TALAS E-newsletter – November 8

Posted on November 8th, 2021
Renew your membership today!
TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to become a member of TALAS. Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
Texas News
Plainview ISD’s H.T. Sanchez to represent Texas as nominee for National Superintendent of the Year
Plainview ISD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez has been chosen by the Texas Association of Administrators as the state’s nominee for the 2022 National Superintendent of the Year.

The National Superintendent of the Year award is presented by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. The announcement was officially made Monday via news release from TASA.

Homelessness in Dallas ISD—There’s a Department for That
Ashley Marshall, manager of Dallas ISD’s Homeless Education program, sees her five-person team as a kind of “9-1-1 department.”

On a day-to-day basis, the most important service the team provides is making sure homeless students get enrolled. The department also helps arrange transportation to school, provides uniforms as well as hygiene and school supplies, and makes referrals to additional resources for food, housing, counseling and medical services as needed.

Vaccination slots filling up as Texas children ages 5-11 receive first COVID-19 vaccines
Appointment slots filled up quickly for the first pediatric doses. More kid-friendly shot sites come with therapy dogs, toys and snacks.

For months, Pearland realtor Gerald Hatter had been anxiously waiting on news that her 11-year-old daughter Bella Hatter would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, one day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use for children ages 5-11, Bella received her first dose. She is one of 2.9 million children in that younger age group who are now eligible for the vaccine in Texas.

Lone Star Parent Power: How One of the Nation’s Toughest Anti-Critical Race Theory Laws Emboldened Angry Texas Parents Demanding Book Banning, Educator Firings
Mary Lowe remembers how “heartsick” parents in her North Texas suburban community were during the pandemic when they got a close-up look at what their children were learning in school.

First they were confused. Then they got angry.

The parents expected a focus on core subjects like math and science, Lowe said, but found their children were learning about race, sexuality and LBGTQ issues. Not only were their children too young for that, she added, but the schools betrayed their trust. 

“The People’s Lawyer”
Civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt, who represented George Floyd’s family, on running for Texas attorney general and ending “comply or die” policing.

This election cycle, the first high-profile Democrat to announce a statewide run in Texas is also one of the nation’s leading civil rights lawyers. Lee Merritt, who this summer announced he would challenge indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in 2022, represents families of people killed by law enforcement in Texas and across the country. In recent years, Merritt, who calls himself “the people’s lawyer,” has represented the families of Botham Jean and George Floyd, who were murdered by police; Marvin Scott III, who was killed in the custody of Collin County Jail this year; and others whose tragedies have prompted international outrage. Merritt spoke with the Observer about running for attorney general, the families he represents, and reimagining public safety in Texas. 

CTALAS Membership Kick-Off
Sat. Nov. 13th, 4–6 pm
Kalahari Resort, Round Rock, TX
Mark your calendars! CTALAS (Central Texas Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents) is hosting their Membership Kick-Off this month. The event will be held at the Kalahari Resort on the afternoon of Saturday, November 13th and will feature superintendent guest speakers Dr. Michael Cardona (San Marcos CISD) and Dr. Celina Estrada-Thomas (Hutto ISD). This event is made possible by the generous support of ParentSquare.
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
‘Not a Pipe Dream’: New Report Offers Roadmap to Eliminate Internet Affordability Gap for Students
Almost two years into the pandemic, over 18 million households lack high-speed internet access. Even if it’s available, they can’t afford it, according to a new report released Thursday from nonprofit EducationSuperHighway. 

CEO Evan Marwell estimates about half of those families include school-age children. 

“The narrative is that it’s been about building infrastructure in rural America,” Marwell said, but added, “after decades of investment, affordability is now the biggest problem.” 

Biden’s new vaccine-or-test rule will apply to some school districts, too
Large swaths of the country’s public school employees could be required to get vaccinated against COVID or regularly tested under rules being rolled out by the Biden administration.

Due to the way the Occupational Safety and Health Administration works with states, the requirement would apply to public school districts in 26 states.

A number of those states already have vaccine-or-test rules for teachers and public school employees. But about a dozen — including Michigan, Indiana, and Tennessee — don’t, and will soon be required to adopt rules that are “at least as effective” as OSHA’s. Those rules would then apply to employees of school districts in those states with 100 or more employees.

Study: Suspensions of Students of Color Go Down When Teachers of Color Are In Charge
Studies repeatedly show that students of color in K-12 schools are suspended more often and more harshly than white students. Yet drawing from ten years of New York City public school data from grades 4 to 8, a new working paper found that Black, Latinx, and Asian American students were less likely to face such exclusionary discipline when their teachers matched their racial or ethnic background.

The Complicated Picture of English-Language Learners’ Progress During the Pandemic
The latest data on how English-learners around the country fared in their language development during the pandemic are out. But there’s a major catch: About 30 percent fewer students took a widely used standardized assessment in 2021 than did two years prior, making the data difficult to analyze over time.

Students also took the test at different points in the school year, with some taking it up to 15 months later than their peers in other places, according to a new report from the WIDA consortium that offers the online assessment. Thirty-six states, several United States territories, and agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Education use WIDA assessments, with nearly half of all English-learners nationally taking those tests.

The Supreme Court Case That Created the ‘Dreamer’ Narrative
It’s hard to ignore the Top 10 banner on your Netflix home screen. It sparks that innate curiosity of “Why are so many people watching this?” Joining that roster of intrigue this week is Vivo — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s newest animated film that hit no. 2 just days after its release on the streaming platform.

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!
Staymobile is a technology solutions provider focused on mobile and desktop device protection, deployment, and repair. From extended factory warrantees, to de-kit/configure/deployment, to quick and accurate turn-around repairs, Staymobile provides end-to-end service solutions for school districts, government offices, and enterprise businesses of all sizes. In business for over a decade and backed by A rated insurance companies, Staymobile operates a national footprint of repair and deployment facilities manned by A+ certified technicians. As a vertically integrated solutions provider, Staymobile can offer best-in-class solutions at better prices and with a greater degree of efficiency. Our list of partnerships with manufacturers and resellers continues to grow, as does our protection of over 2 million devices across the country. For more information, please visit Staymobile.com.

Vice President of Business Development

Copyright 2022 © TALAS. All Rights Reserved.