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On Fronteras: English Language Learners Beat The Odds, Mexico Marijuana Ruling,Hispanic Vets Honored

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GONZÁLEZ + SISNEROS STUDIO
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Dallas English Learners Score Well On Nation’s Report Card

In Dallas, public schools have a high percentage of students who are learning English and are economically disadvantaged.  Given these challenges, school officials might not have expected these students to do well taking tests for the Nation's Report Card.  But, in fact, they outscored other districts in reading and math.

Twenty-one urban school districts participated in this year’s testing that assesses learning progress.  KERA’s Stella Chavez examined the results and explains the highs and also, the lows, of the students’ scores.

Here's the story. 

Mexico Moves Closer To Legalizing Marijuana

Mexico's Supreme Court took a giant step toward legalizing marijuana when it found the country’s ban on the production, possession, and recreational use of marijuana is unconstitutional.  Advocates say legalization would reduce drug war violence blamed for taking thousands of lives.  One supporter is former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

For analysis on what the Mexico Supreme Court ruling means, KPBS anchor Pat Pico spoke with David Shirk, director of the University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico Project.

Here's the interview. 

Syrian Refugees Settle In North Texas

The war in Syria has forced half of its residents to flee their homes.  While world leaders continue to respond to that country’s  refugee crisis, some Syrians are making their way to the United States.  The Obama Administration plans to accept up to 10,000 in the next year.  KERA’s Christopher Connelly checked in with one of the families who are establishing roots in North Texas.

Here's the story. 

Hispanic Vietnam Vets Honored With Sculptures In New Mexico

America honored those who have fought its wars on Veteran’s Day.  In Albuquerque, New Mexico, two sculptures were dedicated to especially honor Hispanic Vietnam vets.  KUNM’s Spencer Beckwith talked with the artists of one of the works about what the design represents. 

Here's the interview. 

California Magnet School Students Beat The Odds

Students at a magnet elementary school in Vista, California are doing unusually well on new state standardized tests.  Most come from low-income families, and English isn’t their first language. Yet they’re outperforming children from more privileged backgrounds. KPBS Fronteras reporter Jean Guerrero visited the school and found out the secret to their success.

Here's the story. 

Virginia joined Texas Public Radio in September, 2015. Prior to hosting and producing Fronteras for TPR, she worked at WBOI in Indiana to report on often overlooked stories in the community. Virginia began her reporting career at the Statehouse in Salem, OR, and has reported for the Northwest News Network and Oregon Public Broadcasting.