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
‘It’s who we are’: West Oso ISD hosts Hispanic Heritage Month showcase
After singing for his classmates, West Oso High School student Xavier Contreras gripped his cowboy hat and finished off with a grito.

The crowd at West Oso ISD’s Hispanic Heritage Showcase on Friday morning went wild with cheers and applause. Throughout the morning, students at all levels of the district, from elementary school to high school students, celebrated the cultural heritage of the community.

‘Like bread and butter’: Mariachi programs across Conroe ISD bring music, culture to life
Mariachi music has always been a part of Christian Ponce’s life, and now he has made it his career. Ponce has taken the helm of the mariachi group at The Woodlands High School, an opportunity he said he relishes.

“I grew up with a Mexican household so this music is a little bit like bread and butter to me. Growing up I would always listen to this music, on the weekends my parents would always play it when they were cleaning or cooking,” Ponce said. “It always stuck around with me and I always wanted to be a part of this world and luckily I got the chance here and I jumped on it.”

Austin ISD becomes first Texas district to get two AAA bond ratings
On Oct. 14, Austin Independent School District received a AAA bond rating by the bond rating agency KBRA, making the central Texas ISD the first in Texas to receive two AAA ratings. Previously, Moody’s had given Austin ISD a AAA rating. 

A AAA rating, the highest a school district can achieve, indicates the lowest risk of default and ensures that the district will get the lowest interest rates when taking on debt, saving taxpayers money. 

The importance of mirroring classroom diversity
It’s no secret, finding qualified teachers is a challenging task for just about every school district in the U.S. It can be more challenging to find qualified teachers that represent a student population.

Dr. Roland Hernandez is the superintendent of the Corpus Christi Independent School District, a district succeeding where many around the country are struggling. It matches the diversity of its students with that of its teachers.

Named for pioneering Mexican American lawmaker, DISD school focused on empowering girls
Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School was established in 2004 as the state’s first public all-girls school

High school Spanish teacher Esmeralda Martínez is nursing a bruise. Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School just started offering self-defense classes, and a few days ago, a twiggy senior flipped Martínez straight on her back.

Despite her sore arm, Martínez is satisfied. Every day, she teaches and mentors girls in a building named for the woman who guaranteed Martinez’s higher education 20 years ago.

Emergent Bilingual Week:
Accelerate Language, Accelerate Literacy
Oct. 17–21, 2022
Monday–Friday, 12 pm–1 pm EST
This five-day event will consist of a series of webinars that explore important aspects of supporting emergent bilingual students, including the acceleration of English language learning, the role of oral language in literacy instruction, language learning efficacy and research, how educators can leverage artificial intelligence to support Emergent Bilingual students, and much more!
Affiliate Feature
RGVTALAS, TALAS’ Rio Grande Valley affiliate, commits to continue TALAS’ mission to improve learning outcomes for Latino learners by providing leadership development, collective impact, advocacy, and a proactive voice for Latino and non-Latino leaders who have a passion for serving the fastest growing student population in the state.
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
U.S. Department of Education Awards Nearly $120 Million Over Five Years to Support Educators of English Learner Students
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) recently announced awards of nearly $120 million over five years under the National Professional Development Program (NPD) to support educators of English learner students.

The NPD program provides grants to eligible Institutions of Higher Education and public or private entities with relevant experience and capacity, in consortia with states or districts, to implement professional development activities that will improve instruction for English Learners (ELs).

Cyberattacks on School Systems Can Have Long-Lasting, Expensive Repercussions
Retirees from the Baltimore school system are having trouble with pension and health care payments two years after a ransomware attack. The identity of a child in Toledo, Ohio, is being used to apply for credit months after a cyberattack on schools there. A midsize Texas school district last year paid more than half a million dollars in ransom to restore access to its system and prevent the posting of sensitive data online.

The repercussions of an attack on vulnerable school systems can be strong, long-lasting and expensive, which is why cybersecurity experts warn against expecting a quick and clean resolution to the massive hack in September on the Los Angeles Unified School District.

ACT Test Scores Drop to Lowest Levels in More Than 30 Years
Testing organization says drop caused by pandemic disruptions and long-term systemic issues in education

The average score on the ACT, a college admissions test, fell to its lowest level in more than three decades, the organization behind the exam said Wednesday.

Test takers from the class of 2022 scored an average of 19.8 out of 36, the ACT said, the first time the average score dropped below 20 since 1991. The class of 2021 scored an average of 20.3. 

Latino enrollment in four-year schools reaches all time high
A recent Pew Center analysis found that the Latino students made up over 2 million of all students at a four-year institution.

Hispanic student enrollment at four-year colleges and universities has reached an all-time high.  

A new Pew Research Center analysis of the most recent U.S. population survey data found between 2000 and 2020 the number of Latinos enrolled in a four-year institution increased by 287 percent jumping from 620,000 to 2.4 million.  

See which states have the biggest increases in Latino student-aged population, and why it matters
Latinos will make up 30% of the school-aged population in the U.S. by 2030. These maps and charts show where the population is decreasing and where it is growing.

The population of Hispanic or Latino students in public schools is increasing across the United States. But between pandemic disruptions, teacher shortages, and lack of dual-language programs, many school districts may not be ready to accommodate them. We wanted to better understand which states will be impacted the most, so we dug into census data and studies from national education groups. This is what we found:  

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!
Subject partners with schools that are looking to expand their course offering, provide credit recovery options, and/or need to implement accredited courses quickly due to teacher shortages. With over 60+ accredited courses, which range from AP Government, Algebra, and electives such as Cryptocurrency, a partnership with Subject includes a robust course catalog, rigorous assignments, engaging lessons, study guides, assignment scoring, and live academic support for teachers and students.