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2018's Most-Read Stories: How Slavery Is Taught; Alzheimer’s Game-Changer; Six-Hour Work Commute

Your Favorite KERA News Stories Of 2018: Education, Health, Texas Life

The KERA News stories that connected the most with readers this year vary wildly in topic. But one stood out from the rest: education. 

Browse our most-read work from 2018, then take a look at our all-time all-stars: the stories that, no matter when they were written, continually surface to the top of our year-end top stories lists.


» Texas Gives School Districts A-F Grades: See How Your District (And Schools) Fared: The Texas Education Agency rolled out a new A through F accountability system that measures the academic performance of school districts. The state's 1,200 public and charter districts received an overall letter grade of A, B, C, D or F and a grade in each of three areas. In all, 153 districts got an "A" and 16 received "Fs". | Go to the story

» McKinney ISD To Hold First Football Game At New $70 Million Stadium Despite Cracks: Two investigative reports released said the cracks were not a life-and-safety concern. The engineering firm Nelson Forensics warned the cracks could widen and corrode the reinforcing steel without repair. Still — that's a less severe problem than neighboring Allen ISD faced a few years ago.  | Go to the story

» American Slavery Isn't Taught Well In Schools In Texas Or Across The U.S., Report Says: A 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. | Go to the story

» Why Dallas Educators Are Learning To Teach Kids Social And Emotional Skills: Students across the country aren’t just learning how to spell or solve math problems. They’re also learning what are known as social and emotional skills, like managing stress and having empathy. In Dallas ISD, teachers are learning how to teach these skills in the classroom. | Go to the story

Criminal justice, government

» Former Texas Police Officer Found Guilty Of Murder In Shooting Of Unarmed Teen: Roy Oliver, a former police officer in Balch Springs, was found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of unarmed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards after police broke up a house party. | Go to the story

» Texas Midterm Election Results: Abbott, Cruz Win Re-Election; Allred Beats Sessions: Running updates of election results, tweets from the candidates' campaigns and pictures from the November midterms. | Take a look

Health, science

» DNA Vaccine From UT-Southwestern Could Be A Game-Changer In Fight Against Alzheimer's: A new vaccine that reduces the two proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease should give the public hope, says the founding director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center. | Go to the story

» The Way Chronic Pain Begins Could Be Different For Men And Women, Study Says: You may think of pain as just pain. How you experience that pain, though, might depend on whether you're a man or a woman. | Go to the story

Living in North Texas: heritage, poverty, faith

» This Dallas Man Commutes Six Hours Round Trip To Get To His Better-Paying Job: Life hasn't changed much since we visited Jubilee Park three years ago. It's a neighborhood on the financial edge, in the shadow of Interstate 30 in Old East Dallas. Chris Crowley was born and raised there. He's got a better job now, but he's spending 24 hours a week commuting. | Go to the story

» Muslims In Plano Had Been Building Bridges For Years, Then Came A Council Member's Facebook Post: A Plano City Council member generated headlines – and controversy – when he posted a video on his Facebook page, calling for a ban on Islam in schools. | Go to the story

» Film, Art Project Aim For Honest Reflection On 12-Year-Old's Murder In Dallas' Little Mexico: Forty-five years ago, a Dallas police officer shot and killed a 12-year-old Mexican-American boy, Santos Rodriguez, while he sat handcuffed inside a patrol car. Today, if you drive or walk by Pike Park — once the heart of Dallas' Little Mexico — you wouldn’t know it was also near the site of that tragedy. Dallas Parks board member Jesse Moreno wasn’t born yet when Santos was shot. But growing up, the 33-year-old heard the story many times. | Go to the story

» New Texas Rangers Ballpark Food Might Rival The State Fair: Take a dill pickle, remove its core, stuff an Angus beef hot dog inside, batter and fry it — and you have the Dilly Dog. | Go to the story

All-Time All-Stars

These stories weren't from 2018, but every time we open up our website traffic reports, they're still near the top of the list. The connecting theme? Whether related to legislation, tragedy, culture or quirks, they're all about something quintessentially Texas.

» Here's What You Should Know About Open Carry In Texas: 2016 brought a new law that generated a lot of heat in Texas – the open carry of handguns. We took a look at what open carry meant for Texas. | Go to the story

» Here Are 39 Things You Should Do In Texas Before You Die: Texana is always a big hit, just like this list of 39(-plus) very Texas things one must do or see in the Lone Star State has been. | Take a look

» Whatever Happened To Marina Oswald?: For years, the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald avoided cameras while she tried to live a quiet life in Rockwall, northeast of Dallas. But in November 2013, British tabloid the Daily Mirror published pictures and video of the widow, now Marina Oswald Porter, as she walked out of a Walmart. It was the first time we’d seen pictures of her in about 20 years. | Go to the story

» Why Are There So Few Basements In North Texas?: Growing up in Indiana, Phil Crone loved having a bedroom in the basement. “It was dark. It was cold. I didn’t know the difference noon and 6 a.m.,” he said. “It was wonderful.” So when Crone moved down to Texas, he started asking why there are so few basements. After all, meteorologists say basements are one of the best places to take shelter during a tornado. | Go to the story

» From Ding Dong To Loco, Take A Tour Of Texas Towns With Strange Names: Across Texas, you’ll pass through scores of towns. Some are poetic – Glen Rose, Pecan Plantation, Enchanted Oaks. Maybe you’ll drive through the trio of sisters in Collin County – Melissa, Anna and Josephine. There’s Sunrise and Sunset. A place called Paradise. There’s even Elmo and Kermit! But you’ll also pass through Texas towns with some strange names. | Take a look

» 15 Amazing Things You Should Know About Texas Bluebonnets: Tiptoe through the bluebonnets with us and you might just learn something new about Texas' favorite flower. | Take a look


To our listeners, readers and social media followers: We appreciate your support throughout 2018. Thank you for being part of the public media community.

Christy Robinson oversees social media strategy.