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:

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.

Shutterstock

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. 

Shutterstock

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.

Lara Solt for KERA News

Gov. Greg Abbott paid a visit to Dallas Tuesday because he says the school district has a proven system that works. He's considering several statewide education improvements from Dallas and elsewhere in Texas.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Staff and students at the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard Elementary celebrated not only the first day back but also the fact that the Fort Worth campus is no longer on the state’s list of failing schools.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Garland School District is launching an effort to turn around two of its struggling schools this year.

Through the Accelerating Campus Excellence program, or ACE, the district is pouring additional resources into campuses where officials say they’re needed most.

Back-to-school shopping has been different this year for Annette Holder, whose son Clayton is an incoming freshman at Santa Fe High School.

The school’s new metal detectors mean more composition books, fewer three-ring binders – or really anything with metal.

Lara Solt for KERA News

Residents in the Dallas school district will vote on a 13-cent tax increase this November.

The school board Thursday night approved a recommendation for an election on a proposal to raise the district’s maintenance and operating tax rate from $1.04 to $1.17 — the maximum state law allows. It's called a tax ratification election.

Lara Solt / KERA News

The Dallas Independent School District launched a program a few years ago to turn around struggling schools called Accelerating Campus Excellence, or ACE. Now, other North Texas school districts are launching similar efforts, while Dallas ramps down the program.

As students prepare to go back to school, more and more parents are thinking about school safety. A recent poll found 34 percent of parents fear for their child's physical safety at school. That's almost triple the number of parents from 2013.

Lara Solt for KERA News

The Texas Education Agency rolled out a new A through F accountability system Wednesday that measures the academic performance of school districts.

How Texas Educators Train Before Arming Themselves At School

Aug 14, 2018
The Texas Tribune

PFLUGERVILLE — A gaggle of reporters clustered last week near shelves of picture books and signs marked "Love" and "Read" in the Windermere Elementary School library.

Then shots rang. The reporters jolted back, their iPhones shaking in surprise. A gunman ran through the hallway until he was shot down by a masked educator.

Courtesy of Arlington ISD

It’s a very big day. Applause, cheers and deep thumping beats belie the athletic atmosphere. 

This is no stadium, but a large, festive room on Lockheed Martin’s sprawling campus in Fort Worth. Dozens of students with hundreds of relatives and Lockheed employees are celebrating signing day.

Erika Rich for The Texas Tribune

In exactly a week, Texas will give its school districts official grades for the first time, rating them on a scale from A through F, with state officials promising a more transparent system that will show parents how their schools are educating students.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Rural libraries in Texas face many challenges — they don’t have a lot of resources, but the people they serve have a lot of needs.

A new effort from Texas Woman’s University in Denton and the Texas Library Association is focused on helping them.

Irving students show off their award-winning space colony design.
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

One year shy of the 50th moon landing anniversary, young space enthusiasts pack Dallas' Frontiers of Flight Museum. CEO Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones says this place will see three to four times the normal Saturday turnout. 

Rachel Zein for The Texas Tribune

A special Texas Senate committee devoted to fighting school violence has recommended improving mental health resources for students and increasing funding for a program that arms some members of school staff, but shied away from any measures aiming to limit access to guns.

James Milliken Named The Sole Finalist For UT System Chancellor

Aug 4, 2018
Handout

The University of Texas System's governing board has tapped the former chancellor of the City University of New York as its next leader, unanimously naming 61-year-old James Milliken the sole finalist for the position of chancellor Saturday.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Here’s the assignment for high school girls at one Dallas summer camp: Dream up an everyday item that’s cheaper and safer to use than what’s out there now — then build it.  

Lara Solt for KERA News

Dual-credit courses are more popular than ever in Texas. High school students are taking college-level classes and getting both high school and college credit. But a new study finds that not all Texas students benefit equally from these classes.

Paul Quinn College

Paul Quinn College in southeast Oak Cliff announced it’s expanding north – to the suburbs.

Starting this fall, selected students will live, work and study in Plano. It's part of an expansion of the school's Urban Work College Model. 

The number of students in Texas accused of making terroristic threats or exhibiting a firearm increased significantly in the first five months of 2018 compared with last year, according to a new report from Texas Appleseed.

The report's co-author, Morgan Craven, director of the nonprofit's School-to-Prison Pipeline Project, said there was a large spike in February after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. While some of those threats were real, she said, legal action in other cases was too extreme.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

High school musicians may spend the summer practicing their instrument or making music with friends. More than a dozen of them just spent a week exploring another part of the music world at an unusual summer camp — an audio production camp at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A new medical school opening next year in Fort Worth will feature a four-year curriculum in communication, a program believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

What’s more, it’ll be run by the nation’s first medical school dean dedicated solely to that subject. The focus on communication is designed to improve not just the health of patients but of doctors, too.

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