TALAS E-newsletter – October 14

Posted on October 14th, 2021
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Texas News
Celina ISD offers “Parent University” for parents of ESL and bilingual students
As the number of Celina ISD students in the English as a Second Language program continues to grow, the district is looking to support parents at all grade levels.

This week, CISD kicked off its “Parent University,” a program designed to help parents of ESL and bilingual students support their English-learning students at home.

Dallas ISD Recruiting New Cohort of Hispanic Male Teachers
As school began this fall, the first Latino participants in the Adjunct Teacher Dallas Residency Program started on their path to becoming certified classroom teachers next semester. They are the second group recruited for the initiative that began last school year to hire more educators who are representative of the students they serve.

The 11 soon-to-be educators are paired with exemplary educators at seven Dallas ISD high schools. The district’s Human Capital Management department (HCM) will support them on their path toward becoming licensed teachers through the district’s Alternative Certification program.

Texas Gov. Abbott issues order banning Covid vaccination mandates in rebuke of Biden
Abbott has also resisted mask mandates and requiring proof of vaccination in the state.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday prohibiting any entity, including private businesses, from imposing Covid-19 vaccination requirements on employees or customers.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement.

When Texas schools ban books from school libraries, does it do more harm than good?
After Katy ISD pulled a book from its libraries this week for allegedly teaching critical race theory, a Texas librarian speaks out about how these censors hurt students. 

Texas schools are once again making national headlines, this time after a decision by Katy Independent School District officials to pull a book from its shelves and cancel a speaking engagement with the novel’s author over allegations the content of the work promoted critical race theory and Marxism.

The Woman Who Beat the Government’s Border Wall
For nearly 15 years, Pamela Rivas fought to save her land from the wall. But her property still crawls with Border Patrol and surveillance technology.

On a cool September morning, Pamela Rivas picks me up at my hotel in a light beige F-150 driven by her 24-year-old son, Ivan. Country music plays softly on the stereo. We’re in Edinburg, the Texas border city where they now live, but we’re headed west. A 60-year-old registered nurse, Rivas is taking me to see the land where she’s from—a property she’s spent nearly 15 years fighting to save from border wall construction. It’s a fight she’s just won.

State House Map Analysis
Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force
The Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force has released their analysis of the leadership’s proposed state House plan, which is currently being debated on the House floor. It outlines Latinos’ role in Texas’ population growth over the last ten years, shows how the 2020 census undercounted Latino communities in Texas, and argues that the proposed House map H2176 fails to reflect Latino population growth. The file is available below:
Please feel free to distribute this document.
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National News
COVID Shots Required for School Staff in 36% of Top Districts
With the vast majority of U.S. students once again learning in classrooms, 180 of the largest 500 U.S. school districts have enacted requirements for their staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an analysis published Monday by Burbio, an organization that has tracked school safety policies through the pandemic.

Decade of data shows matching student-teacher race reduced NYC suspensions
Matching students’ race with those of their teachers can reduce rates of exclusionary discipline for Black and Latinx students in large, diverse and urban school districts, according to a new working paper from the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. The study examined 10 years’ worth of data from New York City between 2007 and 2017. 

During years where students in grades 4-8 were assigned to a greater number of teachers of their same race, students were less likely to be suspended. This proved especially true for Black students, who experienced the largest impact, but the study also confirms a “significant” association for Latinx students and a “marginally significant” association for Asian American students. 

5 ways educators can encourage parents to get kids vaccinated against COVID
Educators can point out the safety findings from vaccine clinical trials for 12- to 17-year-olds

With younger students on the verge of vaccine eligibility, school leaders may want guidance in convincing parents to get COVID immunizations for their kids.

Some parents remain concerned about potential side effects, how well the vaccine works in children and the amount of research that’s been conducted, says a new report.

One way to make universal preschool a reality — Head Start for all
America already has a high-quality federal child care and education program, why not use Biden’s proposed new funding to simply expand it to all kids?

Families with young children — who are still not permitted to receive any of the Covid-19 vaccines — remain pretty squarely in the pandemic gloom. This situation has driven policymakers to focus their pandemic recovery policies on families’ needs — most notably with the Biden administration’s American Families Plan. In particular, that plan includes a proposal to make high-quality pre-K universally accessible.

The Universal Implications of Science of Reading
David Burns stresses the commonality of learning to read across languages

The body of research known as science of reading (SoR) is widely acknowledged among experts as both theoretically and empirically superior to other conceptions of literacy development (Rayner et al., 2001; Kilpatrick, 2015; Seidenberg, 2017). However, there is still some debate as to whether SoR can be universally applied. That is, can SoR-based theories and research effectively inform instruction in, for example, a dual language classroom or a school with a large percentage of emergent bilinguals?

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