TALAS E-newsletter – October 18

Posted on October 18th, 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.
Mentoring Program Feature
Sandra K. Cortez
Mentored by Dr. Richard Carranza
In this new series, TALAS will be highlighting mentor/protégé pairs from the latest cohort of our Mentoring Program.
Sandra K. Cortez
School Principal, Brownsville, TX

With over two decades in education, including 11 years as a school administrator, Sandra K. Cortez has received numerous awards and national recognition for outstanding leadership. She describes her educational philosophy as wholly student-focused and guided by her understanding, instilled in her by her parents’ humility and strong work ethic, that “no one ever creates success alone”. Read more about Ms. Cortez on our Cohorts page.
Dr. Richard Carranza has served at virtually every level during his nearly thirty years in education, starting out as a high school mariachi teacher before graduating on to school district administration and, most recently, serving as the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2018 to 2021.
Texas News
Frisco ISD to offer Mexican American Studies course
Frisco ISD is looking ahead to offering a Mexican American Studies course next school year.

The course, developed by Houston ISD and approved by the state board of education in 2018, will serve as a one-year social studies elective credit.

The class is slated to be offered at all Frisco ISD high school campuses with hopes that enough students sign up for the courses to “make,” said Korinna Kirchhoff, communications facilitator with Frisco ISD.

‘He was quite a person’: McAllen ISD renames boardroom after Ricardo Chapa, longtime educator
McAllen school district leadership approved renaming their boardroom after Ricardo R. Chapa, a week after the former educator and war hero died and less than a day after he was buried.

The board approved the naming to a fair sized crowd. For some in the room who had known or worked with Chapa during his years as an educator, it was clearly an emotional occasion.

“Dr. Chapa was an exemplary individual,” Trustee Sam Saldivar said, choking up a little. He had met Chapa back in the 70s, when Saldivar was a freshman in high school.

Dallas ISD receives textbook donations from the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas
As part of the ongoing Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas donated 60 collections of Mexican textbooks to be displayed at school libraries and Dallas ISD’s Margaret and Gilbert Herrera Intake Center. Each set contains books on every core subject for grades one through six.

In a joint ceremony with the district’s Parent Advocacy, Family and Community Engagement, Bilingual and Dual Language departments, and the intake center, Francisco de la Torre, Consul General of Mexico in Dallas, highlighted the importance of languages as working tools for future students.

Texas could lose trillions if COVID-19 learning gaps are not closed, education commissioner says
Commissioner Mike Morath said that in some key metrics, public schools have lost “at least a decade’s worth of progress” because of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas is squaring off against a cataclysmic challenge, according to the state’s Education Commissioner Mike Morath.

If Texas can’t find a way to catch up from learning losses suffered during the pandemic, the state’s public school students will lose trillions in lifetime earning potential, Morath said.

The Texas Story: Climbing Out of a Pandemic, With 15 Years Until the State’s Bicentennial, How Well Are Students Being Prepared for the Workforce?
Texas is more than swagger and 270,000 square miles. It is home to more than 29 million diverse residents. According to the 2020 Census, Texas gained the most citizens of any state since 2010. That growth was driven by people of color. Whites and Hispanics each make up 40 percent of the state’s population, followed by Black and Asian Texans, at nearly 12 percent and 5 percent, respectively.  

As the story of Texas plays out between now and 2036, when the state observes its bicentennial, the ability of Texas’ PreK-16 schools and institutions to prepare young people for their next step will have enormous influence. Will the Texas economic miracle sustain itself? And will all Texans have access to that prosperity? 

Upcoming Events
Future of Schools Symposium
Monday, Nov. 8, 2021 • 9 am–2 pm
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
An event for superintendents and central office leaders to discuss the future of schools. Due to the generosity of this event’s sponsors, there is no registration fee for attendees!
Aldine ISD Virtual Press Event: Announcing A New Leadership Academy For Young Men of Color
Tuesday, October 19, 1 pm
Aldine Independent School District (Aldine ISD) will host a virtual press event to announce the opening of its newest Choice School, a leadership academy focused on the development of young men of color. The academy is set to open during the 2022-2023 school year and is an extension of the district’s five-year strategic plan, A New Way Forward. At this event, District representatives will discuss the need for this all male school, the partnership between Aldine ISD and Prairie View A&M, and answer questions from the media.

This media event will be held virtually via Zoom:
Join Zoom Meeting: AldineISD.org/YMLA
Meeting ID: 865 7013 1524
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
Shelton: Black and Brown School Leaders are Essential for Real Educational Equity, But They Need Support in Order to Succeed
Authentic connections among educators, students, parents and their community are critical for the success of a school. These connections are essential in pursuing equity, addressing opportunity gaps and supporting Black and brown students.  

Unfortunately, between the underrepresentation of Black teachers and school leaders and the utter failure of teacher training programs to adequately prepare educators to adequately prepare all teachers to effectively serve Black and brown students, that authentic connection is in precariously short supply.

School closings tracker: Where districts are shutting down again due to COVID-19 outbreaks
Fewer schools are closing this fall after a rough start to the school year

Just like during the initial COVID outbreak in March 2020, schools across the country are shutting down as infection rates surge in their classrooms and communities.

The perfect storm of the delta variant, low vaccination rates in parts of the country, and political resistance to universal masking sent tens of thousands of students and staff members into isolation and quarantine as schools in the south open in August without mask mandates.

420,000 homeless kids went missing from schools’ rolls last year. They may never be found
Schools can help homeless students fight eviction, find a backpack or even deal with a funeral. But first educators have to find them.

A week before school started in this sunny desert city, Mike Carr waited at the front desk of the only emergency youth shelter in this southern Utah county.

He noticed a young mother on a sectional couch in the living room swaddling her infant in a pink blanket, idly watching a Marvel movie. In the neighboring kitchen, some teenagers — each a potential student that Carr hoped to talk to — prepared lunch before retiring to one of the shelter’s 15 beds.

Equity is only possible with quality information
Nevada’s state superintendent writes that using data, including assessments, to support student success is critical to ensuring equal learning opportunities.

When schools suddenly pivoted to online learning last year, at a speed and scale never attempted before, Nevada educators responded proactively — building new partnerships, offering different resources, and leveraging new educational approaches. As the state superintendent of public instruction for Nevada, I am still marveling at their ingenuity, perseverance and enduring commitment to equity.

Latinos are taking over the horror movie business
Check out some of the Latin American horror releases during the month of October on streaming platforms and in theaters.

In the Latin American oral tradition there are plenty instances of fear and terror, and modern life has turned us all into great consumers of horror movies. According to author Marcella Ochoa, “despite the fact that Latinos make up more than 50 % of the box office in horror movies [in the United States], our stories were rarely reflected in those productions.”

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!
Achieve3000 partners with educators to deliver a comprehensive suite of digital solutions that significantly accelerate literacy and deepen learning across the content areas. Our personalized and differentiated solutions provide equity for remote and in the classroom instruction, enabling teachers to help ALL students achieve accelerated growth. For more than four million students in grades PreK-12, Achieve3000 improves high-stakes test performance and drives college and career readiness.

National Director for Strategic Partnerships

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