education | KERA News

education

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Ninth-grader Joel Luera is a smart kid in a tough neighborhood. Sometimes other kids don’t get why he’s so studious. He loves to read – so much that he’s in a book club at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas. Joel is the latest kid to join KERA’s series Class of ’17 – a five-year project following a group of North Texas students from eighth grade to graduation. It’s part of the national public media initiative American Graduate.

Globalization of Higher Education

Their presidential plans may be uncertain but one thing is clear: Jeb Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton keep bumping into each other – this time, in North Texas.

Bush and Clinton were taking the podium today at a higher education conference in Irving organized by Bush, the former Florida governor who is the brother and son of Republican presidents. The former secretary of state, whose husband, Bill Clinton, served two terms in the White House, is the leading Democratic contender in 2016 if she runs for president again.

David Chong / KERA News

When real estate developer Don Huffines narrowly defeated John Carona, Dallas County’s long-serving state senator, in the Republican primary, he promised to take a conservative, tea party approach to issues in Austin. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Fewer than one in five freshmen graduate area high schools ready for college in four years. That’s according to research from Commit!, the Dallas County education non-profit. It’s founder, Todd Williams, came into KERA’s studios and talked about the report and the controversial attempt to turn DISD into a home-rule charter district. 

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Learning a new language isn’t easy. It’s even harder if you haven’t been to school in decades. That hasn’t stopped 85-year-old Pablo Valverde, an East Dallas man who’s setting an example for his younger classmates.

This grandfather — soon he'll be a great-grandfather — is finally learning to write and read English.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

A judge who declared the Texas school funding system unconstitutional will hear more evidence Tuesday before entering his final, written ruling. 

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For a teacher, education is so much more than just taking attendance, assigning homework and administering tests; it’s figuring out creative ways to challenge and inspire kids.

Tonight at 7, KERA-13 will broadcast Teaching the Future: A KERA American Graduate Special. During the program, meet a group of cutting-edge North Texas teachers, see them in action as they bring their innovative approaches to the classroom and hear their thoughts on the future of education in a roundtable discussion led by KERA’s Krys Boyd.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis outlined a plan Thursday for attracting more top students to teaching and for improving the pay of those already in the classroom.

KERA News

Earlier this year, we introduced you to a diverse group of students making the transition from middle school to ninth grade. The series, called Class of 17, is part of a nationwide public broadcasting initiative called American Graduate.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

All year long, KERA has followed the Class of ’17 from eighth grade to high school as part of the American Graduate initiative. Today, we catch up with Alex Gutierrez whose struggles in math sent her to summer school. Alex is now in a brand new charter school with a multicultural twist.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

When you think of book clubs, you don’t necessarily think of boys. And when you look at the most recent Nation’s Report Card, the scores reveal that boys don’t fare as well as girls on reading tests. Here’s one book club that’s bucking that trend.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In his most recent book, Fire in the Ashes, celebrated education writer Jonathan Kozol follows some of the nation’s poorest children, from infancy through young adulthood.

As part of KERA's American Graduate initiative, Kozol talked about struggles many students face to succeed in school, and obstacles schools confront to teach them.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

There are more foreign students in the U.S. than ever before. Texas ranks third in the nation. That’s according to the latest Open Doors Report released Monday by the nonprofit Institute of International Education. The University of Texas at Dallas has the third-highest number of international students in the state. KERA visited the campus to hear from students who’ve made the decision to leave their home country in search of a higher education.

Students from low-income families often don’t apply to the best schools in the country. Ivy League universities like Harvard have noticed and are trying to figure out how best to connect with those students.

Yesterday’s show Here & Now featured a story from Houston’s public radio station KUHF that looks at how one program there is tackling this issue head-on.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Digital learning sounds like a teacher’s dream. But tech savvy kids and their devices present a whole new set of challenges. On Tuesday, a group of about 200 educators from around the state participated in a summit to discuss the latest digital teaching tools and strategies at Grand Prairie High School. The event was organized by Discovery Education, the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

KERA News

In an interview with KERA, Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles remained mum on whether he did what he’s accused of doing by a special investigator hired by the district.

