Become a member today! TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to become a member of TALAS. Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
Texas News
McAllen students take first and second place at state science and engineering fair
The McAllen Independent School District announced two of their students performed well at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair.

Both students took first and second place in two different categories at the virtual event that took place recently.

According to the district’s news release, Cathey Middle School’s Mariem Banales took first place in the Junior Division Cellular and Molecular Biology category and Itzel Ramos of Fossum Middle School earned second place in the Junior Division Plant Sciences category.

‘Slave Auction’ Parents Demand Answers From Aledo ISD
Parents of high schoolers sold in a mock “slave auction” demand to know how the ISD responded — and why the district won’t provide answers.

Wearing t-shirts that bore screenshots of the Snapchat “slave auction” of their children, Tamara Lawrence and Mioshi Johnson addressed the Aledo School Board in a meeting Thursday night.

What parent would ever want to be put in a situation like that?

STAAR testing adds pressure to final weeks as frantic Texas school year nears end
In an academic year scrambled by the pandemic and a deadly winter storm, Texas school students face makeup work and rounds of standardized testing. Many parents and teachers say it’s unnecessary.

After a tumultuous year that has seen students falling behind and teachers simultaneously conducting classes remotely and in person, Texas public schools face a pressurized final six weeks full of standardized testing and makeup assignments.

Texans hit hardest by coronavirus are facing another challenge: the pause on the J&J vaccine
Efforts to vaccinate young people, rural Texans, communities of color and people experiencing homelessness have been impacted by the pause.

Today was the day that hundreds of college students at Texas Tech University and up to 1,500 others in Lubbock, one of last year’s coronavirus hot spots, were going to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Today was also the day that some members of the Petersburg Mission Baptist Church, a Black church in the rural Texas community of Athens, were going to be fully vaccinated.

Should all Texas classrooms have a panic button?
School safety advocates are promoting a proposal to require panic alert devices in all Texas classrooms.

The Committee Substitute to House Bill 204 requires districts to implement a “multihazard emergency operations plan” based on guidelines set forth by the Texas School Safety Center, the governor’s office of homeland security and the state’s education commissioner.

A key component of the bill’s requirements is a panic alert device — either physical or digital — to trigger communication with law enforcement.

Severe weather this summer could cause another Texas power crisis
The state’s grid operator included extreme weather scenarios in its early summer assessment and found that a combination of a severe drought, heat wave and low winds could lead to more power outages. Experts warn this summer could be hot and dry, enhanced by climate change.

Electricity outages in Texas could occur again this summer — just a few months after the devastating winter storm that left millions of Texans without power for days — if the state experiences a severe heat wave or drought combined with high demand for power, according to recent assessments by the state’s grid operator.

Upcoming Events
Virtual Nationwide Career Resource and Job Fair
Saturday, May 1 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
Supporting Your Career
How To Ignore The Worst Career Advice You’re Probably Still Following
Ah, career advice.

There’s plenty of it to go around. People love to give it, and some of us love to get it, especially when we’re starting our journey or are in the midst of a career transition. But sometimes, those well-meaning advisers’ words can unintentionally lead us astray.

Here’s some of the worst career advice—and what to do instead.

National News
‘Troubling’ policing pattern: Latino community reels after Adam Toledo’s death
“Police officers are supposed to serve the people, and they have been killing our youngest,” a community activist said. “We must completely revaluate what does policing look like?”

One of the nation’s most recognizable Latino neighborhoods is grieving the death of Adam Toledo, 13, after a video showing him being fatally shot by a police officer was made public.

Residents of Little Village, a predominantly Mexican American and Latino neighborhood in Chicago, have been placing flowers and candles near South Sawyer Avenue, where Adam was killed, mourning a life that ended way too soon.

How California’s Ethnic Studies Curriculum Got Sucked Into the Culture Wars
Top researcher calls such inclusive models the ‘low-hanging fruit’ of American education reform

s a middle schooler, early December was an agonizing time of year for civil rights activist Karen Korematsu. When the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack approached, she made excuses to avoid the school bus where students subjected her to racist bullying.

“Go home.”

“Go back to where you came from.”

“You don’t belong here.”

Report: Prepare now for predicted kindergarten ‘bubble’
This fall’s kindergarten cohort and some 1st grade classes could have greater age differences and skill disparities, according to a new NWEA report.

Kindergarten students, who did not enroll or attend schooling in noticeable numbers during the pandemic, are expected to have larger participation rates next school year, and school systems are planning now to meet these young learners’ needs.

In fact, some education experts are predicting a “kindergarten bubble” of 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds who may be more unprepared for formal schooling compared to past years’ cohorts, and who will come to school with a wider range of skills based on their COVID-19 academic and social experiences.

Rural schools have a teacher shortage. Why don’t people who live there, teach there?
Out-of-towners don’t stay long in rural schools, but convincing qualified locals to stick around and teach is harder than it sounds

For the past six years, Shari Daniels has tried to be the person she wishes she had in her life as a student.

Daniels grew up on the Fort Peck Reservation, home to about 6,000 members of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, in northeast Montana. Now 48, she struggles to remember the name of even one of her teachers, and she has no memory of making a personal connection with any of them. Raised by her grandmother, Daniels said she can’t remember ever seeing a report card sent home.

Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American Nobel Prize winner
Mistral was a traveler and cosmopolitan woman who received a Nobel Prize and died in New York full of accolades.

When Lucila de María Godoy Alcayaga, better known as Gabriela Mistral, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945, she was already a veteran writer. Born in Vicuña (Chile) on April 7, 1889, she was soon associated with the poetic modernism led by Rubén Darío. Darío himself invited her to collaborate in the magazine Elegancias, which the master edited in Paris. 

Her pseudonym was used for the first time in 1908, at the head of her poem “Del pasado,” a composition she published in the newspaper El Coquimbo. It came from the names of her two most admired authors: Gabriele D’Annunzio and Federic Mistral. 

Las Tienditas
This Week’s Featured Sponsor
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter and other TALAS activities possible. Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
We create assessment and practice solutions that put learning analytics to work for educators. Schools across Texas and nationwide use our solutions to analyze students’ abilities and guide high-quality instruction. We help teachers teach better, students learn better, and school administrators lead better—all to improve academic outcomes.

Strategic Account Executive