TALAS E-newsletter – February 13

Posted on February 13th, 2020
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El Paso educator to head Burnet
An El Paso educator has been approved by the Ector County ISD Board of Trustees as the new principal of Burnet Elementary School.

Executive Director of Leadership Alicia Press said Mayela Sanchez Serrano will replace Marissa King who is going to work in the district’s accountability department.

Press said Serrano was a principal in San Elizario ISD and currently runs education for children on the border.

Three El Paso schools among 26 statewide National Blue Ribbon School nominees
Three El Paso-area schools were among the 26 Texas schools nominated for the 2020 National Blue Ribbon Honors awards Monday.

The prestigious award is awarded to select schools based on student performance on the first administration of the previous year’s STAAR assessments. Each Blue Ribbon nominee has an economically disadvantaged population of 25-percent or more.

In El Paso, Transmountain Early College High School and Milam Elementary in El Paso ISD and Desertaire Elementary in Ysleta ISD are among Texas’ nominated schools.

Austin ISD enrollment expected to decrease by 10% in next 10 years
The student population at Central Texas’ largest school district is expected to fall by 10% in the next 10 years, as Austin Independent School District deals with a number of outside forces that continue to pull students away.

In addition to the 10-year decline, a report paid for by the district and conducted by Templeton Demographics found student enrollment is expected to drop by 5.9% in the next five years.

The findings come as the district saw an unexpected bump in its enrollment this school year. The district added 764 students in the 2019-20 school year, the first increase since 2011-12.

The total district enrollment currently stands at 80,890 students, spread out over 130 schools.

San Antonio Book Festival Announces 2020 Author Lineup
Tim O’Brien, Adrienne Brodeur, Saeed Jones, Attica Locke, Scott Pelley, Sandra Cisneros and Texas Monthly taco editor José R. Ralat are among the more than 120 local, regional and national authors slated to appear at the April 4 San Antonio Book Festival.

Now in its eighth year, the festival returns to the Central Library and Southwest School of Art for a day of free panels, author presentations, children’s activities and more.

Lilly Gonzalez, executive director of the festival, said author panels will cover all of the major topics of the day, from race and #metoo stories to voter suppression and mass shootings. For those not looking to debate current events, Gonzalez says there are plenty of lighter options, too, from a chat with Texas Monthly’s taco editor to panels featuring authors of novels that have been selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club.

New Centro de Artes Exhibitions Focus on Latino Experience in South Texas
The Centro de Artes is dedicated to “telling the Latino experience with a focus on South Texas,” and two new exhibitions opening February 13 allow it to do just that.

With “XicanX: New Visions” and “Los Maestros,” the center looks back at the “maestros” of Chicano art while highlighting young and emerging artists of today. Together, the shows allow for an intergenerational dialogue between artists and viewers.

Presented on the gallery’s first floor is “XicanX: New Visions,” a national exhibit curated by the local artist team Dos Mestizx (Suzy González and Michael Menchaca). As evident by the title, this show challenges many of the traditional ideas tied to Chicanx or Latinx identities and socio-political issues. The exhibition uses the evolution of the term Chicano to Xicanx, which came to bear to allow the inclusion of queer, feminist and activist artists in a mostly straight, male-dominated genre. The first “x” in Xicanx is a reference to Nahuatl, one of the indigenous languages of Mesoamerica, and the “x” at the end serves as an alternative to the gendered -o/-a suffix.

Explore options in education careers
Take a look at who’s hiring
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
Region 17 ESC http://jobs.esc17.net/
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
How To Empower Yourself In The Job Search And Fight Back Against The AI Robots
There has been an alarming trend in the hiring process for companies to use and rely heavily upon technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated software, such as applicant tracking systems (ATS). While well-intentioned, this development has greatly harmed candidates in their job searches and lessened the chances for many people to get an interview or job offer.

How This Trend Took Over
It’s a complicated matter. There has been phenomenal growth in the proliferation and use of job aggregators, corporate career sites, Google for Jobs, LinkedIn’s easy apply feature, niche and old-school job sites and other online venues. Everyone has a smartphone, desktop, computer or tablet readily available at all times. The combination of the ubiquity of job listings and the easy means to apply to a job listing creates a scenario in which human resources and talent acquisition professionals are inundated with résumés. It is nearly impossible for them to review and respond to each and every résumé. 

