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:

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For a high school senior, receiving a big envelope from a college is a good sign. It likely contains an acceptance letter, ending the waiting game and green-lighting the next adventure.

Thousands of public school teachers across Oklahoma will stay out of the classroom – and many will take to the streets — starting today, after they rejected a pay raise they said fails to compensate for some of the lowest educators' salaries in the country.

Last week, Gov. Mary Fallin signed raises of around $6,100 – about 15 to 18 percent per teacher, as well as $33 million for textbooks and $18 million in additional school funding, to be paid for with a tax increase on cigarettes, fuel and oil and gas production.

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Texas schools issued more than 64,000 in-school suspensions to students in the second grade or younger during the 2015-16 school year, and a disproportionate number of those students were black, male, in foster care or in special education, according to a report released Monday by a children's advocacy group.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

Texas pre-kindergarten programs are just scraping by after losing millions of dollars last year — and without sustainable funding, they could see greater problems down the line, school officials say.

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Texas got final approval Monday from the U.S. Department of Education for its school improvement and accountability plan, including a portion of its new system for grading schools.

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In 1999, when TVs and desktops dominated, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued its famous recommendation that children use no electronic screens before the age of 2.

Then in 2016 came an about face: If screens were used for something like video chat with faraway relatives or for looking at photos, they could be a good thing for kids of any age.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The education world is dense with data. And all those numbers can be numbing, especially for nonprofits trying to make a difference.

One day each year, Fidelity Investments invites those groups to its complex near Grapevine Lake to help make sense of it all.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The Richardson Independent School District is launching a plan aimed at improving four of its low-performing elementary schools.

It joins other North Texas school districts – Dallas and Fort Worth – that have poured more money and resources into its struggling campuses.

Eddie Seal / For The Texas Tribune

After gathering thousands of responses from parents and advocates, the Texas Education Agency has sketched a new plan for educating kids with disabilities — with limited money.

After the Columbine school shooting in 1999, the Texas Legislature created the School Safety Center, a research center at Texas State University that helps schools prepare for different kinds of disasters.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

A man dressed in gold and black blows a trumpet shell. A teenage boy beats on a drum. They’re part of a group that performs traditional Aztec dances.

On Saturday morning, they’re inside the gym at the Wesley-Rankin Community Center in West Dallas. Some of the kids watching may have seen these colorfully dressed dancers before, but few of them know what the dances mean.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Mentoring has always been about developing a one-on-one relationship. As technology has changed, so too has that relationship between mentor and mentee.

One of the country’s largest mentoring organizations – Big Brothers Big Sisters — has evolved to help professionals with busy lives and kids who like spending time online.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

A new report out by the Southern Poverty Law Center finds American students don’t fully understand many facts about slavery and the role it played in U.S. history. The study also finds that educators aren't adequately teaching students about it.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

The State Board of Education is considering creating standards for an official Mexican-American studies high school course, after two failed attempts to approve a textbook for the subject.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Texas says it promises to reform its special education services following federal findings that the state denied thousands of children those services for over a decade.

Lawyers and parents say the state has a long way to go.

Of the 690,000 undocumented immigrants now facing an uncertain future as Congress and President Trump wrangle over the DACA program are about 8,800 school teachers.

The real possibility that they'll be deported if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is allowed to expire has put enormous stress on them.

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A former board member of the Richardson Independent School District is suing the district.

David Tyson Jr. alleges that the district's at-large system violates the Voting Rights Act by denying “fair representation of African-Americans and other non-white voters.”

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas school board voted Thursday night during a public hearing to potentially close five schools, avoiding a possible state takeover of the entire district.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Vilma Ledferd, 17, who sang Saturday at the Women’s March in Dallas, is already experienced using her voice for women’s rights. Wanting to get others involved, she launched a local chapter of Ignite, a national nonprofit encouraging female students to get into politics, last year at her high school. 

Hello! Welcome to our weekly roundup of all the education news you may have missed.

An online charter school is closing midyear

Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Education Agency released a preliminary plan for reforming special education Thursday.

jeweledlion / Flickr

The city of Dallas will foot the $2.4 million bill to pay for crossing guards through the end of the school year, but a long-term solution is still up in the air.

Queen's University / Flickr

This has been a brutal flu season in North Texas. More than 40 people have died so far, and Tuesday, the Bonham Independent School District announced it was closing for a week because of the flu outbreak.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

More than three million adults in Texas don’t have a high school diploma or the equivalent of one. And the number of adults in Texas taking the General Equivalency Diploma test, or GED, has been dropping for the past decade, according to a new report.

Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune

After a federal report blasted Texas for failing kids with disabilities, educators and public education advocates are pointing the finger directly at state legislators who, they argue, first suggested capping special education to keep costs low.

Hello! Money is on our minds in this mid-January edition of the Weekly Roundup.

Student loan default is a "crisis," report says

Rick Holter / KERA News

One of the most influential education nonprofits in North Texas has a new leader. Byron Sanders, who's 34 and grew up in southern Dallas, got the CEO job this week at Big Thought, a nonprofit focused on merging education and the arts to create a creative path for kids.

"The federal government must take bold action to address inequitable funding in our nation's public schools."

So begins a list of recommendations released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency created by Congress in 1957 to investigate civil rights complaints. Thursday's report comes after a lengthy investigation into how America's schools are funded and why so many that serve poor and minority students aren't getting the resources they say they need.

From Texas Standard.

Twenty-three percent of the students in Fort Worth ISD are black. But according to a recent report by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 62 percent of all girls suspended in the district last school year were African-American. Fort Worth ISD administrators are looking into why this is happening in their district.

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Texas failed to make special education services available to all students with disabilities who needed it, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education.

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