class of '17 yearbook

The journey from
8th grade to graduation

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For Teachers, Many Paths Into The Classroom … Some Say Too Many


Hey, you there. You have a college degree? How'd you like to be a teacher? Indiana has just approved a license that clears a new pathway to the teaching profession. It allows anyone with a bachelor's degree, a B average and approximately three years of related work experience to become a middle or high school teacher in a subject such as math, science or music, provided they pass a content test. The new teachers, called "career specialists," are required to enroll in a program to acquire teaching skills, but they'll essentially be learning on the job. Read More

Let The Kids Sleep! They’re Moody and Impulsive Enough Already


The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that middle schools and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Seniors at Dubiski Career High School in Grand Prairie, participants of the KERA Yearbook Project, had a lot to say about how hard it is to get enough sleep as a teenager. Read More


These Kids Grew Up With The Woods As Their Only Classroom


On a typical morning on Ben Hewitt's small farm in Cabot, Vt., he and his wife, Penny, and their two sons wake up early. But after doing the chores and eating breakfast, Fin, 12, and Rye, 9, don't have to run for the school bus. Instead, they spend the morning reading Gary Paulsen tales, or they strap on pack baskets they wove themselves, carrying small knives at their belts, and head out to build shelters and forage in the woods. The Hewitts are practitioners of a particularly unstructured form of homeschooling, sometimes called "unschooling." As Ben Hewitt describes it in a recent article for Outside magazine, "Unschooling isn't merely an educational choice. It's a lifestyle choice." Read More

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?


Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles. The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers. Read More

In Dallas ISD, Thousands Of Students Don’t Show Up For First Day Of School


School started for most North Texas kids on Monday. But not everyone was there on the first day or the second or even the third. Getting every single student to show up is tough. In many districts, students keep trickling in days and even weeks later. A Dallas ISD official explains what keeps some kids away. Read More

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Meet the Team

KERA News

Stella M. Chávez

Stella M. Chávez

Reporter/Blogger

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s education reporter/blogger. Stella’s journalism roots are deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35. The award-winning entry was  “Yolanda’s Crossing,” a seven-part DMN series she co-wrote that reconstructs the 5,000-mile journey of a young Mexican sexual-abuse victim from a small Oaxacan village to Dallas. For the last two years, she worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was part of the agency’s outreach efforts on the Affordable Care Act and ran the regional office’s social media efforts. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking and writing. She also spends a lot of time caring for her mom.

Bill Zeeble

Bill Zeeble

Reporter

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues. He’s won numerous awards over the years, with top honors from the Dallas Press Club, Texas Medical Association, the Dallas and Texas Bar Associations, the American Diabetes Association and a national health reporting grant from the Kaiser Family Foundation. His radio pieces have aired on nearly every national news show carried on KERA, from NPR and American Public Media to the BBC.  Zeeble, a native of the Philadelphia area, has worked in public radio in the Chicago area, Corpus Christi and New Orleans. He spends time working with NPR to teach students how to do radio journalism. He and his wife have 2 dogs and 2 cats, adopted and rescued.


Dallas stock photography provided by Justin Terveen

General stock photography provided by Shutterstock

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Class of ’17 is a five-year KERA News project to explore the world of education – particularly the road to graduation – through the eyes of a diverse group of young North Texans. We’ll follow these kids through the crucial transition from 8th grade to high school, then all the way to senior year and graduation – or whatever comes after school. We’ll also chart the latest education news, research and techniques. And just like high school, we’ll have a little fun along the way. It’s all part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, a national public broadcasting effort to explore the dropout crisis. And you can have a voice in the Class of ’17 – tweet #KERAClassof17.

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