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. 

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:

Lawmakers are calling for an investigation into a troubled student loan discharge program one day after an NPR report revealed that the program — meant to erase the student debts of borrowers with significant, permanent disabilities — wasn't helping the vast majority of those who are eligible.

Fort Worth English as a Second Language teacher, Sharon Darnell works with student Morsal Haidari at Seminary Hills Park Elementary. Darnell works with refugee students who haven't been in the U.S. very long learn the basics of English.
Lauren Rangel / KERA News

This fall, the Trump administration announced it's lowering the annual cap on the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. That change is affecting how Fort Worth Independent School District is teaching some of its newcomers.

Rune Mathisen

Were the reading and writing passages on standardized tests that Texas elementary and middle school students took this spring too challenging for their grade levels?

Britany Miller said that she's tried at multiple charter schools to get her son Nicholas Davis, 13, the support he needs. Nicholas was diagnosed with ADHD and depression in elementary school.
Laura Isensee / Houston Public Media

Twice, Britany Miller has asked for special education services and accommodations at two different Houston-area charter schools for her son, Nicholas Davis, who struggles with depression and an attention disorder. 

Interns in Fort Bend ISD's program to grow its staff of licensed specialists
Laura Isensee / Houston Public Media

In the last three years, Fort Bend schools have seen the demand for special education almost double. More teachers and parents are asking for children to be tested for a disability — which district leaders say is a huge step forward since the end of a Texas policy that denied services to tens of thousands of children for over a decade.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A group of high school students has been diving into the world of soft-shells and sliders, and we’re not talking crab or tiny sandwiches. These kids are part of a lab class learning what field work is really like.

Susan Moreno works in the dual-language and International Baccalaureate program at J.L. Long Middle School.
Milken Family Foundation

A Dallas ISD Spanish teacher has won $25,000 for being one of the best teachers in the country. Susan Moreno from J.L. Long Middle School is the only Milken Educator Award winner in Texas.

Diane Tran
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

It’s 6:30 on a Tuesday night. Local brews, some cocktails, wine and food are filling tables at the Cambria hotel that looks out on Dallas’ still busy Elm Street. It’s lecture time. 

A budding business mixing spirits and scholars has come to Dallas. Profs and Pints is taking the traditional college class out of the lecture hall and into a bar. 

University of Michigan
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Students in high school may not realize it, but they're having to make lots of decisions that will likely determine their future. Journalist Paul Tough joined Krys Boyd on Think to talk about how the choices students make during the college admissions process can impact the rest of their life.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Thousands of Dallas ISD kids and their teachers transferred to different schools Wednesday. They were forced from their damaged home campuses because of the weekend's tornado. All Thomas Jefferson High School students are now attending classes at Thomas Edison school in west Dallas.

Yale university buildings in spring blue sky in New Haven, CT
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When students from low-income backgrounds enter top colleges the transition can be difficult. Harvard education professor Anthony Jack talks about some of the hurdles these students face in his new book "The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students."

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Beginning Wednesday, Dallas ISD students from tornado-damaged schools will head to different campuses. Thomas Jefferson High School and the surrounding neighborhood were hit hard by the weekend's severe weather. The school’s students will now have class at the old, empty Thomas Edison Middle School in west Dallas.

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa offers details on how district students forced out of their schools by Sunday's tornado  damage will continue getting an education
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa spent part of his Monday driving through parts of his ravaged school district to survey the damage.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

After years of preparation, classes are underway at Fort Worth’s newest medical school – a partnership between Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Officials are hoping to modernize medical education. The new school has injected a creative curriculum designed to improve the health of future doctors and patients.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Every year volunteers with the Dallas Regional Chamber get to be Principal for a Day at a Dallas school. Thursday, on the 20th anniversary of the program, more than 200 got the chance. KERA caught up with one of them at Sidney Lanier Expressive Arts Vanguard, in west Dallas.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath says despite recent improvements in public education, it's not enough. At the Dallas Regional Chamber lunch Monday, he urged hundreds of business leaders to get involved with public schools.

Courtesy of Richardson Independent School District

Some students in the Richardson Independent School District are getting a head start on paying for college. The district has announced a college savings plan in three of its schools with large numbers of students who are economically disadvantaged.

Stella Chávez / KERA News

Elías Valverde, a social studies teacher at Fort Worth's Paschal High School, spent a recent morning talking to his ninth-graders about the history of La Gran Plaza.

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Four out of 10 students who go to college end up with college debt but don’t graduate. David Kirp, a University of California, Berkeley professor and the author of "The College Dropout Scandal," recently joined Krys Boyd, host of Think, to talk about this problem.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

It began as an experiment more than four years ago in a handful of struggling Dallas schools.  Now, the ACE program —for Accelerating Campus Excellence —  has blossomed into a turnaround program well beyond Dallas. But these programs are pricey. Can districts afford them in the long run?

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

School starts today for many students across North Texas. We find out what’s new and different at some of the biggest districts.

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Just as school is kicking off across the state, school districts and individual campuses in Texas got their report cards Thursday. Education leaders released ratings using an A through F grading scale.  Dallas got a B; Fort Worth got C — and both districts saw more failing schools.

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With days to go before school starts, some Irving ISD parents are scrambling for after school care.  That means after-school programs at nearly half the district’s campuses have been cancelled.  

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Some physicians knew they wanted to be doctors since grade school. Others figured it out after taking classes in science and technology or by spending a week in a program like Fort Worth’s Junior Medical School.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Good nutrition is essential to staying healthy, but pulling it off on a tight budget — or when you’re sick — can be tough. And that’s when it’s even more important.

So the Tarrant Area Food Bank offers free Cooking Matters classes that teach affordable nutrition to low income families and cancer survivors.

From Texas Standard:

In the fall, Texas A&M University will start a new program to better serve Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Aggie ACHIEVE will gives these students access to a full university experience – something not often available to them. They’ll reside on campus, attend classes alongside fellow Aggies, and will have a personalized education plan geared toward future employment. 

Stella Chávez / KERA News

More than 4,000 students in the Dallas Independent School District are homeless. With no permanent place to call home, life can be stressful. That’s why homeless advocates say exposing kids to positive experiences is so important. One summer camp at the University of Texas at Dallas is doing just that.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

More than 50 young lawyers from 25 countries are in Plano learning about the U.S. justice system and international trade. They’re also learning about American life and cultures of their colleagues.  KERA caught up with some of the lawyers at a recent class.

Research showing that reading passages on Texas standardized tests were years above grade level inspired calls for action this legislative session.

Lawmakers responded by passing a bill to study the matter further.

Every time Jennifer Tidd's son was secluded or restrained at school, she received a letter from his teachers. Her son has autism and behavioral issues, and over three years — from 2013 to 2016 — Tidd got 437 of those letters.

"I see this pile of documents that's 5 inches tall that represents hundreds of hours of being locked into a room, and I feel, you know, horrible," Tidd says.

She's sitting in her living room in Northern Virginia, her head hanging over the stack of papers. Tears are in her eyes.

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