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Texas News
In audio, high-ranking TEA official admits public school funds could drop with voucher-like programs
“School districts, what they have to do if they lose a student, [is] be smart about how they allocate their resources and maybe that’s one less fourth grade teacher,” Steve Lecholop, a TEA deputy commissioner, said in a call with a parent that was secretly recorded.

A high-ranking Texas Education Agency official was caught on audio advocating for voucher-like programs on behalf of Gov. Greg Abbott and admitting that funding to public school districts could decrease if such a policy passes this Legislative session.

LISD, UISD educators advocate for funding and policies at state capitol
Representatives from Laredo ISD and United ISD traveled to Austin recently to meet with elected officials on issues affecting public education.

The group of educators met with State Reps. Richard Raymond and Tracy King at the state capitol for several hours discussing possible legislation. 

In attendance from LISD were Flor Ayala, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Business Operations; Dr. Gerardo Cruz, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction; and Oscar Perez, Executive Director for Health and Occupational Safety and Support Services. 

As Houston elementary schools see rebounds post-COVID, high schools keep struggling. Here’s why.
Many Houston-area schools, particularly high schools, continue to struggle with standardized test scores in the aftermath of the pandemic, but some schools managed to bounce back with scores higher than before COVID, according to new rankings released by Children at Risk, a Houston-based nonprofit.

Love Elementary in the Heights was among those able to rebound. The Pre-K through fifth-grade campus saw its letter grade jump to a B from D in 2019. It also made gains in the state accountability ranking system, jumping to an A from a C.

Black, Latino groups blast Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for targeting DEI practices
Two legislative caucuses said they will push back against the Texas governor’s attempts to target “diversity, equity and inclusion” policies.

Two organizations representing Black and Latino lawmakers are striking back against Gov. Greg Abbott’s warning that state entities cannot consider “diversity, equity and inclusion” in employment practices.

In separate statements this week, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and Mexican American Legislative Caucus blasted Abbott for targeting policies the groups said recognize the state’s diversity as a strength that should be honored.

Program Helps El Paso Students with Disabilities to Succeed in College
EPCC and Texas Workforce Solutions behind Project HIGHER, a program that gives people with disabilities an opportunity for a post-secondary education

Estefania Garcia is a confident young woman who has worked through her disabilities to achieve what she wants. One of her dreams was to attend college and the naysayers at El Dorado High School, she said, only made her more determined to make her dream a reality.

School Turnaround Leadership
The Charles Butt Foundation is sponsoring five campus leadership teams serving Texas public schools to attend the School Turnaround Leaders institute. This institute provides your campus leadership team the opportunity to develop or refine your campus’ targeted improvement plan or school turnaround plan to ensure buy-in and improve academic performance.

The 2023 session will be held from June 5, 2023 to June 9, 2023 with travel to Harvard on June 4 and return from Harvard on June 9.

Campus leadership teams applying for this Institute must currently be assigned to a school that received an overall D or F in 2019 and which did not receive a rating of A, B, or C in 2022.
Achieving Excellence: Leadership Development for Principals
The Charles Butt Foundation is sponsoring thirty principals serving Texas public schools to attend the Achieving Excellence: Leadership Development for Principals institute. This institute will provide you the opportunity to strengthen your leadership and management skills and revitalize your personal vision of leadership. Participants will learn new methods for improving individual, group, and organizational performance.

The 2023 session will be held from July 9, 2023 to July 14, 2023 with travel to Harvard on July 8 and return from Harvard on July 14.
Affiliate Feature
The Association of Hispanic School Administrators, TALAS’ Houston affiliate, is a professional organization for education employees of TEA Service Region IV who are dedicated to developing and advancing school leaders that can help better the lives of students we serve. Additionally, AHSA has adopted philanthropy of supporting rising school leaders and donates upto $35,0000 in scholarships to individuals pursuing a career in education. Since our inception, AHSA has given over a half-million dollars to this cause and continues to award more scholarships each year.

The focus of AHSA is not only to support and develop more school leaders for Houston Area Hispanic Community, but to create a network of individuals who can share their skills and experience with one another. Attempting to pave the road for future generations, our efforts include mentorship, professional development, and networking events. Through our professional development and networking events, members have the opportunity to share resources and learn from each other while supporting Houston area graduates who aim to pursue a field in education.
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National News
Want to Recruit Male Teachers of Color? Look to This New York City Leader
In 2015, New York City’s then-Mayor Bill DeBlasio set a lofty goal to make the city’s teaching corps better reflect its students: Put an additional 1,000 men of color on track to become public school teachers in the city by 2018.

The nation’s largest school district sailed past that target a year early and kept right on going.

Despite the success, Chimere Stephens, a key player in the effort, couldn’t help thinking of the prospective teachers drawn in by the district’s $2 million ad campaign only to be turned away. Too many of them got tripped up by a grade point average requirement or the cost of graduate school.

Half of all students started this school year one grade level behind
Most notably, nearly every school that reported having students that were behind academically cited English (99%) or math (99%) as the most common subjects students are struggling in.

At the moment, students are just over halfway through the 2022-23 academic year. But academically, they’re still stuck in 2021.

New federal data released by the National Center for Education statistics on Thursday reveal that nearly half of all students (49%) began this school year one year behind grade level in at least one subject, according to public school leaders. The data were collected from more than 1,000 participating public schools in December of 2022. Nearly every school that reported having students that were behind academically cited English (99%) or math (99%) as the most common subjects students are struggling in. The findings are similar to last year’s, according to NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr.

Launching career activities in elementary school? Keep the focus wide
Career education training and activities typically start in middle and high school, but experts believe there is a benefit to launching them earlier and giving pupils a window into what’s possible as early as elementary school.

Specialization can even begin at this age, as shown with the STEM focus students at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering in Greenville, South Carolina. That level of concentration can be fruitful for recruiting traditionally underrepresented students into STEM fields, said Alisha Hyslop, senior director of public policy for Association for Career and Technical Education, though she cautions educators should be careful not to silo students when they are young.

3 of K12’s main enrollment problems are unsolved mysteries
Moves to private schools, homeschooling, and a reduction in the school-age population are not the only factors.

The declining enrollment now being experienced across the public education system cannot all be blamed on students switching to private schools and homeschooling or on the shrinking of the school-age population, according to “Where the Kids Went,” a new report from the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research institution.

Project-based learning helps apply a ‘why’ to lessons
A former high school educator, Lenz remembers the physics teacher on his former campus at Archie Williams High School in San Anselmo, California, assigning a bridge-building exercise to students. But instead of having each pupil build the same structure and grade them on their success, he designed a contest. Students were challenged to see who could build the stronger bridge, with classes testing their structures using weights.

Lenz said student test scores were “significantly higher” after going through such project-based approaches than those taught using the previous curriculum.

Las Tienditas
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