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Texas News
Will Dallas ISD be a national ‘game-changer’ by banning school suspensions?
Sixteen organizations ask the district to abolish all of its exclusionary practices, including in-school and out-of-school suspensions across all grade levels.

Dallas ISD must stop using school suspensions as the district works to redress racial disparities, a group of local and statewide education advocates demanded Tuesday.

Doing so would help keep children on track and position DISD as a national “game-changer” in taking meaningful steps toward policies that underscore the Black Lives Matter movement, advocates said.

Tyler ISD adds chief innovation officer to strengthen student achievement
The Tyler ISD board of trustees added a new role to the district’s leadership team in an effort to improve student achievement.

On Monday evening, trustees selected Cassandra Chapa, current principal at Peete Elementary School and former principal at Ramey Elementary School, as the new chief innovation officer.

“We’re excited the board of trustees accepted our appointment of Cassandra Chapa as chief innovation officer,” Superintendent Marty Crawford said. “Her leadership at Peete and Ramey elementary schools has proven to us that she has the abilities and drive to implement high-quality instructional systems in support of student achievement.”

Plano ISD to offer African American, Mexican American culture classes amid backlash over racist bullying
The classes for the 2021-22 school year will examine history, culture, the arts, social movements and contemporary issues.

Two new classes — African American and Mexican American studies — will be offered during the 2021-22 school year to Plano ISD high school juniors and seniors.

The African American Studies class will introduce students to the history and culture of African Americans “in a way that helps students make connections to contemporary and current issues that impact the world around them,” according to the district. The Mexican American Studies course will teach students about the history and cultural contributions of Mexican Americans.

How will Texas’ virtual schools work long term? Lawmakers need to decide
Among the issues to be worked out: Should local districts be able to enroll kids from across the state?

Texas education leaders need to start making plans now if they want to keep virtual learning long term.

But they don’t know what the rules will be just yet.

A year after districts scrambled to shift class online, a handful of bills would carve out a framework for structuring and funding additional virtual schools now that there’s a widespread agreement that the model will be sticking around even after the pandemic.

Proposed bill tackles racism in the classroom by providing diversity officer for each Texas school district
A former public school teacher and current Texas lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require a diversity, equity and inclusion officer in all large, urban public school systems.

Rep. James Talarico, author of HB 4111, said this action plan might eliminate hate in schools and prevent a tragedy like the one experienced in Atlanta earlier this week.

“As a former public school teacher, I always think about how our schools can be our first line of defense against radicalization of young boys,” Talarico said. “It’s important to have a district lead who can help a school community incorporate these values of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the class day.”

They Just Moved Into an Austin Neighborhood. Now They Want to End One of Its Traditions.
Car clubs have gathered for decades at “Chicano Park” in the East Cesar Chavez neighborhood. But residents of a new luxury apartment building have started calling the police to stop them.

The fleet of several dozen cars pulled into East Austin’s Fiesta Gardens, or “Chicano Park” as locals call it, on a recent weekend with the booming of powerful stereo systems announcing their arrival. After a few loops around the park, some drivers—most of them Black and Latino men in their twenties and thirties driving customized lowriders, bright, candy-colored slabs, and jacked-up trucks with flashy chrome rims—packed into a nearby middle school parking lot. Some unloaded barbecue grills, toddlers, and pit bulls, then cracked open beers, and blasted Texas hip-hop and Tejano music. Others joined a slow-moving carousel that flowed from the parking lot into the street and back again, swerving from side to side and occasionally screeching their tires, unleashing plumes of white smoke that covered the block in a light haze.

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Supporting Your Career
The ‘Interests’ Section Of The Resume Is Finally Relevant Again
James Reed, chairman of the UK’s largest employment agency website, wrote an aptly-named careers book called The 7 Second CV. His inspiration for the title came from a study conducted using eye-tracking technology, which revealed that a candidate’s resume is looked at for an average of seven seconds before a decision is made.

