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Texas News
Our network of public schools has a 100% graduation rate. Here’s how we did it
Success is possible in underserved communities.

There is a group of Texas public schools with a 100% graduation rate and 100% college acceptance rate. It is the largest network of its kind in the nation, and it started 20 years ago right here in Dallas.

The Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN) is a nonprofit agency that partners with public school districts across the state to operate all-girls college preparatory schools, serving nearly 5,500 young women annually.

Garland’s intense tutoring helps students, but educators worry as funding runs out
Despite early success, school leaders have concerns about the sustainability of tutoring as federal funding is set to expire.

Aislyn Swonger scrawls a math problem across a whiteboard — multiplying decimals — before turning to the group of four fourth graders sitting in front of her.

The Garland ISD students fill in square grids on their worksheets, slowly writing out their answers.

“I thought it would be way harder than it was supposed to be,” exclaimed Enrique Zamora, a dark-haired boy in glasses.

‘Shook me to the core’: Threats to San Antonio schools — real or not — more than doubled in 2022
On the afternoon of Dec. 1, the safety and security committee for Judson Independent School District held its quarterly meeting in a district office boardroom.

A three-minute drive down the road, Kitty Hawk Middle School was on full lockdown.

Police had been told of a student with a gun and shots fired in the gymnasium. That turned out to be false, but at the time, Judson ISD’s new director for safety and security, Jesus Hernandez, could only say he was aware of it and had “all the right people” working on it.

City records show disorganization, poor communication during Houston’s recent boil water notice
Reporting by the Houston Chronicle reveals city officials scrambled to respond to the two-day boil water notice that left schools closed in November.

Millions of Houston residents found themselves under a boil water notice for almost two days in November after two transformers at a water treatment plant went offline.

The length of the interruption wasn’t the only issue – it was also the time it took for city leaders to tell the public. Reporting by the Houston Chronicle shows that although no state or federal rules were broken, city officials were scrambling behind the scenes to respond to the emergency.

Uvalde Hero: Amid the Chaos at Robb Elementary, the Bus Driver Who Saved Lives
Sylvia Uriegas says she and other bus drivers were never trained for the vital, life-saving role they played responding to the mass school shooting.

When Uvalde school bus driver Sylvia Uriegas got the call on May 24 to report to Robb Elementary, she had no idea about the horror she was approaching. 

With nothing but a rudimentary first aid kit filled mostly with Band Aids, Uriegas had been called to the scene of one of the nation’s worst mass school shootings — with no training for the important role she would play as the chaotic scene unfolded. 

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National News
Lessons In Leadership: 5 key takeaways from a year of school leader conversations
In case you missed any of 2022’s installments, we’ve highlighted some leading insights on student voice, community engagement and more.

Throughout 2022, K-12 Dive had the privilege of speaking with a wide variety of K-12 leaders representing public schools and districts of all shapes and sizes. Ahead of the new year, we revisited those conversations to spotlight five key takeaways.

The U.S. Department of Education logs record number of discrimination complaints from schools
The Office for Civil Rights logged 19,000 discrimination complaints, doubling from the previous year

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) logged nearly 19,000 discrimination complaints based on disability, race, or sex between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022, more than doubling the previous year, The New York Times reports. 

The education system continues to deal with the effects of schools trying to recover from pandemic-related closures that generated declining test scores and mental health challenges. 

School shootings reach unprecedented high in 2022
There’s been an on-campus shooting ‘pretty much every single school day’ this fall, the founder of the K-12 School Shooting Database said.

The 2022 calendar year broke the record for the most school shootings in over four decades and marked one of the most violent years for youth ages 12-17, according to various unofficial counts.

As of Dec. 20, there were 300 shooting incidents on school grounds so far in 2022, compared to 250 in 2021 and 114 in 2020, according to the publicly-accessible K-12 School Shooting Database. A decade earlier, 2010 saw 15 school shootings. 

Quarantines, Not School Closures, Led to Devastating Losses in Math and Reading
Bailey: CDC quarantine guidance required keeping students home for up to 2 weeks if exposed to COVID. Most districts had no plans for live instruction

The recent dismal results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress introduced a new learning-loss puzzle. It was assumed that states with more remote instruction would have lower academic scores than those with more in-person classes during the pandemic. But states that had more days of in-class learning also saw declines. The likely reason is due to the hidden disruptions to student learning caused by COVID quarantines.  

These Latinos died in 2022. They made a mark on the nation’s culture and institutions.
They include a legal scholar and history-making Cabinet member, civil rights activists and educators, a game-changing philanthropist and pioneers in the arts.

Several Latinos whose lives and work left a profound imprint on American institutions — from arts and entertainment to legal and civil rights — died in 2022.

From Sesame Street’s beloved “Luis” to the first Hispanic to serve in a White House Cabinet, the 10 Latinos made a mark on our nation and our culture — and expanded opportunities for those coming after them.

Las Tienditas
This Week’s Featured Sponsor
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter and other TALAS activities possible. Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
Founded in 1998 and based in Dallas, Texas, Istation (Imagination Station) has become one of the nation’s leading providers of richly animated, game-like educational technology. Winner of several national educational technology awards, the Istation program puts more instructional time in the classroom through small-group and collaborative instruction. Istation’s innovative reading, math and Spanish programs immerse students in an engaging and interactive environment and inspire them to learn. Additionally, administrators and educators can use Istation to easily track the progress of their students, schools and classrooms. Istation now serves over 4 million students throughout the United States and in several other countries.