Renew your membership 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
Texas educators push for more resources in bilingual education efforts
Fabens ISD is located in a small, rural community just east of El Paso. Of its 2,000 student population, 99% identify as Hispanic, 91% as disadvantaged and 46% as emergent bilingual.

Because of this, FISD Superintendent Veronica Vijil encouraged lawmakers to funnel funding into bilingual resources, programs and educators, adding these were groups particularly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our dual language program is a strength for many of our emergent bilingual students, newcomers who have newly arrived to school in the United State,” Vijil said. “We live in a global society, it is advantageous for students to be biliterate, bilingual.”

Three Dallas ISD schools named the best high schools in Texas and among the best in the nation
Three Dallas ISD schools earned top spots on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best High Schools state and national rankings.

Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center (TAG) has been named the best high school in Texas, with Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School coming in second place, and the School of Science and Engineering (SEM) at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center in third. The three schools also secured top honors among the national rankings, coming in at No. 11, No. 20 and No. 22, respectively.

Texas residents sue county for removing books on race, sex education
American Library Association says a record total of books have been targeted.

A group of residents in Llano County, Texas, is suing county officials for removing books from public libraries because officials “disagree with the ideas within them.”

The residents say the county is violating their first amendment rights by removing award-winning books from shelves due to their content and terminating “access to over 17,000 digital books” from the local library system.

Civil Rights Attorney Nina Perales on Her Fight for Voting Rights in Texas
Civil rights attorney Nina Perales has been fighting for the voting rights of Latino Texans for a quarter century.

Nina Perales has been a civil rights attorney in Texas for 26 years, during which she has litigated two landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases against the state’s efforts to disenfranchise Latino voters through redistricting. She currently oversees several voting-rights lawsuits across the nation, challenging voter suppression as vice president of litigation at the ​​Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a nonprofit founded in San Antonio in 1968. 

Rolando Hinojosa-Smith Was a Literary Chronicler of Texas’s Borderlands
The award-winning writer and professor, who died April 19 at 93, was often compared to William Faulkner, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

It’s evidently impossible to write about Rolando Hinojosa-Smith and not compare him to William Faulkner. 

I couldn’t find a single obituary for the legendary author and longtime professor at the University of Texas at Austin, who died April 19 at 93, that doesn’t mention Faulkner. In 2014, when Hinojosa-Smith was awarded the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle, nearly every profile at the time (including one I wrote for Kirkus Reviews)—and the NBCC citation itself—referenced Faulkner. 

Supposedly, it’s a compliment.

Upcoming Events
An Effective Practices Webinar:
La Sopa de la Abuela: A Special Education Telenovela
Wednesday, May 4, 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
Join a team from Arlington Public Schools in Virginia to learn about La Sopa de la Abuela: A Special Education Telenovela. During this session, the team will share the story of how parents and staff co-created a telenovela as a resource for families who speak Spanish to navigate and participate in the special education process.

During this session, attendees will:

  • Hear the story of how La Sopa de la Abuela came to be;
  • Reflect on the power of family and staff collaboration in co-creating learning tools;
  • Learn how content was manifested from a script into the medium of an impactful video;
  • View segments of La Sopa de la Abuela;
  • Explore the benefits and various uses of the telenovela and accompanying parent resources;
  • Have access to this free resource to share with families and staff in their communities.
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National & International News
National Poll Shows Little Appetite for Book Bans, General Satisfaction With How Race and Gender Are Taught in Schools
As schools get thrust into the center of the divisive culture wars, a new survey shows a larger share of Americans support an expansion of classroom discussion on racism and sexuality than those who believe such conversations should be curtailed.

A significant share of respondents report being happy with the status quo regarding these hot-button subjects: 37% of Americans believe schools focus “about the right amount” on racism and 40% said the same about sex and sexuality, according to the survey released last week by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Co-Founders of Nashville’s First New Charter School in 5 Years on Offering Dual Language to All Families
In the years leading up to the pandemic, dual language immersion was one of the hottest things in American public education. Dual language programs teach academic content in two languages, and — optimally — balance their enrollment roughly equally between native speakers of each language. 

In those “two-way” dual language immersion classes, native English speakers and (for example) native Spanish speakers learn both languages together — and learn academic content in both languages. 

Addressing the Lack of Latinos on the Federal Bench
In the words of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Judge Carlton W. Reeves: “To find truth, we need all angles, all distances and all perspectives.”

Yet the composition of the federal judiciary does not reflect the various perspectives and experiences of those who are served by our nation’s courts.

President Biden’s campaign promise to nominate judges “who look like America” sparked some hope for a more diverse judiciary. But the confirmation process of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, demonstrates how challenging a goal this is.

Leaving on a jet plane? How to use federal funds for conference travel
Travel to conferences is an allowable use of ESEA and ESSER funds if a few requirements are met.

As state and local school districts plan their budgets for the coming school year, administrators may be looking for ways to expand professional development opportunities for school staff and officials.

While states and districts can use ESEA and ESSER funds to provide professional development activities “in-house,” travel to conferences could also be an allowable use of funds if a few requirements are met.

‘Grandes Dreamers’: The story of 12 successful Latina women brought together in a children’s book
Well-known California radio host Argelia Atilano published a bilingual book for children highlighting the achievements of 12 U.S.-born Latina entrepreneurs.

Her name may not sound familiar, but Argelia Atilano is a well-known businesswoman, and radio and television broadcaster of Mexican descent in California, who is not only content to appear in the media, but also writes books.

Her latest book is titled Grandes Dreamers, which she presented last weekend at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC).

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