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Texas News
Edinburg CISD reaches out to migrant agricultural students
Osiel Salinas is a counselor at Edinburg Consolidated School District. He is usually at a desk, but this week he and his team are going door-to-door looking for a special kind of student who needs help out in the fields where food is grown. The effort is part of the district’s migrant agricultural student program.

“Many of these students don’t know about any other life. They know the hard life, they know the hard labor, picking cotton, picking pineapples,” Salinas said.

El Paso ISD names principal of new Navarrete Middle School
Thursday, officials with El Paso Independent School District (EPSID) announced that longtime educator Michael Mendoza has been tapped to lead the new Capt. Gabriel Navarrete Middle School.

Mendoza, the current principal at Bassett, will be the principal of the consolidated Navarrete when the new campus opens in the fall of 2022.

The school is currently under construction near the former William Beaumont Army Medical Center site.

Mask mandates banned again in Texas schools. These districts will continue requiring them anyway
Richardson, Dallas ISD have defied Republican state leadership all year.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on school mask mandates may be in effect once again, but it won’t make a practical difference in the North Texas districts still requiring face coverings.

On Wednesday, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals halted a federal judge’s ruling that temporarily tossed out Abbott’s ban, delivering at least a temporary victory to the governor and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The pandemic has undone years of educational gains in Texas schools. Here’s what the road to recovery looks like.
Gaps in student learning because of pandemic disruptions could impact students in the long term.

Four days a week, Courtney races from her Houston home to pick up her fourth grade daughter from school. They come back home to grab a snack and then head back out to make it to the 9-year-old’s after-school tutoring session.

A Texas School District Banned My Book. Then Things Got Really Ugly.
I’ve been the target of censorship and vicious harassment, but my greatest worry is what this trend means for young people who rely on school libraries.

My nightmare started in mid-September, when Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education for PEN America, emailed me a link. I wasn’t surprised to hear from Jon; he’d also reached out in the spring, when Central Texas’s Leander Independent School District “paused” the use of many books in its high school reading program, including my 2015 novel Out of Darkness, and again when the district officially removed the books in August. We’d been in touch about combating book bans since then, so I imagined that the subject line of his email said it all: “another removal of Out of Darkness.”

Upcoming Events
Texas Tribune event: Watch Austin ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde discuss the pandemic and public education in Austin
Monday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches in Austin
Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve witnessed its destabilizing effects on public schools, students and educators. Now, Texas’ elementary age children are receiving their first COVID-19 vaccinations. Join us to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic, and the politics surrounding it, have affected public education in Austin.

Submit your questions in advance when you RSVP or ask them live. Can’t make it? View the recording on demand starting Wednesday, Dec. 15, at
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National News
Everyone Wants to Be a Hispanic-Serving Institution
The number of HSIs has exploded. But are all those colleges helping their Hispanic students?

The local meatpacking plant is a prime recruiting ground for Marshalltown Community College. Many of its roughly 2,000 students came to the central Iowa community for jobs at the plant, where modest wages, automation, and grueling working conditions are driving them to seek better opportunities through education.

3 priorities fueling Latino leaders’ vision for a more inclusive school system
‘We’ve got to move away from just being well-intentioned,’ Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents leader says

Latino school administrators have a vision for the near future of education: More leaders of color and better outcomes for some of the most vulnerable students.

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, or ALAS, has set three priorities for this school year: better education for migrant students, strengthening the Latino leadership pipeline and making more inclusive educational materials.

University of California Will No Longer Require SAT or ACT
The University of California system will continue not to require widely-used tests to decide which students it will accept.

The nine University of California schools that accept undergraduates will not use the SAT and ACT standardized tests and has no plans to require them in the future. A standardized test is an examination that is given to a large number of people to compare their abilities.

Ed Dept announces communities of practice to accelerate learning, support kindergartners
A new community of practice announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education aims to assist states and districts plan and pay for evidence-based programs to help accelerate learning for students, particularly those most impacted by the ongoing pandemic. 

A second community of practice will investigate strategies to specifically help kindergartners prepare for early school success and learning recovery. This effort will address social-emotional development, family engagement, access disparities to in-person learning and dips in school enrollments. 

Salma Hayek Finally Honored With Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Oscar-nominated actress Salma Hayek (Frida, Eternals) was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Joining Hayek as speakers for the ceremony were actor and comedian Adam Sandler (Punch-Drunk Love) and Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao (Nomadland). Sandler starred with Hayek in the comedies Grown Ups in 2010 and the sequel Grown Ups 2 in 2013. Hayek was featured in Zhao’s 2021 Marvel movie Eternals, which hit theaters earlier this month.

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