KERA’s American Graduate Initiative
As part of a national public broadcasting project American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, KERA is focusing on ways to keep kids on the path to graduation. This multiyear initiative to fight the dropout crisis will play out on all of KERA’s platforms, with news stories and community outreach through radio, television, web sites, social media and events.
Below are some of the highlights so far.
Teaching the Future
Meet a group of cutting-edge North Texas teachers, see them in action as they bring their innovative approaches to the classroom and hear their thoughts on the future of education. Details »
In this hour-long television special, we’ll find out what it takes to finish high school with four North Texas students who overcame the odds to graduate, and two students still working hard to finish. Details »
KERA put on two student forums in March, the first steps toward a televised student town hall to be aired later this year on KERA-Channel 13. Click the “Archived Programming” tab above to watch the full videos.
Reporters Bill Zeeble and Stella Chavez have launched an ambitious five-year project called Class of ’17. Bill and Stella will follow a diverse group of ninth graders from across North Texas all the way through high school graduation – or whatever comes next. Their stories are airing on the radio, 90.1 FM, and a blog, the Class of ’17 Yearbook. So far listeners and readers have met six of the students:
Think host Krys Boyd is focusing on education issues as part of the American Graduate project.
Here are a few recent examples:
Higher Education Today (date: 3/31/14)
The University of North Texas and University of Texas at Arlington have each appointed new presidents within the last year. As part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, we’ll talk to Vistasp Karbhari of UTA and Neal Smatresk of UNT this hour about the challenges and opportunities facing two of the largest universities in the region.
Examining Our School System (date: 3/25/14)
Our education system is charged with taking kids from a variety of backgrounds and molding them into productive members of society. It’s a big job with plenty of challenges. We’ll explore the current questions that face our schools this hour with UCLA professor Mike Rose, author of Why School?: Reclaiming Education For All Of Us (The New Press).
The Importance of STEM Education (date: 1/29/14)
Worldwide, there is a growing divide between the skills graduates possess and the demands of a high-tech workforce. Tackling that problem is the subject of Microsoft YouthSpark Connections, an event being held today in Dallas. As part of KERA’s American Graduate initiative, we’ll talk this hour about the importance of STEM education and the opportunity divide that exists in North Texas with Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Cameron Evans, Marc Christensen, dean of the Lyle School of Engineering at SMU; and Kristin Larimore, Strategic Engagement Leader with GE Capital Equipment Finance.
At-Risk Middle Schoolers (date: 1/6/14)
About 75,000 North Texas middle school students are considered “at-risk” – meaning they are far more likely to experience academic difficulties, leave home, commit crimes or abuse alcohol or other drugs. We’ll talk this hour about the problems middle schoolers face – and how they can be helped – with Monica Egert Smith of Communities Foundation of Texas and Rosemary Perlmeter of Teaching Trust.
OTHER RADIO SPECIALS
Dropouts to Graduates: The Story of the Care Center
Breaking Ground with Kavitha Cardoza – Yesterday’s Dropouts
Recent TV programs under the American Graduate initiative:
KERA put on two student forums in March, the first steps toward a televised student town hall to be aired later this year on KERA-Channel 13. Here are full videos of the two events, moderated by Krys Boyd, host of the KERA radio call-in show Think:
The March 7 student forum —called Our Schools. Our Voices – was held in KERA’s Community Room in the station’s Dallas offices. Leadership DISD co-sponsored the event as part of Dallas Public Schools Week.
The March 27 forum, co-sponsored with the United Way of Tarrant County and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth, was held at the club’s Martin Safe Haven branch.