TALAS E-newsletter – December 5

Posted on December 5th, 2019
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Reading only homework considered for
EPISD elementary schools

Outlawing homework may sound like every kid’s dream, but that dream could become a reality for some El Paso students.

Officials at the El Paso Independent School District are considering stopping putting a stop to homework for elementary school students.

On Tuesday morning, the EPISD school board heard the results of a survey on the effectiveness of homework for elementary school students.

“I was pleased that EPISD did a survey of elementary schools to see what the homework policy is,” said Daniel Call, an EPISD board of trustees member.

According to a study, the gold standard for homework is 10 minutes multiplied by the student’s grade level.
Gomez and Gomez Learning Framework Adopted in DeSoto ISD
As DeSoto ISD continues its focus on improving the quality of its academic programs through its FOCUS Priorities, the district recently announced the adoption of the nationally recognized Gomez and Gomez instructional framework to support the teaching of English and Spanish in the district’s Bilingual Education program. The learning system is aimed at enhancing the acquisition of the English Language while ensuring proficiency and master of content in the native language.

With the implementation of this model, DeSoto ISD Bilingual Department Supervisor Dr. Helena Castanon Vargas believes that the DeSoto Independent School District is now better positioned to provide an equitable and relevant education to all students.

The Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Enrichment Model was first developed by Dr. Richard Gomez, Jr. and Dr. Leo Gomez in 1995 and has since been implemented in over 700 schools across the country including over 150 districts in Texas.
Alumni Commemorates 50th Year
of Chicano Student Walkouts in Texas
It has been more than fifty years since the Chicano student walkouts in Texas. Some of those scholars, activists, students and alumni who participated in the walkouts gathered in a three-day National Chicano Student Walkouts Conference last week to preserve the crucial, but often forgotten part of civil rights history.

Manuel Diaz Garza, 68, who was one of the Mexican-American students who walked out of their high school, recalled the events which led to significant reforms in the Texan educational system.

Diaz Garza was in his junior year at Edgewood High School in San Antonio when the student council began to demand supplies to improve the school facilities such as electric typewriters, building repairs, a revamp in the curriculum to include Mexican American culture and history, and many other reforms.

The students’ negotiations with school officials took three meetings but eventually failed. This prompted them to stage a massive walkout in the morning of May 16, 1968, with about 3,000 students leaving classes and hundreds marching to the school district’s offices. This move provoked of a series of student walkouts that year. Along with San Antonio, students in other Texas cities and towns also mobilized such as the 1968 student walkouts in East Los Angeles, also called The Blowouts.
An Author Is Opening The Discussion On The Violent History In The U.S. Against Mexicans In Texas

The history of Latinos in the U.S. dates back to before it was called the United States. Latinos have always inhabited many parts of what is now the United States of America. However, the recorded history of what happened to them while on this land is one that has often gone disputed and untold. However, in time, it is through oral history and fragments of documents and photographs that scholars have been able to complete the puzzle. Today’s experience of Latinos living in the current administration is just another addition to the story. 

Monica Muñoz Martinez, an assistant professor of American studies at Brown University, released a book last year titled “The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas,” and discussed the many ways the history of Latinos in the U.S. is complex and vital to remember. 
These Students Speak Perfect Spanglish —
And Now They’re Learning To Own It
Porfa please. Pero like. Janguear (to hang out).

These Spanglish phrases are all the results of contact between Spanish and English. In a Texas college classroom, students are learning that Spanglish — a version of Spanish that’s influenced by English — is just as valid as any other Spanish dialect.

“What history teaches us is that the only constant is change,” explains Meghann Peace, who teaches this class primarily in Spanish at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. “When two or more languages are in constant geographic and social contact, there will always be linguistic consequences.”

And yet Spanglish, or U.S. Spanish, is sometimes looked down upon by native speakers of both languages. Even in a state like Texas, where nearly 30% of the population speaks Spanish at home, there’s a perception that it’s better to speak “pure Spanish.”
Explore Career Opportunities Today
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6 Women On The Career Advice They’re Most Thankful For
The definition for ‘’mentor’ is constantly being reinvented. For some, a mentor is someone who is a few steps ahead of them and on their same career path. For others, peer mentorship has proven the most valuable as they navigate waters that are uncharted. 

A study conducted by Cigna found that 70 percent of women credit a mentor with having helped made their career success possible.

The range of advice listed below proves that oftentimes being able to watch someone and learn from their example can carry just as much weight as explicit advice. 

For instance, for Molly Beck, the founder and CEO of Messy.fm, it was a sign off in her mentor’s email signature that has stuck with her throughout the span of her career. 

While for Holy Matcha’s Geraldine Ridaura Schumacher, her most memorable piece of advice were words that her own mother shared with her. 

National News
Do teachers have biased academic perceptions
of their English learner students?
Policymakers, educators, and community members often decry the large achievement and attainment gaps between English learner (EL) students and their English-proficient peers. Increasingly, attention is turning toward understanding not what’s going wrong among these students, but instead what’s going wrong with how schools educate, support, and empower these students. In the last few years, several studies have emerged documenting that simply being classified as an EL student in school can have a direct, negative impact on students’ test scores, graduation, and college-going. Possible explanations for these negative effects include that EL-classified students are often linguistically isolated with other EL students, tracked into low-level classes, and placed into classes with inexperienced teachers, all of which can harm a student’s outcomes.

An additional potential mechanism for how EL status may hurt students’ outcomes is through teacher perceptions and expectations. A long history of research has documented how teacher perceptions influence students’ achievement, and how teachers tend to have lower academic perceptions and educational expectations of marginalized student groups such as African-American and Latino students as well as girls in STEM.
Enrollment In Teacher Preparation Programs Down A Third In This Decade: Six Troubling Trends

Enrollment in teacher preparation programs dropped by one third between 2010 and 2018, and several states saw precipitous declines of more than 50%. Those are two of the main findings from a study released this week by the Center for American Progress, the progressive, D.C.-based think-tank.

No one should be surprised about the fact that fewer students are studying to be teachers—that decline has been well-documented for years—but the dramatic size of the decrease and several underlying shifts that accompany it are jolting indictors of just how far a teaching career has fallen as a preferred profession.

Here are six key findings from the report, which analyzed data from all teacher preparation programs receiving federal funding. (Note: The data are referred to by the year reported, which is one year after the academic year in which they were collected.)
‘English Only’: The movement to limit Spanish speaking in US

There are an estimated 41 million Spanish speakers in the US and that number is increasing. Yet there is also a small but vocal movement to restrict the spread of Spanish.

“This is a country where we speak English. It’s English. You have to speak English!” Donald Trump often said during his 2016 US presidential campaign.

The then presidential candidate made this point to cater to his supporters but he also used it as a strategy against some of his adversaries in the race for Republican Party nomination.

One particular target was rival and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who sometimes expressed himself in Spanish.

Mr Trump’s tough approach to immigration paid off among sectors of the electorate that somehow share his opinion that “in the United States you have to speak English”.
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