TALAS E-newsletter – February 27

Posted on February 27th, 2020
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Los Fresnos CISD wins 2020 AP District of the Year
The College Board singled out the Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District as the 2020 Advanced Placement District of the Year among medium-sized school districts.

Los Fresnos and the College Board celebrated the distinction during an assembly at Los Fresnos High School on Tuesday. The district was recognized as the national leader among districts having between 8,000 and 50,000 students. Each year the award is given to a large, medium and small district that expands access to AP Program courses while simultaneously improving AP Exam performance, particularly among traditionally underrepresented minority students.

“Today’s recognition is a testament of what is possible when we work together with a common vision and laser-like focus for student success,” Superintendent Gonzalo Salazar said. “This is what happens when we commit to continuous improvement and when we work tirelessly to ensure all students achieve their full potential.”

Record Number Of New Dallas ISD Choice Programs And Schools Launching Next School Year
Dallas ISD will launch a record number of choice programs and schools in the 2020–2021 school year, significantly increasing the education choices in families’ backyards.

Representatives from the Dallas ISD Office of Transformation and Innovation surprised schools with the great news on Friday, Feb. 21. OTI identified and selected the schools as part of the Public School Choice 6.o process, where educators create high-quality, best-fit options for Dallas ISD students to realize their full academic potential.

The selected schools fall into one of these categories:

Transformation; new start-up, open-enrollment schools that offer specialized academic programming without entry requirements.

Innovation; existing neighborhood schools that want to implement a new academic model but stay in their existing facility and keep traditional attendance boundaries.

Innovation Pilot; existing neighborhood schools receive support and funding to more fully explore and develop a proposal that could become a successful innovation school model.

Garland ISD: New decade, new opportunities
Garland ISD is kicking off the new decade with new opportunities focused on preparing students for the world of tomorrow. In 2020-21, students will have access to greater fine arts, athletics and specialized academic programs.

To create a streamlined path, the district will introduce mariachi and orchestra classes at three schools in the fall. Austin Academy for Excellence and North Garland High School will debut mariachi courses, while Naaman Forest High School will launch an orchestra program. Currently, Jackson Technology Center for Math and Science as well as Garland High School house both orchestra and mariachi classes, while Austin Academy for Excellence, Webb Middle School and North Garland High School offer orchestra courses.

“In order for us to provide a robust fine arts experience, starting students at the elementary or middle school level is a must,” said Director of Visual & Performing Arts Joseph Figarelli. “Thanks to the support of the Board of Trustees and Dr. López’s vision, we’re helping our students become more well-rounded.”

Striving to provide as many learning opportunities as possible, the district’s newest facility will open the doors to experiences never before offered in GISD.

Café Bustelo Will Award $100,000 in College Scholarships
Coffee brand Café Bustelo® has launched the Café Bustelo® El Café del Futuro Scholarship in partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).

Since 2014, $330,000 in college funds have been awarded to 66 Latino students nationwide through the partnership. The campaign generated more than 1,900 applications in 2019. In 2020, Café Bustelo is once again awarding a total of $100,000 to 20 students.

Café Bustelo is encouraging Hispanic students to submit an essay in English or Spanish (800 words or less) describing how their heritage, family and community have impacted their desire and motivation to obtain a college degree; how they plan to give back to their community; and what they intend to accomplish with their degree. Eligible U.S. students can apply for the opportunity to receive one of twenty $5,000 scholarships by submitting their essay.

All eligible applications must be received by July 6, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Scholarship recipients will be announced on or about Sept. 7, 2020.

Available Leadership positions
Executive Director of Human Resources

Officer – Academic Compliance – Administrative Services

San Antonio ISD

  • Lead Senior .Net Developer (Programmer V)
  • Dyslexia Specialist for Review and Support (Education Specialist IV)
  • Public Information and Data Governance Support Coordinator (Program Specialist VI)
  • Psychometrician (Data Analyst V)
Take a look at who’s hiring
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
The defining habits of highly motivated people
It’s lonely at the top.

When asked what continues to drive him day in and day out, Lebron James says he wants to be remembered as the greatest player to ever play the game. Not the best player right now or the best player of his generation. The greatest ever. Period.

Some would say he’s chasing a ghost.

That it simply can’t be done.

They say he will never be Jordan. Or Kareem. Or even Magic.

Others would argue he’s already there.

Whether you’re a fan of Lebron or not, most people can agree on one thing; the man oozes motivation. Since entering the NBA, Lebron has somehow maintained his status as a top-three and often number one player in the league.