With only seven seconds to make an impact, you can see why certain parts of the resume tend to be overlooked. The ‘interests’ section, in particular, lurking at the bottom of the page, is often considered irrelevant, with recruiters caring little for generic activities. After all, what difference does it make to an employer whether a potential recruit listens to music, likes to meet up with friends, or enjoys travelling? Examples like these are so common and indistinguishable that they only serve to make the candidate seem more like everyone else.

National News
Five Ways Biden’s $4 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Could Help Kids and Schools
On the heels of Congress passing the American Rescue Plan less than two weeks ago, the Biden administration is expected to soon introduce another major funding package that includes billions of dollars for schools and early childhood education.

Citing anonymous administration sources, multiple news outlets, including The New York Times and CNBC, reported Monday that roughly half the proposal would focus on domestic priorities that President Joe Biden touted during his campaign for the White House, including universal pre-K and free community college tuition. The Times reported that Biden is hoping the package will draw on longstanding bipartisan support in Washington for an infrastructure bill. But that could depend on how it’s funded. With a total price tag reportedly in the $4 trillion range and an expected call for tax increases on corporations and individuals earning at least $400,000, the plan is unlikely to receive broad support from Republicans. Biden’s advisers are expected to present the proposal to congressional leaders this week, and begin meetings with business and labor groups.

So-called ‘good’ suburban schools often require trade-offs for Latino students
Many Americans think of the suburbs as exclusive enclaves for white, middle-class people. Yet reality paints a different picture. In recent decades suburbs across the country have rapidly become more socioeconomically, ethnically and racially diverse.

In fact, since 2010 most people in the U.S. – including people of color – call suburbia home.

Pew Research Center notes that 175 million people live in suburban and small metropolitan areas, while 144 million live in either rural or urban counties. The Latino community has played a pivotal role in spurring these changes.

How 5 superintendents are planning the 2021-22 school year
District leaders say they’re cautiously optimistic that they’ll offer full-time in-person learning for all students this fall.

School system leaders are cautiously optimistic that the 2021-22 school year will see more students learning in-person and that the school day will resemble pre-pandemic routines, but with safety protocols in place. Increased vaccine administration for adults and the hope of childhood vaccines this fall, winter or early in 2022 are helping drive this confidence.

Superintendents, however, say it’s difficult to predict the status of the pandemic five months from now. That uncertainty is pushing them to prepare for multiple scenarios as COVID-19 continues to be a major health crisis.

Police-Free Schools Movement Faces First Major Test As Students Return to Classrooms After a Traumatic Year Away
The pandemic had already forced students out of classrooms when George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer pushed school leaders nationwide to reconsider the role cops play on campuses. Now, as students trickle back into schools for the first time in a year in many places, including the city where Floyd was killed, districts that severed ties with police departments face their first big test.

Across the country, advocates for police-free schools said the moment offers mixed emotions. After years of advocacy and nationwide Black Lives Matter protests that gave their movement unprecedented momentum, proponents said the return to in-person learning provides an opportunity to prove that police aren’t necessary to maintain safe schools.

Latinos, youth of color make up very few of paid congressional interns
White college students make up almost eight in ten of paid congressional internships, according to a new report from the group Pay Our Interns.

Paid congressional internships are a prestigious and powerful stepping stone for college students, but a recent report found they are far from representative of the nation’s diversity.

White students made up 76 percent of paid congressional interns, though they make up about half (52 percent) of the national undergraduate student population, according to a new report from the non-profit Pay Our Interns.

‘I was a feminist in kindergarten’: Isabel Allende talks about her new memoir
The author discussed her formative years, how she translated rage into action and the key barriers for women that still exist today.

Famed author Isabel Allende has written powerfully about the female experience in her novels, and according to her new memoir, her feminist awakening began at a very early age.

“When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, even before the concept was known in my family, I am not exaggerating,” Allende wrote in the beginning of her memoir “The Soul of a Woman,” released earlier this month. “I was born in 1942, so we are talking remote antiquity. I believe that the situation of my mother, Panchita, triggered my rebellion against male authority.”

Las Tienditas
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