TALAS E-newsletter – October 12

Posted on October 12th, 2021
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Texas News
How George I. Sánchez helped dismantle Texas’ segregated schools for Latinos
Proponents of separation said it was necessary because Mexican Americans were not as smart as Anglo students, or were deficient in the English language. The former UT professor fought those claims.

By the 1940s, over 120 Texas school districts had segregated schools for Latino children.

“They didn’t openly tell you the truth… that is, we don’t want Mexican kids sitting next to Anglo kids,” historian Ricardo Romo said.

Texas’ ban on school mask mandates heads to federal court
Attorneys with Disability Rights Texas claim the ban violates law meant to protect students with disabilities.

School district leaders should have the right to make decisions about mask mandates based on the needs of their students and local coronavirus spread data, attorneys argued Wednesday in federal court.

Lawyers with Disability Rights Texas, who filed the first federal lawsuit over the ban in mid-August, allege that Gov. Greg Abbott’s prohibition on mask mandates puts students with disabilities at risk.

Black School Leaders Need Support as Rising Tensions Threaten Recruitment
All school leaders are under tremendous stress due to the pandemic, but Black school leaders are facing added pressure due to racial tensions amid backlash to critical race theory and other highly charged issues. If things continue as they are, Texas districts will not be able to retain Black school leaders or recruit the next generation from the teacher workforce.

For decades, Texas has taken effort to diversify school and district leadership to better reflect student demographics, but those gains will be lost if policymakers do not better protect Black leaders from attacks.

A COVID vaccine for young kids could be available soon. How could it change Texas school protocols?
The vaccine rates among older children has lagged so far, even as district leaders hinge hope on widely available shots

An infectious disease specialist pleaded with Richardson school trustees at their most recent meeting. Stay the course on mask mandates until vaccines are widely available for young children, he begged.

Masking is only a temporary measure and with vaccines coming soon for kids and continued declines in cases, the doctor said, the district can reevaluate the need for masks in coming months.

A Migrant Appears to Have Been Lynched in South Texas
The incident serves as a reminder that over the past two centuries, hundreds of migrants and Texans of Mexican descent have been murdered. 

The tragedy, at first, seemed a familiar one in the ragged brushlands of South Texas. Border Patrol agents late last week spotted a badly decomposing body in a patch of trees on a ranch in Brooks County, about an hour north of McAllen and the Mexican border. Nearly one hundred other migrants’ bodies had been discovered in the county this year, but this one was hanging from a noose that had been fashioned from the remains of a shirt and was tied to a limb on a rugged old oak tree. His head lolled to one side, and his feet were missing, perhaps eaten by coyotes or other animals. Some clothing was found folded nearby. So were identification cards for a Mexican male.

Upcoming Events
Official Launch of TALAS El Paso
October 27, 2021 at 6 pm–8 pm CST
Deadbeach Brewery, 406 Durango St, El Paso, TX 79901
Please join us in welcoming our New TALAS Executive Board, sign-up for membership ($40), hear from our El Paso Representatives regarding political challenges impacting our region, and much more.

Did we mention: Free drinks, food, give-aways and live music!

Mark your calendars now and bring a couple friends with you.
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
‘A Seat at the Table’: At National Summit, Latino Education Organization Calls For Stronger Commitment to Teacher Diversity
As the nation’s Latino student population continues to grow, a nonprofit advocacy group this week called for a commitment to increasing the numbers of Latino teachers and administrators in the nation’s schools and removing the barriers that keep prospective educators from pursuing college degrees. 

“We need a seat at the table to get into the room where decisions are being made,” Amanda Fernandez, president and CEO of Latinos for Education, said at the organization’s first national summit, held Wednesday and Thursday. 

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero receives national recognition
Guerrero has been named 2021 Superintendent of the Year by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero has received a national title: 2021 Superintendent of the Year from the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.

Guerrero has led Oregon’s largest school district since 2017. He will be honored at an event on Saturday, October 9, in Washington D.C.

Florida Board of Education votes to sanction 8 school districts with mask mandates with no opt-out
The Florida Board of Education on Thursday voted to sanction eight school districts that have instituted Covid-19 mask mandates without giving parents the ability to opt their students out.

In doing so, the state board said that school districts in Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange and Palm Beach counties were not in compliance and directly violating a Florida Department of Health emergency rule.

How will pandemic learning impact graduation rates long-term?
While it’s still unclear how the pandemic will ultimately affect graduation rates in the long run, concerns abound as to how much the transition to remote learning and outside-of-school factors will impact graduation rates, chronic absenteeism and more.

Students who graduated in 2021 were juniors by the time the pandemic struck, and it’s possible most were already well on their way to completing their required classes. But questions remain as to how much remote learning will impact long-term attendance and graduation rates of younger cohorts.

‘Acapulco’ brings the storied Mexican resort to a new generation of TV viewers
“All the Hollywood celebrities, the royalty from around the world were there, always, because the parties were really, really, really good,” actor and executive producer Eugenio Derbez said.

Acapulco, Mexico, was once the playground for the world’s elite. At the peak of its fame, this tropical resort attracted big-screen legends like Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles and Errol Flynn. It also drew in John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy on their honeymoon in 1953. 

Las Tienditas
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