Rosanna Boyd / UNT

More than 800,000 students whose first language is not English attend Texas public schools. About a quarter of them are in North Texas classrooms. The challenge for many educators is figuring out the best way to teach these students. A hotly-debated question is whether they should learn English through immersion or some other technique such as bilingual education.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says it’s time citizens do more to improve education, even if they have no kids in school. His friend Todd Williams, who founded an education nonprofit, says more kids need to know they can go to college. Both will be part of an education convention in Dallas beginning today, where participants will share emerging best practices.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

It took 16 years for the seed of an idea for a children’s garden to blossom at the Dallas Arboretum. But this weekend, the public will finally get to see what the $62 million dollar project looks like.

Sure, it’s got water blasters, CSI mysteries and secret garden mazes, but your kids won’t be able to escape without learning something.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

After saying it was treated unfairly, the Duncanville School District has decided not to appeal the state’s low academic rating.  

When the Texas Education Agency (TEA) issued new ratings for school districts last month Duncanville was the only large North Texas district that was labeled, “needs improvement.”  The rest were found to have met state standards.

KERA News

Superintendent Mike Miles has just started his second school year in Dallas, and already board members are talking about whether he should stay or go.  

The story has a familiar ring to those who’ve watched the district churn through superintendents, and experts say the succession of short-timers is surely taking a toll on education.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas schools Superintendent Mike Miles twice violated the terms of his contract during an investigation of him, a report turned in Friday concludes. “Under the terms of his employment contract," the report says, "violations of Board policy constitute 'good cause' for dismissal."

KERA News

Supporters of Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles believe he can still be effective despite an investigation into whether the school leader interfered with the granting of a contract.  Critics say community trust has evaporated.

The investigation report is due today in this latest controversy of Miles’ contentious tenure.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Duncanville began this school year as the only large North Texas district that got the label of “improvement required” under a new statewide school rating system.  

District Superintendent Alfred Ray claims the rating is unfair but the state’s education commissioner is defending the numbers.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

Did the victories of feminism spawn underachieving boys? In an effort to level the playing field for all, how did boys fall behind? We’ll talk at noon with Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming Our Young Men."

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Today was the first day back to school for  most Texas kids.  – including a Richardson Schools 2nd grader named Thomas Jefferson the 5th. And like a lot of other kids, TJ strolled into Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet elementary side by side with a family elder. But here’s where the story gets interesting. The great grandfather TJ accompanied is 70 year-old Thomas Jefferson, Jr. – who attended Hamilton Park himself six decades ago. He made the same walk with his son, Thomas Jefferson the 3rd, and grandson, Thomas Jefferson the 4th. Here’s a look at an African American family legacy.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

This month, when the state handed out its newest version of school district ratings, Richardson once again scored more accolades than almost any other district in the state.  How do they do it?

A new documentary about teachers is coming to CBS this fall. The two-hour TV special Teach will focus on the year-in-the-life of four public school teachers during the 2012-13 school year. One of them is Lindsay Chinn, a 2003 graduate of Coppell High School. Chinn teaches at Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College in Denver, Colorado.

Willow Blythe / KERA News

Like most 14-year-olds, Jerry Harris is out of school for the summer. That means time to take it easy and hang out with friends. But for Jerry, it also means a contract -- one that he wrote -- to start many mornings at 5:30 a.m. and, as he printed in block letters, to "WORK."

Jerry's one of the students KERA is following all the way through high school in the series Class of '17, part of the station’s American Graduate initiative. And as tough as that summer contract might be, even tougher is what comes in just three weeks: high school.

Everyone agrees that graduation is a crucial milestone on the path to adulthood. And according to a recent Education Week report, the national graduation rate has actually increased to nearly 75 percent – a level not seen since the 1970s.

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