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Texas News
Tomball ISD Board of Trustees approves resolution to nominate Dr. Salazar-Zamora for 2023 Texas Superintendent of the Year
Because of her relentless focus on high-quality instruction and a collaborative culture coupled with the genuine care for students, staff, and families, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution during the April Board Meeting to nominate Tomball ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora for Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Superintendent of the Year for 2023 (SOTY).

Salazar-Zamora brings over 36 years of experience in education and has served TISD as Superintendent of Schools since 2017. She previously served three years as the TISD Chief Academic Officer.

Austin ISD moving forward with creating affordable housing for teachers, staff
On Thursday, AISD board leaders approved creating a “Public Facility Corporation,” which would help manage its facilities and help build housing.

The Austin Independent School District (AISD) approved the creation of a Public Facility Corporation on Thursday night during its board meeting. The corporation would provide more flexibility to manage its facilities, along with helping build more affordable housing for the AISD community.

Proposed Ban on Corporal Punishment in Texas Schools Fails Again
Texas schools can allow corporal punishment, which includes hitting, spanking, paddling or deliberately inflicting physical pain to discipline kids.

Texas lawmakers on Wednesday voted against a bill that would prohibit public school employees from using corporal punishment on students.

House Bill 772 received a 58-86 vote in the lower chamber. Rep. Alma Allen, a Houston Democrat and former public school educator, has carried a bill to eliminate the controversial practice in each biennial session for the past 18 years. The bill passed 5-2 out of the Select Committee on Youth Health and Safety earlier this month.

‘They’re not giving us anything’: Justice Department meets with Uvalde families
Top officials from the Justice Department met in Uvalde with families of the victims of the Robb Elementary School massacre to gather information for a report on law enforcement’s response to the shooting.

Some family members showed up Wednesday night hoping for answers to their questions, including the most pressing one — with 376 law enforcement officers at the school May 24, why did it take them more than 70 minutes to confront and kill the gunman?

But they got no answers.

TASB Legislative Report – April 28, 2023
Senate confirms Ellis for second term

The Texas Senate this week unanimously confirmed State Board of Education Chair Keven Ellis for a second term. A chiropractor from Lufkin, Dr. Ellis was first elected to the SBOE in November 2016 after serving as president of the Lufkin ISD Board of Trustees. Gov. Greg Abbott fist appointed Ellis as chair in 2019. Ellis represents District 9 in East Texas. Read TEA’s press release. 

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National News
‘This Changes Everything’: AI Is About to Upend Teaching and Learning
Lake: In a matter of weeks or months, artificial intelligence tools will be your kid’s tutor, your teacher’s assistant & your family’s homework helper

In April 2022, I attended the ASU-GSV Summit, an ed tech conference in San Diego. I’d recently become an official Arizona State University employee, and as I was grabbing coffee, I saw my new boss, university President Michael Crow, speaking on a panel being broadcast on a big screen. At the end of the discussion, the moderator asked Crow what we’d be talking about at the 2030 summit. In his response, Crow referenced a science fiction book by Neil Stephenson, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer. I was intrigued.  

Staffed Up: How would an affirmative action repeal impact teacher diversity?
The lack of teachers of color in K-12 schools may worsen if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down race-conscious admission practices, higher ed experts fear.

If the U.S. Supreme Court repeals race-conscious admissions — a decision expected to drop in late June — some higher education experts fear a worsening of the already disproportionate representation of teachers of color in K-12 schools. 

Ed Dept revives systemic racial discrimination reviews of school districts
Districts are being evaluated for their policies’ disparate impact on students under the Biden administration, a departure from Trump-era processes.

The U.S. Department of Education has brought back systemic reviews of school districts accused of racial discrimination in their practices and policies, including in student discipline. 

The shift revives an Obama-era practice of investigating the disproportionate impact of district policies on historically marginalized student subgroups. The practice had been reversed under the Trump administration. 

7 questions with a superintendent: How to make high achievers more successful
‘We’re attempting to push the envelope around academics and attract high-quality teachers,’ Superintendent Erick Pruitt says.

In just two years as superintendent of Ankeny Community School District in Iowa, Erick Pruitt has led his team in producing a five-year strategic plan, a profile of a graduate and a DEI framework. Now, the priority is collaborating with his educators to envision and shape the future.

“We’re attempting to push the envelope around academics and attract high-quality teachers but also imagine what education will look like five, 10 and 15 years from now,” says Pruitt, who became Ankeny’s first superintendent of color when he was hired in the spring of 2021.

Latino youth struggle with sense of belonging in school
Latino youth in middle and high school have a lower sense of belonging at school and in the community overall when compared with white peers. That is a key finding from my analysis, which is currently under review and based on surveys with students in midsize districts – one urban and one suburban – on the East Coast. I also found that being a language learner is associated with lower school belonging.

To measure belonging, I analyzed a 40-question survey that included questions about belonging at school, in after-school programs and in the community. Students reported that the reasons for feeling a lack of belonging stem from negative experiences at school, few trusting adult-student relationships and little affirmation from school of students’ Latino identity. Latino youths, especially those from immigrant households and nonnative English speakers, report lower sense of belonging.

Las Tienditas
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