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Texas News
New MISD superintendent isn’t here to maintain status quo
The rebuilding of an education system that makes sense for Midland continues.

And while it is way too early to consider anything a success or failure, this observer of education governance is pleased with steps being taken so far.

Superintendent Angelica Ramsey continues to show why she was the right choice to be the school district CEO. Midlanders should be pleased with her transparency, her interaction with the community and her commitment to keep Midland ISD focused on academic growth. It’s only been a few months, but she appears to be a superintendent comfortable with her place in Midland and determined to not let distractions keep her from the top goal – improving academic performance. The latter in Midland isn’t always the easiest task.

Lone Star College recognized as having the largest Hispanic population in the nation
Lone Star College has been named as the #1 two-year college in the nation for having the largest number of undergraduate Hispanic students by Hispanic Outlook on Education.

“Lone Star College is proud to welcome all students looking to enhance their education,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “We are grateful for this recognition and look forward to seeing students return to campus this fall.”

Pandemic to shape El Paso superintendent searches
El Paso’s two largest districts are without a permanent superintendent heading into next school year, when thousands of students will return to campuses, many for the first time since March 2020.

The El Paso Independent School District has been led by Interim Superintendent Vince Sheffield since November. Internal auditor Marta Carmona was named interim superintendent of the Socorro Independent School District late last month. Both will help steer their respective districts through the summer and into the fall, as the searches for permanent hires are in their infancy.

Meet the digital age trailblazers trying to preserve Austin’s Latino history
Diana Hernández is the daughter of immigrants and the executive director of a nonprofit, but right now, she’s conducting the tedious task of data entry. Perhaps this is a job for which she is overqualified; she holds a master’s degree from the University of Houston and is working on her second master’s, this one in historical preservation, at the University of Texas.  

But perspective is important in this case.  

Texas Universities See More State Funding Than Anticipated — But They’re Still Hoping For More Support as State Decides How to Spend $16 Billion in Federal Stimulus
Texas’ public university officials and higher education leaders said they are breathing a sigh of relief after state lawmakers added a last-minute influx of $380 million in funding for four-year universities and health institutions at the end of this year’s legislative session, a welcome addition for many schools that have seen enrollments rise as they deal with the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 shutdown.

But community colleges aren’t feeling as lucky, as they lost tens of millions of dollars worth of state funding due largely due to enrollment declines during the pandemic. Leaders across two- and four-year schools also say they’re hoping to squeeze out some additional support for higher education in the expected special session later this year.

Reminder: Intro to Coding Workshop
Hosted by Skill Struck

This is a one-hour coding workshop for Texas educators. Participants will learn the basics of HTML and build their own website.
Skill Struck’s Coding Workshops are made with the purpose to engage and connect educators and STEM professionals into the world of computer science. Skill Struck provides a trainer and platform where audience members can learn the principles of web development. Using the programming language HTML, participants will leave the event with a functional website they designed.

Teachers can also use this course for professional development hours. Certificates will be sent upon request.
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Supporting Your Career
3 signs it’s time to take something off of your resume
When I hosted a mentor session for Create & Cultivate Insiders, I got a lot of questions about résumé format and career path, but one question that stood out to me was, “When is it time to take something off of your résumé?” This is a great question because the answer depends on your experience and the goal of your résumé.

With that said, there are a few guidelines you should follow to help you see the signs that it’s time to take something off of your résumé.

National News
One Fate, Two Fates. Red States, Blue States: New Data Reveal a 432-Hour In-Person Learning Gap Produced by the Politics of Pandemic Schooling
Through the pandemic, schools in Republican states offered in-person learning at nearly twice the rate of those in Democratic states, according to new data, amounting to an estimated 66 additional days — or 432 hours — of face-to-face instruction for those students.

The numbers, provided to The 74 by the school calendar tracking website Burbio, deliver a cumulative view of schooling decisions throughout COVID-19 and reinforce evidence of a partisan divide long highlighted by researchers.

Will daily school health checks continue in the fall?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to update its guidance for K-12 school operations for the 2021-22 school year in the coming weeks, including masking and social distancing recommendations. 

CDC does advise that schools adhere to its current protocols through the end of the current school year. Those practices include schools encouraging parents and caregivers to monitor their child’s health through home-based symptom screening.

Some Young Immigrants Work to Support Their Families. Can Schools Support Them?
In January, the COVID-19 pandemic was reaching its apex in the US and quarantine had most people stuck at home. But travel restrictions didn’t stop 18-year-old Geovanni Diaz from logging hundreds of hours in transit. He had to go to work.

Diaz is a high school student in Oakland, Calif. He arrived in 2019, from Guatemala, and like thousands of recent immigrant kids in the U.S., he’s worked while attending school in order to pay rent and support himself and his mother. He’s no stranger to a long commute, either. It often took an hour or longer to get to the hospital where he worked as a janitor this spring. Though he worked night shifts, the job might not have been possible at all if he also had to factor in a commute to school.

OPINION: Why are no-excuses schools moving beyond no excuses?
Charter networks like KIPP, Noble and Achievement First rethink strict discipline

This past year has forced schools to make significant changes to their practices. It has also prompted teachers and administrators to reimagine education and to rearticulate a new vision for their schools — as I’ve seen at “no excuses” charter schools, which I have spent the last decade studying and observing. 

The overlooked history of Latinos in the LGBTQ struggle
Pride Month is celebrated every June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, considered the start of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. But generally overlooked is the Latino connection to LGBTQ history, which started 10 years earlier.

Why it matters: Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans played key roles in demonstrations around the country that started as early as 1959 and often resulted in clashes with police.

‘The Last of the Chupacabras’ on Disney+ is a Charming Story About Embracing Culture
In The Last of the Chupacabras, a new short, live-action film under the Disney Launchpad umbrella, an elderly, Mexican-American tamale vendor named Chepa, considered the last of her people who still celebrates the Mexican culture, befriends the legendary creature known as the chupacabra.

Disney Launchpad is a platform for diverse writers and directors to create short films for Disney+. The Last of the Chupacabras is written and directed by Jessica Mendez Siqueiros. She was one of six filmmakers selected out of 1,100 applicants for the program, which included a mentorship with Walt Disney Studios.

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!
We create assessment and practice solutions that put learning analytics to work for educators. Schools across Texas and nationwide use our solutions to analyze students’ abilities and guide high-quality instruction. We help teachers teach better, students learn better, and school administrators lead better—all to improve academic outcomes.

Strategic Account Executive