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Texas News
Q&A: Lupita Hinojosa talks about priorities as new Spring ISD superintendent
After being confirmed as the new superintendent of Spring ISD Friday evening, Lupita Hinojosa answered a few questions about her plans moving into the role.

The school board unanimously confirmed Hinojosa as Spring ISD’s new superintendent during a special called meeting Jan. 28, making her the first Hispanic woman in the district’s history to serve in the role.

Hinojosa came to Spring ISD in 2014 as the chief academic officer. Before her confirmation as superintendent, she had been serving as the district’s chief of innovation and equity.

Wayland Baptist to honor Trujillo as distinguished alumni
Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo will be recognized as one of Wayland Baptist University’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award winners during a Feb. 18 banquet as part of homecoming activities at the university in Plainview.

“Dr. Gabe Trujillo has impacted many throughout his career in education, from students to fellow educators, and has gained the reputation of being a decisive, steadfast and thoughtful leader while at Nacogdoches,” said Teresa Young, director of alumni services. “We are proud to add our own recognition to his list of accolades and believe he is most worthy of this honor.”

Dallas teacher goes from kidnapped in Mexico to helping Texas students plan for college
A Dallas ISD elementary school teacher started “College Fridays” in her classroom. She and her sixth-grade students check out a different university through virtual tours and presentations. But the road to the second-year teacher’s Dallas career was difficult. Twenty years ago, she did not even speak English and she was kidnapped by the Mexican cartel.

Jośe “Joe” May Elementary School is a bilingual school in Dallas ISD operating in both Spanish and English. One teacher is from Mexico and had a really tough life, but she still made it. Now, she is helping her students be successful in college too.

At SAISD, a superintendent search started right
One key lesson from COVID-19 is that schools are integral parts of the community.

So when then-San Antonio ISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez left in September to run the Chicago Public School system, it was a big blow. In his six years leading SAISD, Martinez was a transformative force for the long-struggling, high-poverty, mostly Hispanic district with some schools on the brink of failure under the state’s accountability system.

‘Mija’ Captures the Beauty and Pressure of Life as a First-generation Daughter
More visual poem than documentary, the film tracks a music manager and singer who follow their dreams while providing for their undocumented parents.

You might feel compelled to call Mija, director-producer Isabel Castro’s feature debut, a music documentary, or maybe one about immigration. But neither of those labels would really succeed in capturing the heart or tone of the film. Instead, Mija, which premiered this month at the Sundance Film Festival, is something else entirely. Through its two beautifully captured subjects—music manager Doris Muñoz and Dallas-bred singer Jacks Haupt—Castro’s film is a vivid, gentle meditation on sacrifice, survival, and what it means to be a first-generation American.  

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National News
Ed Secretary Cardona Touts More Tutoring, Extracurricular Activities as Part of Vision for Schools to ‘Level Up’ After Two Years of Pandemic Disruption
Every student who has fallen behind because of the pandemic should receive an hour and a half of high-quality tutoring each week, and all high school students should participate in an extracurricular program, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said Thursday in an address to the nation.

Those are among the steps he wants schools to take in order to “level up” the education system after nearly two years of pandemic disruption and persistent achievement gaps.

How Invisible Lines Keep Education Resources From Black and Hispanic Kids
All over the country, school boundary lines divide Black and Hispanic residents from their white neighbors.

Back in the ’90s, Puff Daddy rapped about how life is “All About the Benjamins” — but, really, it’s all about zip codes.

Zip codes often determine the school district — or the school within a district — where kids will spend their K-12 education, which also decides the opportunities and resources they have access to. These school zoning boundaries are invisible, but they have a very real effect on children.

Student voice: How alt-right memes on Instagram and Reddit are radicalizing my classmates
Teachers need to teach students how to identify radical memes, fake news and internet extremism for what they are

“The liberal deep state is faking sexual assault to block Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment,” said one of my classmates with great conviction during my freshman year of high school.

According to him, the left was using indoctrination tactics and schemes to threaten the power of conservative men in politics. After class, he showed me and my classmates several Instagram accounts that perpetuated the same misinformation.

Some families are being forced to choose between remote learning and school meals
Joel Barron, a mother of two in Minnetonka, Minn., has a question for policymakers:

“Will you look in my child’s eyes when they do not have any food?”

Until recently, Barron’s children, ages 10 and 12, qualified for free school meals. During the last school year, when they and millions of other kids were learning remotely, Barron received the value of the meals they missed on a debit card that she could use to buy groceries herself.

Smithsonian names founding director for National Museum of the American Latino
Jorge Zamanillo, executive director and CEO of HistoryMiami Museum, will step into the new role in the spring for the highly anticipated national museum.

The Smithsonian Institution has named Jorge Zamanillo as the founding director of the upcoming National Museum of the American Latino.

Zamanillo, a trained archeologist who later began his career as a curator at at community-based museum in Miami, will assume the role May 2, the Smithsonian Institution said in a news release Friday.

Las Tienditas
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For 50 years, Curriculum Associates (CA) has been united around one common purpose: to make classrooms better places for teachers and students. In the years since, we’ve remained driven by this mission, introducing and then constantly improving innovative and exciting products that give every student the chance to succeed. We believe teachers are the essential glue between our programs and classroom success, so we strive to empower them with the tools and resources to accelerate student growth. Together with educators we’re making equitable learning programs a reality—raising the bar and making it reachable for all.