Most major corporations have deployed ATS platforms to screen and weed out résumés. They’re programmed to search for keywords that closely correlate with the job description. The goal is for the AI to match the candidate who possesses the required background, skills and experiences with the job. As anyone who has ever used technology, it doesn’t always work the way it was intended. 
National News
Do Parents Really Want School Integration?

Do parents really want school integration? The short answer is yes.

Our research suggests that the vast majority of parents across political affiliation, race, class, and geographic region strongly favor schools that are racially and economically integrated.

But unfortunately, this doesn’t translate into action. In districts where parents actually have a choice, schools tend to become more segregated, not less. For example, White, affluent parents often choose schools based on the number of White, affluent students in attendance.

As parents, neighbors, and community members, we have a fundamental moral responsibility to desegregate our schools. It’s a matter of basic equity and our commitments to one another in a democratic society. 

Read our new report and learn what you can do.
Authored by: Richard Weissbourd with Eric Torres

The Real Problem With ‘American Dirt’
This whole American Dirt controversy has been awful. The harder people try to extricate themselves, the deeper they sink. Writers are finding themselves arguing with friends and heroes. We’re looking at our colleagues and marveling at their cluelessness, and we’re getting in lots of social media fights.

Sure, some people have insisted that we look on the bright side: at least we’re talking about books, right? At least we’ve got people discussing the migrant experience, no?

Well, Luis Alberto Urrea’s The House of Broken Angels is a best-seller again, partly due to the many articles offering lists of books about the borderlands that are better than American Dirt. Coffee House Press is scrambling to print new copies of Myriam Gurba’s Chicana memoir Mean. And American Dirt’s publisher has agreed to hire and publish more Latinos. But if a mess like this is what caused those things to happen, then clearly the publishing industry still has a long way to go.

Let me take a step back for those of you lucky enough to have missed the drama.
Mothers of invention: Frustrated with the educational status quo and conventional parent organizing, two Latinas gave birth to a national parents union

For a moment, the issues seemed insurmountable. Some 150 parent activists, all strong-willed veterans of battles with their respective education establishments, were gathered in a New Orleans hotel ballroom trying to hammer out statements of joint belief.

It was important to arrive at precise wording, the organizers running the meeting told them, because the statement would serve, essentially, as a constitution for a National Parents Union, a network intended to exert political influence in the labor union model, which the advocates had come together to found. A foundational document, as it were, to go back to when agreement seemed elusive.

If there is a third rail in the politics of K-12 education, it’s parent organizing. Polls consistently show education is a top issue among voters, but one where candidates’ platforms frequently don’t reflect the concerns of marginalized families. Behind closed doors, state and local advocacy organizations can often be heard bemoaning their inability to galvanize parent support for their policy initiatives.

Educators Using 2019 Diversity Report to Show Districts How They Can Better Support Teachers of Color

In West Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Kimberly Eckert felt like she had been beating the same drum for years: Teaching is a challenging profession. Being a person of color in the United States is challenging, in a whole different way. Put them together, and, for many, the obstacles are insurmountable.

Eckert had been tasked with strengthening teacher recruitment, including Educators Rising, a pre-service organization for high school students interested in teaching. She recruits high performers, and ensures that at least half are students of color. She’s up front with those students that it is not an easy profession, and will likely be more difficult for those who are placed in high-need schools. She wants them “going in eyes wide open,” she said, because disillusionment doesn’t help anyone.

At the same time, she said, there are ways to improve the experience for teachers of color.

We extend our appreciation to our
Midwinter Meet and Greet Sponsors
TALAS extends its appreciation to our sponsors of the Meet and Greet that took place at the Four Seasons during TASA’s Midwinter Conference: Paxton Patterson, Naviance, Noredink, TASA, Insight, Staymobile, Curriculum Associates, Renaissance Learning, and McGraw-Hill. Your support makes it possible for our members to connect, make new friends and to enjoy an evening of relaxation. We couldn’t do it without you!
Mil gracias to our sponsors
for their on-going support of TALAS!
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