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Texas News
Two Dallas ISD schools nominated for National Blue Ribbon Award
Two Dallas ISD schools are among 26 public schools in Texas nominated for the National Blue Ribbon, to be awarded in the fall.

The School for the Talented and Gifted and the School of Science and Engineering, both at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, are nominated for the ribbon, the highest honor an American school can achieve. The National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools that have high student achievement or demonstrate exemplary progress toward closing achievement gaps.

YISD taps Ureño-Olivas to lead Riverside Elementary
This week, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced the appointment of Claudia Ureño-Olivas as the principal of the new Riverside Elementary School.

Ureño-Olivas, who has served as principal at Ascarate Elementary School for the last nine years, will begin her new duties at Riverside Elementary School effective July 1, 2022.

According to YISD, she began her professional career in 1999 as a bilingual education teacher in the Clint Independent School District, joining Ysleta ISD in 2006 as a bilingual coordinator.

A push to remove LGBTQ-themed books in a Texas county could signal rising partisanship on school boards
Hood County’s refusal to remove two books from the children’s section of the library sparked a yearslong political battle. Now school board races have taken on a deeply partisan tone, and elections serve as a purity test for far-right politics.

Nearly seven years ago, Melanie Graft’s 4-year-old daughter was in the children’s section of her local North Texas library when she picked up a book about an LGBTQ pride parade. Within the colorful pages of the book, “This Day in June,” children and adults celebrate with rainbow flags and signs promoting equality and love over hate. Adults embrace and kiss one another.

Texas schools are majority Hispanic. There’s been a shortage of bilingual teachers since 1990, and the pandemic made it worse.
The pandemic is driving educators away from the profession, including key areas such as bilingual education.

Many of the students in Mariela Ehlers’ classroom spoke primarily Spanish at home. As a bilingual teacher at Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District, it was her job to teach them both English and Spanish.

But when she looked at these children, she saw herself. She was the kid who spoke only Spanish at home before starting school.

‘The Mexican American Experience in Texas’ Takes a Deep Look at Our Sordid State History
Martha Menchca’s new book examines events that have shaped the lives of so many in the Lone Star State.

At once, the plight of Mexican Americans in Texas is both a figment of distant history and a bloodstain on the current day. It’s just like the old adage: To understand the present, one must look to the past. That’s what inimitable Latina author Martha Menchaca has done in her latest book, The Mexican American Experience in Texas. The title was released last month by The University of Texas Press and serves as a thorough retelling of critical events that have shaped the cultural identity in Texas all the way back to the state’s earliest days. It shouldn’t surprise you that her research is replete with details of discrimination and disinformation—nor should it surprise you that Republican elected officials are still at it today.

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National & International News
Philly School District partners with Temple, Penn for new program preparing diverse future education leaders
The new Pathway to Leadership Principal Preparation Program is set to begin in Summer 2022 and will aim to develop more Black, Latinx and Asian leaders.

The School District of Philadelphia is partnering with Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania to launch a new leadership program for diverse aspiring school principals and education leaders.

Current Philly School District employees enrolled in the Pathway to Leadership Principal Preparation Program will receive traditional certification preparation classwork, coaching and mentoring, as well as a $25,000 scholarship to attend either universities. 

A top researcher says it’s time to rethink our entire approach to preschool
Dale Farran has been studying early childhood education for half a century. Yet her most recent scientific publication has made her question everything she thought she knew.

“It really has required a lot of soul-searching, a lot of reading of the literature to try to think of what were plausible reasons that might account for this.”

And by “this,” she means the outcome of a study that lasted more than a decade.

When Schools Become ‘Bulletproof’: New Film Explores the ‘Dark Absurdism’ of School Security — and How it Became Normalized
Filmmaker Todd Chandler wanted to capture snippets of routine life in America, so he followed teachers to the gun range.

Amid heightened national fear over mass school shootings, a teacher in pink earmuffs unloads a pistol’s clip into the chest of a human-shaped target. The scene in Bulletproof, Chandler’s latest documentary, highlights the lengths some teachers have gone to keep kids safe.

A Latina scientist co-created a new Covid vaccine. She’s nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Microbiologist María Elena Bottazzi discusses what it took to create an accessible, inexpensive Covid vaccine and how her work is a way to “give back” to her native Honduras.

María Elena Bottazzi doesn’t forget where she comes from. Her face softens as she, in the midst of complex scientific terms, speaks of Honduras as if she had left Tegucigalpa, its capital, yesterday.

“It never crossed my mind to look for a job at a multinational” company, she said with a broad smile in a video interview with Noticias Telemundo. “I am Central American and doing nonprofit projects is my way of giving back a little of what Honduras has given me.”

Mexico cheers as their best figure skater in history moves up in Olympics
Mexican figure skater Donovan Carrillo is the rare Latin American athlete at the Winter Games who advanced to the longer free skate competition — a first for the country.

They said he should play soccer. They said figure skating was for girls. They said winter sports made no sense in temperate Guadalajara.

But none of those naysayers deterred Mexican figure skater Donovan Carrillo, the rare Latin American athlete at the Winter Games, who has now become an even more rare Beijing Olympics success story — however relative — from that part of the globe.

Las Tienditas
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