years trying to improve Chicago's schools as CEO of the country's third largest school district. 

One of the city's most pressing challenges was curbing the gun violence that many of Chicago's students experience on a daily basis. It's one of Duncan's focuses in his new role as managing partner at the Emerson Collective, a nonprofit organization that promotes social justice initiatives. 

Updated at 1:12 p.m. ET

The federal official in charge of protecting student borrowers from predatory lending practices has stepped down.

In a scathing resignation letter, Seth Frotman, who until now was the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says current leadership "has turned its back on young people and their financial futures." The letter was addressed to Mick Mulvaney, the bureau's acting director.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

The Texas Education Agency has released new A-F grades for school districts. Some school leaders call the new rating system misleading. They say the letter grades simplify a complex issue. 

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A University of North Texas professor planned to give the world’s longest history lecture Friday and Saturday with the goal of earning a Guinness World Record and raising money for an online Texas history archive.

Rachel Zein for The Texas Tribune

Federal education officials are considering letting school districts use federal money to buy guns for educators — and the idea may have come from Texas, according to national education outlet Education Week.

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