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Texas News
Valley View ISD Announces Lone Finalist for Superintendent
The Valley View ISD Board of Trustees is proud to announce Dr. Silvia Ibarra as its Lone Finalist for Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Ibarra has been serving as the Interim Superintendent for Valley View ISD since February 2021. Prior to this position, she served as the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services at McAllen ISD for 5 years. She has held other administrative positions including principal, director, and lead counselor. Dr. Ibarra has over 32 years of experience as an educator and has devoted much of her career to early literacy, curriculum & instruction, instructional supervision, and special populations.

Brownsville ISD Superintendent Gutiérrez elected to Region One Executive Committee
The Brownsville Independent School District (Brownsville ISD) announces today that Superintendent of Schools Dr. René Gutiérrez was elected to represent Region One on the Executive Committee for the 2021–2023 term.

“I am very honored and humbled to have been elected to the Executive Committee of Region One in South Texas,” said Dr. Gutiérrez, Superintendent of Schools for Brownsville ISD. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in this region to continue to support education and the students of Region One.”

Countering statewide trend, Tomball ISD STAAR results show more students approaching grade level in biology, algebra
State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness results released June 28 show Tomball ISD end-of-course results rose slightly from spring 2019 to spring 2021 with a greater percentage of students approaching grade level in algebra I, biology, and English I and II, according to data from the Texas Education Agency. However, statewide results showed a decline from spring 2019 to 2021 in the percentage of students approaching grade level in algebra, biology and U.S. history end-of-course results.

Results include exams in math and reading for grades 3-8, writing for grades 4 and 7, science for grades 5 and 8, social studies for grade 8, and high school EOC exams in algebra I, English I, English II, biology and U.S. history, according to a June 28 release from the TEA.

LULAC and Voto Latino sue six Texas counties over new law restricting voter access to polls
Both say Texas’ new Senate Bill 1111 unfairly targets young people that are playing growing roles in politics across the Lone Star State.

Two advocacy groups focused on expanding Latino voter access have sued multiple Texas counties over Senate Bill 1111, which restricts voters’ access to the polls based on the type of address they use on their registration form.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Texas and Voto Latino have sued officials in six counties — Travis, Bexar, Harris, Hidalgo, Dallas, and El Paso — over the implementation of the bill, claiming it is in violation of the 1st, 14th and 26th Amendments.

A Scintillating but Uneven New Documentary Probes the Life of Trini Lopez, a Legend in Plain Sight
The Dallas native was a live-wire entertainer who never shied away from his Mexican American roots.

One night in 1960, the multi-hyphenate musician Trini Lopez stepped off the stage at the Cotton Club, in Lubbock, where he’d just ripped through a rollicking set, and picked up the phone. A local DJ and record producer named Tommy “Snuff” Garrett was on the line. Would Lopez want to come out to Hollywood to be the new lead singer of the Crickets, the late Buddy Holly’s band, and tour with them? 

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Supporting Your Career
Want to be a leader? 9 tips, from a young and “unapologetically ambitious” CEO
Anjali Sud, 37, is the CEO of Vimeo, a global video posting and sharing platform with over 850 employees, 200 million users and a staggering 350,000 videos added every single day. She was named CEO in 2017, and Vimeo became a publicly traded company last month.

In a recent LinkedIn Live discussion with TED, she admitted, “From the time I was a teenager, I dreamed of being a CEO.” Here is some of her advice on how you can get to the corner office from where you are. (This post was adapted from the Live conversation and lightly adapted for clarity.)

National News
Approaches to Learning Loss: Celebrate Gains, Restore Relationships, and Personalize Recovery
To understand the past year only in relation to its losses provides a far too limited view of students’ experiences. We know that a great deal of unexpected learning happened outside of the classroom: some students accelerated in self-paced learning environments, others thrived in flexible routines or discovered newfound confidence to participate in digital class meetings. All students — as well as their teachers — showed incredible creativity, adaptability, and resilience.

Still, losses were abundant. Instruction was interrupted to varying degrees — and for many students, the academic setbacks remain looming obstacles to overcome. For students with limited access to resources or connectivity, these setbacks are even greater. Historically underserved student populations are more likely to be severely impacted by COVID-19’s effects on schooling, and existing equity gaps may widen.

CDC: Students of Color Still Got Less In-Person Instruction as School Buildings Reopened
This spring, schools steadily increased the amount of in-person instruction available to students, but new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds the return looked different for white students and students of color.

“What we are seeing here is a movement generally into more in-person for all groups, but the increases for students of color tend to be from virtual to hybrid, and for white students, into full in-person,” said Emily Oster, a Brown University researcher and lead author of the study. “The result is a widening of the full, in-person gap.”

Biden’s electric school bus deal is an important first step — but falls short
Last Thursday, the Biden administration announced its support for a bipartisan infrastructure deal totaling $1.2 trillion. The framework for the deal includes $7.5 billion to help replace thousands of diesel-powered school and transit buses with electric models. This is an important step in supporting school bus electrification, but it falls far short of what’s needed to protect students and the environment.

Vaccinating Kids Against COVID-19: Why Families Are Afraid and How Schools Can Help
As teenager Corey Ruth weighed getting the COVID-19 vaccine, rumors of computer chips and the legacy of the Tuskegee experiments were on his mind.

Even though his mom, a nurse in New Orleans, had already received her shot, he still wasn’t sure about it.

Ruth started to come around to the idea as he watched more of his high school football teammates get the vaccine.

Chaos Theory: Amid Pandemic Recovery Efforts, School Leaders Fear Critical Race Furor Will ‘Paralyze’ Teachers
To wind down after a chaotic school year, Austin Ambrose, who teaches third grade in Nampa, Idaho, purchased some fun reads he hoped would keep his students engaged until summer break — and like much good children’s literature, provide a window into another culture.

One title, Dragons in a Bag, tells a Harry Potter-type story set in Brooklyn featuring a young Black boy. But when the book turned up on a social justice website, one family at Gem Prep, a charter school, argued it ran afoul of the state’s new law prohibiting schools from promoting critical race theory.

Under the school’s policy, Ambrose had to offer the student an alternative book to read.

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Sheryl Colaur – 708-565-3545