Education | KERA News


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:

The battle over how evolution will be presented for all public school students in Texas led to rallies and heated testimony during a State Board of Education meeting.

Much of the controversy has to do with a group of people who are proponents of "creationism" that are trying to alter the way evolution is presented in next year’s biology textbook, questioning the soundness of the theory.

Christine Pollock /

A group of educators meeting in Dallas says there’s got to be a better way to evaluate kids than the state’s new STAAR test.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

David Marquis has spent nearly 40 years writing and performing three installments of his one-man play ‘I Am A Teacher.’ He draws from that experience in the classroom, diving into education issues that are as relevant today as when he wrote part one in 1976. The three plays will be performed as a trilogy for the first time this weekend at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary in Dallas.

Roy Kaltschmidt / Flickr Creative Commons

The Common Application program is supposed to help high schoolers apply to multiple colleges via the web. But owing to software snafus, some students haven’t been able to apply to schools or correctly send text or process credit card charges, among other problems. That’s according to The New York Times.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

In KERA’s Class of ’17 series we’ve been featuring students as they begin their journey through high school. For Chance Hawkins, that trip has been bumpy. Chance, who has a form of muscular dystrophy, started the year at Cassata, a small, private Catholic high school in Fort Worth. But he didn’t stay long. He has since transferred to a big public school, Dunbar High. His story shows the challenges schools face in adapting to a student’s special needs.

Kent Hance, the Texas Tech chancellor, is retiring, several media outlets are reporting. He's served in the position since 2006. Hance earlier served in the Texas Senate, Congress and Texas Railroad Commission. Hance "weathered a lengthy media firestorm and ensuing legal battle following the termination of popular Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach in 2009," the Texas Tribune reports.

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.


Joe May is the sole finalist for chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, school officials announced today.

If the district's Board of Trustees approves the nomination, May would take over for Wright Lassiter Jr., who retires on Dec. 31 after 27 years with DCCCD.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Can you imagine a school without a library? It’s not unheard of in Houston, where the number of school librarians has dwindled due to budget cuts.

Texas was the first state in 1985 to pass a law requiring students to test and treat students with dyslexia, but many parents still feel schools aren’t doing enough to help dyslexic kids.


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.

Dallas Independent School District

Every Dallas ISD student will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free, the district announced Tuesday.

Nearly 90 percent of students in Dallas public schools qualified for free and reduced-priced meals last year, and district officials say about that many could be eligible this year. Processing that many meal applications costs money, so the district is changing the program by offering free breakfast and lunch to all of its students.

UPDATE:  Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles survived a vote to fire him Monday night for violating policy and his contract. He’ll get a letter of reprimand and other sanctions instead. 

Irving ISD

Irving ISD students got a surprise in their lunches on Friday – mango.

The Irving ISD Food and Nutritional Services department launched a new campaign that encourages students to try a new fruit or vegetable for free.

Dallas ISD trustees will probably hand down a combination of punishments to Superintendent Mike Miles, who was found in an investigation to have violated district policy and his contract, The Dallas Morning News is reporting. Trustees meet this evening. The News reports that a majority of trustees are leaning toward three disciplinary actions -- reprimand, putting him on a performance improvement plan or a forfeiture of a clause in his contract that allows for a one-year extension if he receives a "proficient" performance evaluation.


The national American Graduate public media initiative gets its own day Saturday — you can watch a live broadcast here or on your TV’s KERA World 13.2 channel from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time. The seven-hour broadcast will feature notables ranging from Colin Powell to Brian Williams to Christine Ha, a star chef from Houston who’s also blind.

Fewer than 20 percent of all Dallas seniors in 2013 met the critical reading benchmark, according to the SAT scores just out. That means more than 80 percent missed it.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas school board members this evening will talk of dismissing or keeping Superintendent Mike Miles, according to their agenda. But they aren’t expected to decide.

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.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Jarrell Brown made an impression last month as one of the stars of Student Speak Out: A KERA American Graduate Special. During the hourlong TV show, he and five of his peers asked each other questions and talked about what it takes to graduate from high school.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Renowned education reformer Geoffrey Canada told Dallas school and business leaders they could better their own schools with money, hard work and high standards. Canada improved long-failing Harlem schools with his Harlem Children’s Zone, launched in 1983. 

Dallas school trustees are scheduled to meet again on Thursday behind closed doors to discuss Superintendent Mike Miles.

Sujata Dand / KERA News

The Dallas school board talked for four hours Thursday night about the future of superintendent Mike Miles, but came to no decision. Miles told board members he’s ready to “reset” his relationship with them and focus on educating children.

Protesters outside the Dallas School District Administration building called on the school board to fire Miles.

The Board went behind closed doors at 5:42 this evening to hear from the Superintendent for the first time after an independent investigation found he violated district policy in an effort to discredit board members in the media.

Miles has said he wants to renew a good relationship with the Board.

Trustees could decide tonight whether to fire Miles, discipline him, or move on.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

For the first time in more than 35 years, the largest teachers' group in Dallas, Alliance AFT, is calling for the district’s superintendent to be fired.

The demand comes just hours before tonight’s school board meeting, where Mike Miles will be on the hot seat. He'll be responding publicly for the first time to an investigation that found he interfered with an investigation into a district contract, and helped write a letter that criticized board members.


Dallas’ Alliance-AFT teachers association is holding a press conference this morning to demand that embattled DISD superintendent Mike Miles be fired.

Update: State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, spoke and answered questions regarding House Bill 5 in front of the State Board of Education today.

Patrick’s endorsement of the bill, which provides for different paths to high school graduation, was met with skepticism from board member Patricia Hardy. Hardy’s concern revolved around the removal of social studies classes from high school graduation requirements. She argued that turning social studies courses into electives limits a student’s exposure to important information.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas County’s Truancy Court has spent the summer in the spotlight. The U.S.  Department of Justice is looking into allegations that students were denied their constitutional rights.  The County rejects the charges. Meet two kids who’ve been through system.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas school board will meet Thursday with Superintendent Mike Miles to discuss the findings of the independent investigation by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins. They gathered in closed session this morning to discuss the Coggins report,  but did nothing, and said little after it ended.