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Texas News
Former superintendent becomes La Joya ISD board president
Former Superintendent Alda T. Benavides became the president of the La Joya school board on Wednesday.

Benavides — who retired from the La Joya Independent School District in June 2019 and joined the school board in November 2020 — accepted the position during a meeting on Wednesday night.

“I’m still learning my role as a board member, because it is different from being a superintendent,” Benavides said. “But I’m hoping that I can serve the district well in that capacity.”

New Socorro ISD teachers, upcoming educators earn UT-System Chancellor’s Centurions Educators Torch Award
The University of Texas System honored 19 Socorro ISD educators with the Educators Torch Award as part of the UT-System Chancellor’s “Centurions in Service to Education” program.

Interim superintendent Marta Carmona, M.Ed., and Socorro ISD administration joined representatives from UTEP and visitors from the UT-System to surprise three of the winners at Ernesto Serna School in a special ceremony including the educators’ students.

“I am thankful to UTEP and our district for bringing light to one of the most noble professions there is,” Carmona said. “Teachers do a wonderful job in planting a seed in our students, especially right now when education is facing so many challenges.”

New associate superintendent relishes his role
Ector County ISD’s new Associate Superintendent of Operations Anthony Sorola has devoted his life to education.

In the field since 2001, he started off as an elementary bilingual teacher and served as assistant superintendent of human resources and filled in for the superintendent at his last position in Donna ISD.

“The superintendent just recently left to Round Rock, I was wearing several hats there toward the end of my time with Donna,” Sorola said.

Death threats and doxxing: The outcomes of mask mandate and critical race theory fights at a Texas school board
The fight over race and how to deal with the pandemic has split the Fort Worth community, showcasing what’s being seen across the state and country.

When Roxanne Martinez launched her campaign for a seat on the school board in 2020 she thought that if she won, she could help schools tackle the problem of students’ learning gaps following more than a year of disruptions caused by the pandemic. Or she could help look for new ways to support teachers during this difficult period.

Texas Students Are Receiving a Miseducation on Climate Change
A new book by Katie Worth shows how conservative ideologues and fossil fuel money have crept into public-school curricula across the nation.

Last year, the state of Texas got a failing grade when it came to teaching public school students about climate change. A report by the National Center for Science Education and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund found that the state’s current science education standards don’t meet key, basic criteria about climate education: Teaching students that climate change is real, that it’s caused by humans burning fossil fuels, and that the effects of climate change will be catastrophic.

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National News
‘We Don’t Have Any Talented Students:’ Confronting English Language Learners’ Drastic Under-Representation in Elementary Gifted & Talented
English language learners are drastically under-represented in the nation’s gifted and talented elementary education programs. And the one tool advocates hoped would better identify them — non-verbal assessments — hasn’t worked, critics say.

Experts say teachers have not been adequately trained to spot these students’ gifts and that schools’ failure to recognize and grow their talent could turn them off to school entirely.  

Latinos with high college loan debt hope for changes, loan forgiveness
Approximately 72% of Latino students take out loans to attend college, according to a recent report. “I’m constantly going to be living in the shadow of my debt,” one grad student said.

The amount of student loan debt in the United States is $1.8 trillion — and counting. Education has never been more expensive.

The student loan crisis has affected a lot of students, but statistics show that it disproportionately affects the Latino community.

Students Are Suffering From Low Academic Self-Esteem. Democratizing the Classroom Can Save Them.
I will never forget sitting down with Elijah when school began last year. As a 5th-grader, he didn’t understand the concept of multiplication.

I started at the beginning, teaching him that any number multiplied by zero is zero. Then, I taught him that any number multiplied by one is that number, one group of five or five groups of one is five, and so on. I made no judgments. I never made him feel like it was his fault. Eventually, he started to get it. He knew I invested in his learning, so he became invested, too. Pretty soon, Elijah was bragging to other teachers, “I know multiplication!”

Black and Latino Students Are Still More Likely to Have Inexperienced Teachers, Study Says
Black and Latino students are still more likely than their peers to have teachers with one year or less of experience in the classroom, despite years-long federal efforts to change that trend, concludes a new analysis. The disparities are the largest for Black students.

The two reports from the Education Trust, a civil rights group that advocates for more accountability of low-performing school districts, look at data from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2017-18 Civil Rights Data Collection.

Vicente Fernández, a Mexican musical icon for generations, dies at 81
Vicente Fernández’s romantic rancheras and timeless folk anthems defined the grit and romance of his turbulent homeland, songs of love, heartbreak and working-class heroes that made him a cultural giant for generations of fans throughout Latin America and beyond.

With his buttery baritone and ornate sombreros, embroidered jackets and slim trousers, he stood as a constant for decades, a source of comfort in good times and bad.

But time finally caught up with a performer who seemed eternal.

Las Tienditas
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