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Texas News
Arlington ISD Names Dr. Michelle Cavazos as Lone Finalist for Superintendent
The Arlington Independent School District Board of Trustees, at its May 4, 2023 meeting, voted unanimously to name Dr. Michelle Cavazos from Gregory-Portland ISD, as their finalist for superintendent.

Dr. Michelle Cavazos is slated to replace retiring Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos.

The current superintendent and the finalist for the superintendent position have no relation to each other.

Teaching to the test is ‘officially dead’ in Dallas schools, superintendent says
At her State of the District address, Stephanie Elizalde said officials should free up educators’ time to teach

During her State of the District address in front of a packed ballroom at the Omni hotel, Dallas schools Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde made a bold statement: Teaching for the sake of preparing students to take a standardized state test is “officially dead.”

“The test will take care of itself if joy is in the classroom with on-grade-level materials,” she said. “We don’t need to do drill and kill to prepare for a state assessment.”

Students Pay as Texas School Districts Violate ‘Threat Assessment Law’
A Texas Observer investigation found 90 percent of districts fail to comply with a law that requires mental-health intervention for students of concern.

Jalen and his mom Savannah wanted a fresh start when they moved to Conroe for Jalen’s sophomore year of high school. Separated from a father who had been incarcerated, Jalen had struggled with depression, suicidal ideations, and ADHD. 

But as one of few Black students, Jalen often felt “singled out.” —Black people make up 8 percent of Conroe High School students. He was censured for minor infractions such as wearing a hoodie or going to the bathroom during class time, while white classmates were not reprimanded for similar behavior. (Jalen, who is now 18 years old, is being identified by his middle name and his mother by her first name to protect their privacy.)

Music Education Program Recognized Nationally for 9th Consecutive Year
For the 9th consecutive year, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) has been honored with the 2023 Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. 

The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. 

TASB Legislative Report – May 5, 2023
House passes tax abatement bill

The Texas House passed HB 5 by Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) this week that would establish provisions for property tax abatement agreements between a school district and a person interested in constructing an eligible, large-scale economic development project within the district. Authority to enter into such agreements would expire December 31, 2033, and projects eligible under a tax abatement agreement would include a national or state security project or supply chain infrastructure project, a manufacturing project, or a project that would require an investment in a Texas school district of more than $1 billion. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Affiliate Feature
AHSA is a professional organization for education employees of TEA Service Region IV who are dedicated to developing and advancing school leaders that can help better the lives of students we serve. Additionally, AHSA has adopted philanthropy of supporting rising school leaders and donates upto $35,0000 in scholarships to individuals pursuing a career in education. Since our inception, AHSA has given over a half-million dollars to this cause and continues to award more scholarships each year.

The focus of AHSA is not only to support and develop more school leaders for Houston Area Hispanic Community, but to create a network of individuals who can share their skills and experience with one another. Attempting to pave the road for future generations, our efforts include mentorship, professional development, and networking events. Through our professional development and networking events, members have the opportunity to share resources and learn from each other while supporting Houston area graduates who aim to pursue a field in education.
Upcoming Events
Save the Date:
TALAS Mentoring Summer Conference
Friday, June 23, 2023 • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Re-visioning the future of TALAS mentorship
  • Recognition of Cohort 8
  • Continuation of Cohort 9
  • Induction of Cohort 10

Registration information and agenda coming soon!
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
Post pandemic, it’s time for a bold overhaul of U.S. public education, starting now
Personalized learning can restore public faith and meet the diverse needs of our nation’s students

Education policy should be top of mind as state policymakers continue their legislative work this spring. After unprecedented learning loss, growing disparities in educational outcomes and overall public dissatisfaction, the time is right for an education overhaul.

Now is the time to capitalize on a growing momentum for personalized, competency-based learning, as 72 percent of Americans say K-12 education should be a top priority for state lawmakers in 2023. Almost half say that they want to see bold changes taking place.

3 reasons principals have a hard time hiring teachers—and how to overcome them
Many states have loosened requirements for new teacher certifications, a move that principals find counterproductive as it shrinks their pool of qualified candidates, a new report suggests.

Since the height of the pandemic, school administrators have been plagued with a variety of COVID-related barriers to staffing. Efforts to hire teachers became extremely difficult, which principals attribute to three dominant factors.

A new survey released on May 3 by the RAND Corporation, a non-partisan, nonprofit global policy think tank and research institute, reveals some of the most prominent challenges principals faced in terms of teacher staffing during the 2021-22 school year. The research was conducted in March and April of 2022, just after the height of the pandemic when more than half of K12 public school principals reported having insufficient teaching staff, the report notes.

TEACHER VOICE: Don’t say you aren’t a math person. Let’s help students develop positive math identities.
The current narrative is that kids are behind in math post-pandemic, but what we need to focus on is building their confidence in their own math abilities

When I’m running workshops for school leaders, one of my favorite opening questions to ask is: “How many of you would say that you are math people?”

Typically, a few hands go up. I often see the same thing when working among teachers — the small shrug as they admit, “I’m just not a math person.”

7 Ways Districts Can Increase the Number of Women Leaders
While women make up the majority of the education workforce, they’re not represented in the same numbers at the top. They run about 30 percent of the country’s 500 largest districts while they make up nearly 80 percent of all public school teachers.

Education Week recently spoke with several female district leaders for a series on women in education leadership.

Here’s what these female leaders said districts can do to increase the share of women serving in the top leadership roles.

Leadership series: How to lead as a team with your assistant superintendent
In this Q&A, District Administration spoke with Superintendent of Portsmouth City Schools Scott Dutey and Assistant Superintendent Josh Morris on what an effective relationship in leadership looks like in order to meet a district’s goals.

The superintendency has undergone many changes over the past three years. From evolving job requirements to added external stressors, superintendents rely on the support of their staff now more than ever. And one of the most impactful relationships in district leadership is that of a superintendent and their assistant superintendent.

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!
ParentSquare is a unified, equitable communication platform combining district notifications, school/classroom two-way dialogue, and services including health screening, eSignatures, sign-ups, surveys, attendance, volunteering, and much more. Partners enjoy detailed oversights and an immediate, measurable spike in engagement scoring due to ease of use and state-of-the-art language translations.