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:

Dallas ISD

The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles has told his top staff and board trustees that his wife, Karen, and youngest child, Anthony, plan to move back to Colorado Springs. Miles said in an email Sunday night that the move will help insulate his son, who is going into seventh grade, from negative media coverage.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles has told his top staff and board trustees that his wife, Karen, and youngest child, Anthony, plan to move back to Colorado Springs. Miles said in an email Sunday night that the move will help insulate his son, who is going into seventh grade, from negative media coverage.

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.

Irving ISD Trustee Resigns

Aug 5, 2013
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A recently elected Irving school board member has resigned after being arrested Saturday for shop lifting.

WFAA-TV says 42-year old Norma Gonzales was stopped after leaving a Walmart at 6 am.  Police say she had $184 worth of clothing and merchandise in her purse.

A spokesperson for the district says Gonzales’ resignation was apparently verbal and is not considered official unless it’s in writing.

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.

Willow Blythe / KERA News

Heading to high school is a challenge for any kid. There are new friends, new teachers and the normal ups and downs of being a teenager.

For 15-year-old Chance Hawkins, the road is even tougher. Chance has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and deterioration. It’s often fatal by age 25.

Still, Chance is an upbeat kid. He's one of the students we’re following from 8th grade through high school for the series Class of 17, part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative.

Norma Gonzales, who won election to Irving's School Board this year, was arrested Saturday after police said she walked out of Wal-Mart with $184 worth of items. Police report that she took off in her car after the store's loss-prevention officers tried to detain her. She was eventually pulled over by police and booked into jail.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

It may be the middle of summer, but it’s graduation day for dozens of teens in science camp. A six-week summer school at SMU ends today. It was built for teenage science superstars from across the country.

A newly signed bill in Texas will require students who begin high school this year to pass only five standardized tests to graduate instead of 15. The Texas Tribune looks at this change, which also impacts curriculum and what classes students must take to graduate.

Flickr.com

The annual Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair greeted 40,000 to 50,000 people at Fair Park today.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas ISD has told other school districts in a letter that they should not hire teachers who didn't resign by a July 12 deadline.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The Collin County school district of Lovejoy has only 3,400 students, but it has some pretty big ideas.

Next month, it’s going to start acting like a private school – at least for kids who live outside the district. Those who want to attend its schools will have to start paying tuition.

The Dallas Independent School District graduated a record number of students this year, according to numbers released by the district Wednesday.

DISD reports that 7,302 students received diplomas in June - the highest number in 31 years. That's 345 more students than graduated in 2012 and more than 1,600 graduates since 2007.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The annual back-to-school fairs in Dallas and Tarrant counties are approaching. For free school supplies and other benefits, families must register in advance.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas school board unanimously approved hiring an independent investigator to look into allegations that superintendent Mike Miles interfered with the district bid process. Former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins will get up to $100,000 for his work.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

College students from 11 schools will race scaled down Formula One cars this weekend in Arlington. The students on the UT Arlington team say what sets their car apart are  its wings.

Lifetouch / Lifetouch

Otha Thornton, the new president of the National Parent Teacher Association, is in town this weekend attending the state PTA's Summer Leadership Seminar. 

He sat down for a few minutes with KERA News to talk about his goals for the 117-year-old organization.

Almost a third of college students will transfer schools at least once within five years, and many opt to go to Texas. The U.S. News and World reports that Texas, Arizona, and California schools are the most popular places for new transfer students. Out of Texas schools, the University of North Texas, Texas State University and the University of Houston had the highest transfer acceptance rates.

wyoguard / Flickr

GED testing is joining the digital age. Beginning in January, there will be no more paper tests. Students will have to use a computer. That’s launched a debate among people who give the test and the State Board of Education which is wondering if it should seek an alternative test for adults who want to get a high school equivalent certificate.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Nearly 1,700 Dallas school teachers resigned this past year.  That’s 10 percent more than left a year ago. Meet some Dallas teachers who say they would have stayed except for one reason: the superintendent who just finished his first year on the job, Mike Miles.

                                     

During the State Board of Education meeting this week, Texas Education Agency's attorney David Anderson said there's nothing on the books to prevent school districts from using the CSCOPE curriculum. CSCOPE came under fire earlier this year and in May, Republican Sen. Dan Patrick said Texas school districts would no longer use its lesson plans.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that DISD trustees want to hire former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins to review whether proper protocol was followed in a request for proposals from groups that provide parent education services.

Northside Independent School District in San Antonio made news last year when it decided to require students at two of its campuses to carry ID badges containing microchips. The campuses chosen had low attendance rates. The district announced this week that it has ended its tracking program.

crunchystars / Flickr

A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that technology is helping middle and high school students be more creative and  collaborate with others. But the same survey of teachers also finds that kids are more likely to take shortcuts and have a hard time understanding complicated and longer material.

Chief Miller worries teachers with just a few weeks of weapons training is too little for safety and security, especially when full time officers receive updated training on a regular basis. McKinney's superintendent also worries that teachers with weapons could be confusing and dangerous to police arriving at an active weapons call on a campus.

U.S. Department of Education

Eight Texas math and science teachers were named finalists of the 2013 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Janelle O'Haugherty / Fidelity Investments

A few weeks back, we brought you the story of teenage entrepreneurs spending a chunk of their summers making their pitch at BizCamp in Irving’s MacArthur High School.  Now, the results are in, and top honors went to two of the kids we spotlighted -- the sister-brother team of Alisha and Danyial Hamid.

The College Board is keeping up with the digital times. Beginning today, high school students can look up their scores on Advanced Placement exams online instead of waiting for them to come in the mail.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

In the West Dallas branch of the city’s public library system, students are learning English. That's no surprise -- especially for a neighborhood with many Latino immigrants.

What's different here, though, is that both parents and kids are in class -- right across the hallway. The dual effort is part of the new Atmos Energy Literacy Center, which opened in January as a partnership with Texas A&M University Commerce. 


Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Irving school board named an interim superintendent today, and it’s Debbie Cabrera. Her permanent job is associate superintendent of business services. But the board is still not talking about Monday’s resignation of Superintendent Dana Bedden.  

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