National News
Mexican Americans in southern Colorado fought one of the nation’s early school desegregation battles
In 1913, a railroad foreman in Alamosa tried to enroll his 11-year-old son in the school closest to the family home. The school district denied him, and instead forced Miguel Maestas to walk seven blocks across dangerous railroad tracks to what was known as the Mexican School.

Maestas and other Mexican American families sued the southern Colorado district in what is the earliest known school desegregation case in the United States involving Latino students. They ultimately won the right to attend the same schools as the community’s white children. The case predates the Mendez decision, in which a U.S. District Court found that California could not send Mexican American students to separate schools, by more than three decades and other local court cases in Texas and California by more than a decade.

The Denver Catholic Register hailed the Maestas decision as “historic,” but because it was a local court case, it did not set precedent and was largely lost to time and memory until just a few years ago.

Why Hispanic Teachers Are Integral to Addressing Racial Disparities in Education

Imagine a school where its teaching body actually looked like its students. Today´s schools still don´t represent the demographical figures of a country where over half of its student population is non-white. More importantly, aside from dreaming of a harmonious visual of a multicultural classroom that included the teacher, if there were more Hispanic teachers in our schools, Hispanic students would simply  perform better  academically, studies have shown. 

Students benefit from having teachers that reflect their cultural, racial, and linguistic backgrounds. For example, somebody who knows a bit of Spanish perhaps or about songs or pop cultural icons that Hispanics admire can make a difference. Recognition of such cultural background information could help in creating numerous bonding moments between pupil and teacher. 

Yet there is a concerning demographic mismatch between teachers and students in our schools reports The Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford. For Hispanic teachers and students this is especially true. Let’s begin with the obvious, Hispanic students comprise the largest minority demographic in the nation’s schools, accounting for  22 percent  of students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Sadly, only 9 percent of the teacher workforce is of Hispanic origin in comparison.

More Latin Americans in the U.S. Are Degree Holders
A comprehensive data analysis by the  National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) revealed that more Latin Americans in the United States have completed their education in the decade between 2005 and 2017 than ever before, according to an  article  by Latin Live.
The data further showed that within the past decade 70 percent more Latinos earned degrees, the largest among the U.S. ethnic groups.

Meanwhile, Caucasians earning degrees increased by 19 percent. Overall, the number of college degrees awarded increased by 32 percent across ethnic groups.

NPR’s Latino USA  reported a Pew Research data showing that in the last decade, Latino enrollment in college is at its highest point, having increased by 82%. Additionally, the National Center for Education Statistics say that 2016 to 2017, the number of Latino students enrolled in college rose from 3.17 million to 3.27 million,  making them only one of two demographic groups  that saw an increase in college attendance, nearly double the 1.4 million Latino students who attended college in 2000.

Alt.Latino Playlist: The Changing Seasons Of Life And Love

We’re either in for an early spring in Washington, D.C., or the unseasonably warm weather is just a fake-out before the snow rolls in. Either way, it’s a good enough reason to turn to music that inspires and challenges (seemingly the only constant in an ever-changing world).
So dig in, have fun and bundle up if you have to.

La Doña, “Quién Me La Paga”
In the tableau of  La Doña ‘s loves, San Francisco isn’t separated from romantic love or self-love. This is especially true on “Quién Me La Paga,” a question directed as much at the city’s rising cost of living and displacement of people of color as it is to any man living in your head rent-free. “SF costs of living got us f***** up,” she says. “How are we to live and love and create while supporting ourselves and our communities?” Yet “Quién Me La Paga” isn’t at all a mourning. This cumbia breathes and expands as a celebration of rhythm and resilience, adding the cost of rent with that of the rituals that sustain us: la ropa, las uñas, las chelas. Some might call these vices; others, sovereign rights. — Stefanie Fernández

Revamping Hiring and Support for Teachers

Pristine beaches and stately palm trees. Warm ocean breezes and beautiful architecture. Yet Florida’s  Palm Beach County school district —like many across the country—struggles to attract teachers.

That’s the formidable challenge Gonzalo La Cava faced when he became the chief of human resources for the 193,000-student district nearly four years ago.
La Cava, 44, brings a sense of urgency to his work. He’s focused on creating new pathways to attract nontraditional candidates to the teaching profession and mining data on dozens of indicators, including vacancy rates, staff diversity, and retention, to keep track of what’s working and what’s not. He’s also teamed up with a local nonprofit to generate ideas to expand affordable-housing options for teachers whose starting salary averages $41,000 a year and who live in one of the state’s most expensive real estate markets.

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