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Texas News
AISD’s Norma Castillo appointed to TEA Task Force on Recruitment and Retention
Austin ISD’s very own Norma Castillo, Executive Director for Talent Acquisition, has been invited to be a member of the Governor’s appointed TEA Task Force on Recruitment and Retention. She is the only central office representative in the Central Texas area and possesses a tremendous amount of expertise and experience in this area to be a contributing task member.

Prior to leading in Austin ISD, Norma served as Director of Talent Acquisition and Development in Harlingen CISD. In her capacity as Director of Talent Acquisition, Norma has developed and implemented strategic recruitment and staffing models with a keen focus on diversifying staff. Under her tenure, Austin ISD has doubled the number of newly hired Black teachers in the district. She has likewise developed leadership academies, professional learning, and a variety of educator pathways.
Weslaco ISD names lone finalist for superintendent
The Weslaco school board unanimously named Dino Coronado lone finalist for the position of superintendent Thursday evening.

The pick came after more than nine hours of closed-session board interviews with candidates this week.

“We are thrilled to announce Dr. Coronado as the superintendent finalist for the Weslaco Independent School District,” Board President Armando Cuellar wrote in a release. “We are confident that his experience and tenure as an educator has prepared him for this transition to be the superintendent of Weslaco ISD.”

Feds say Texas discriminated against communities of color when it denied Houston flood aid
Land Commissioner George P. Bush is in the middle of a fierce runoff in the Republican primary for Texas attorney general against incumbent Ken Paxton. During the race, several of Bush’s opponents have criticized his office’s work in distributing Hurricane Harvey relief funds.

A Texas agency discriminated against communities of color when it denied more than $1 billion in federal relief funds sought by Houston and Harris County to help hard-hit areas recover from Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found.

How have El Paso women gained so much political power?
Women are playing an increasingly important role in Borderland politics.

Just look at El Paso City Council where more than half of our city representatives are now women.

Both El Paso’s County Attorney and District attorney are women and they’re now represented at just about every level of El Paso’s government, including many judges and a county commissioner.

‘She just touched so many people’: Pianist and bilingual education advocate Mary Esther Bernal dies at 85
One of former District 1 Councilwoman Maria Berriozabal’s fondest memories of Mary Esther Bernal is singing in Spanish as Bernal played the piano at Christmas parties and other events in the ’80s and ’90s.

“(That was) where she was, I think, her best,” Berriozabal, 81, said. “With her music. Our music.”

Bernal, 85, died of natural causes at home around 9 a.m. Thursday.

Over the course of her life, Bernal made a name for herself as an accomplished local pianist and a passionate advocate for the Mexican American community in San Antonio. She served as the music director of San Fernando Cathedral for more than four decades.

Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
New Online Program Seeks to Diversify K-12 Principals
Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University are launching a new fellowship program to grow the number of school principals of color in partnership with New Leaders, a nonprofit focused on training equity-focused K-12 administrators.

The online principal certification and master’s degree program aims to foster greater diversity among school leaders. Half of all students in K-12 public schools identify as people of color, compared to only a fifth of principals. Only 11 percent of principals are Black, and 9 percent are Hispanic.

Do Masks in School Work? As Mandates Fall, Pair of New Studies May Finally Put Debate To Rest
Schools that required students and staff to wear masks saw significantly less coronavirus spread than those that did not, a pair of brand-new studies reveal.

One report, which was reviewed and approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tracked cases in 98 percent of school districts in Arkansas from August to October 2021. It found that COVID-19 incidence was 23 percent lower in fully masked districts compared to districts with no face-covering rule.

What’s Behind the COVID Academic Slide? Some Things Mattered More Than Remote Learning
The past two years of the pandemic have brought an unrelenting stream of disruptions to regular schooling: building closures, quarantines, staff shortages. And study after study has shown that COVID-19 has slowed student achievement.

But a new analysis of student test data challenges the idea that remote learning alone caused the dips in academic progress, and suggests that other factors—beyond whether students were learning in-person or not—mattered more for kids’ growth during the 2020-21 school year.

Debunking the myth that teachers stop improving after five years
The idea that teachers stop getting better after their first few years on the job has become widely accepted by both policymakers and the public. Philanthropist and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates popularized the notion in a 2009 TED Talk when he said “once somebody has taught for three years, their teaching quality does not change thereafter.” He argued that teacher effectiveness should be measured and good teachers rewarded.

That teachers stop improving after three years was, perhaps, an overly simplistic exaggeration but it was based on sound research at the time. In a 2004 paper, economist Jonah Rockoff, now at Columbia Business School, tracked how teachers improved over their careers and noticed that teachers were getting better at their jobs by leaps and bounds at first, as measured by their ability to raise their students’ achievement test scores.

Emilio Delgado, ‘Sesame Street’ actor who played Luis, dies at 81
Emilio Delgado, the Mexican American actor best known for his role as Luis on “Sesame Street,” died Thursday at age 81.

Sesame Workshop confirmed the news in a statement. 

“A beloved member of the Sesame family for over 50 years, his warmth and humor invited children to share a friendship that has echoed through generations,” the company said. “At the forefront of representation, Emilio proudly laid claim to the ‘record for the longest-running role for a Mexican-American in a TV series.’ We are so grateful he shared his talents with us and with the world.”

Las Tienditas
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