Monthly Archives: August 2013

Texas Education Agency Failed to Catch Cheaters, Launches New Office To Investigate Complaints


The state auditor’s office has released a report that basically says the Texas Education Agency isn’t doing its job to uncover cheating scandals.

The report, done at the request of Education Commissioner Michael Williams, says TEA “failed” to do its due diligence when it looked into cheating allegations in the El Paso Independent School District.

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VIDEO: Students Speak Out On KERA’s American Graduate Special


What does it take to finish high school? In this hour-long special, you’ll meet six North Texas students tackling this topic. Four of the students will describe the odds they’ve had to overcome to graduate while two are still trying to finish.

If you missed it on KERA TV Wednesday night, you can watch the entire show online. We’d also like to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter using #studentsspeakout.

VIDEO: Mom’s Health Crisis Can’t Derail Mayra Millan’s College Dream


Mayra Millan is the daughter of a single mother. And they’re tight.

So when Mom was diagnosed with congestive heart failure a couple of years back, “I was devastated,” Mayra tells KERA’s KRys Boyd. “The good thing is, I didn’t have to learn the hard way. She’s doing fine now.”

Mayra studied hard in school and graduated third in her class at W. H. Adamson High School in Dallas. She’s now attending Texas A&M University as a Gates Millennium Scholar.

On Students Speak Out: A KERA American Graduate Specialwe’ll hear from Mayra and five other students who know what it takes to finish school. The program airs on KERA TV tonight at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Ashley Tilley’s Journey From Foster Care To College


Ashley Tilley wasn’t completely alone. She had her older sister along at least some of the time while she was bouncing around the foster care system. Her mother was coping with a mental illness, so Ashley had to come to terms with a new normal.

She tells KERA’s Krys Boyd that she and her sister are “just now talking about it ’cause it’s a shock…. You think it’s normal until you see other people and then it’s not.”

Ashley graduated with honors from Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth, and received a full scholarship to Texas Christian University where she plans to study social work.

On Students Speak Out: A KERA American Graduate SpecialAshley and five other students will talk about what it takes to finish school. The program airs on KERA TV Wednesday at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Meet Scottie Gipson, Former Dropout With Big Plans


Scottie Gipson wants to own his own business. And after dropping out for three years, he now knows he’ll need to finish high school and go to college to accomplish that goal.

Scottie didn’t have a very stable life as a kid. His father’s been in and out of prison; he says his mother didn’t really seem to care whether he went to school or not. Scottie dropped out at 15 and began using and selling drugs to make ends meet.

Now, though, he’s cleaned up his act. And as he tells KERA’s Krys Boyd: “I won’t be around it. I’ve told everybody that, in my family you know. Don’t bring it around me.”

Scottie recently returned to school with the encouragement of his sister, uncle and girlfriend, and attends classes at the Lewisville Learning Center. Scottie plans to graduate in December, attend the University of North Texas and eventually start his own company.

On Students Speak Out: A KERA American Graduate Special, Scottie and five other students will talk about what it takes to finish school. The program airs on KERA TV Wednesday at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Dad’s Death Can’t Stop Prabhesh Patel’s Push To Graduate


When Prabhesh Patel was 5 years old, his father was killed in a car accident that also severely injured his mother. “She went into a coma for about three months,” he tells KERA’s Krys Boyd. “She couldn’t remember my parents or my dad, or really that I was even her son, which was a little scary.”

As his mom recovered, Prabhesh poured his energy into school and work. He graduated from Fort Worth’s South Hills High School last spring, and he’s now on a full scholarship at Texas Christian University.

In Students Speak Out: A KERA American Graduate SpecialPrabhesh and five other students will talk about what it takes to finish school. The program airs on KERA TV Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Four Generations Attend One Storied Richardson School


Today was the first day back to school for  most Texas kids.  – including a Richardson Schools 2nd grader named Thomas Jefferson the 5th. And like a lot of other kids, TJ strolled into Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet elementary side by side with a family elder. But here’s where the story gets interesting. The great grandfather TJ accompanied is 70 year-old Thomas Jefferson, Jr. – who attended Hamilton Park himself six decades ago. He made the same walk with his son, Thomas Jefferson the 3rd, and grandson, Thomas Jefferson the 4th. Here’s a look at an African American family legacy.

Read more at KERA News
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