TALAS E-newsletter – October 3

Posted on October 3rd, 2019
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New Deputy Superintendent in Ft. Bend
Congratulations to Diana Sayavedra who was recently promoted from Chief Academic Officer to Deputy Superintendent in Ft. Bend ISD. Prior to that, she held the position of Executive DIrector of Curriculum and Instruction in Pflugerville ISD. Sayavedra holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Science in Education Administration from Texas A & M International University. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration from Texas A & M International University.
EPISD’s Cabrera appointed to TASA executive positions
EPISD Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera will serve on the 2019-20 Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Commissioner’s Superintendent Advisory Cabinet and the TASA Legislative Committee, the organization recently announced.

TASA is the professional association for Texas school administrators, providing networking and professional learning opportunities, legislative advocacy, and targeted communications to support the work of superintendents and other school leaders.

“I look forward to representing El Paso and the Border communities on these highly-influential boards,” Cabrera said. “I plan to bring our collective voices to the table to shape national and state education policy and put into practice the strategies and policies that will benefit our students and employees.”
Latino students deserve a functioning HISD board [Opinion]
The Houston Independent School District’s motto is “Building Houston’s Future, Right Now” and it includes everyone from children to parents to teachers to citizens. By governing the largest school district in our region, the HISD school board is at the helm of directing our collective future but for far too long it has steered us in the wrong direction. The school board has governed through controversy and engaged in what state investigators have alleged is misconduct ranging from violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act and inappropriate dealings with vendors to lying to investigators and interfering with day-to-day operations of the district. .

This must stop.

During public meetings in 2018, the school board talked about student outcomes only 9 percent of the time, and during two of those meetings, trustees spoke about student outcomes 0 percent of the time. What’s more, one of the primary responsibilities of the school board is to select a superintendent, yet HISD hasn’t had a permanent superintendent since March 2018.
Q&A with “Stolen Education” director
Enrique Alemán Jr., director of the film “Stolen Education,” hosted a question and answer session to inform students about his film and the history of Hispanic people in the U.S. education system.

Alemán, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, connected to campus digitally at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25 in the Dakota Room. The Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Latin American Student Association hosted a screening of Alemán’s film on Sept. 20 in the Lewis and Clark Room.

 “I try to take advantage of these events,” said Aubrey Hendrixson, a recent graduate of SDSU and current Native American student recruiter. “I’m Mexican but I can still grow my own knowledge … I’m just trying to stay informed, and Dr. Flo does a good job of bringing diverse events about Hispanic people and other groups to campus.”
‘Porvenir, Texas’ details massacre of Mexican Americans by U.S. soldiers, rangers
Arlinda Valencia was at a family funeral when she heard what sounded like a wild rumor. One of her uncles mentioned that the Texas Rangers had murdered her great-grandfather. This idea seemed so ludicrous that some of Valencia’s relatives laughed. No one believed the story. But the tale stuck with Valencia, and later she went online to read about Texas history.

At her computer, Valencia, who lives in El Paso, discovered an account of a massacre carried out by Texas Rangers. Among a list of the victims, she recognized her great-grandfather’s name. “His name was there,” she recalled. “The story was true. It sent chills down my back.”

Valencia’s great-grandfather Longino Flores had indeed lived in the small West Texas border town of Porvenir. In the early morning hours of Jan. 28, 1918, a group of ranchers, Texas Rangers, and U.S. Army cavalry soldiers entered the village and rousted the residents from their beds. They led away 15 unarmed men and boys of Mexican descent to a nearby bluff, where they shot and killed them. These victims ranged in age from 16 to 72, and some were American citizens. The town’s women and children fled across the border to Mexico for safety. The next day, the perpetrators returned and burned the village to the ground. Porvenir ceased to exist.
Just posted opportunities
University of Texas at Austin
Tenured Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Socorro ISD – El Paso
Principal – Pebble Hills HS – Principal

  • Education Specialist, Educator Preparation (Education Specialist III)
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Explore Career Opportunities Today
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
Region 17 ESC http://jobs.esc17.net/
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
What words should you never say when being interviewed for a job?
Here are a few that are considered “red flag words” by interviewers. Avoid these because these words don’t do you any favors. I’ve listed alternatives to use instead!

Perfectionist — another word for “procrastinator”
These people often put off work because they are daunted by the expectations. They begin to write a report and can’t get past the first sentence because they are paralyzed by the belief that their first draft has to be flawless. Psychiatrist Dr. Elana Miller, MD, says that perfectionists are often sensitive to criticism and need clearer guidelines so that they don’t waste time on things that are not important.

What the candidate should say instead: detail oriented

Multitasker — another word for “unfocused”
According to current neuroscience research, our brains can not focus on multiple tasks at the same time, but actually switch between tasks quickly, giving us the illusion of multitasking. Meaning, people cannot listen in a meeting and write an email at the same time – they are doing each of these tasks for a few seconds at a time while constantly switching their attention back and forth. While this sounds impressive, serious productivity is lost in both activities.

National News
Author, Poet and Literacy Advocate Pat Mora on Bilingual Literacy, Bookjoy and the Start of Children’s Day/Book Day (El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros)
As NC State celebrates Latinx Heritage Month Sept. 15-Oct. 15, the NC State College of Education sat down with author, poet and literacy advocate Pat Mora to talk about bilingual literacy, what she means by bookjoy and why she created Children’s Day/Book Day (El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros).

A native of El Paso, Texas, and a bilingual speaker, Mora has published several collections of poetry for adults, young adults and children, as well as written many children’s books in both English and Spanish, a collection of essays and the highly acclaimed memoir House of Houses.

She was recently on NC State’s campus to hold a series of workshops and deliver a keynote address on creative practice for educators.

The following Q&A is from an interview with Mora and edited for length and clarity.

You have called being bilingual a great blessing. Why? 

I’ve had the advantage of discovering how powerful, how convenient and how useful it is to be bilingual. Being bilingual is as if you have a piano and you can use both the white and the black keys because you have two language registers and you can say ‘Do I want to say tree or do I want to say ‘árbol?’ And they are very different sounds, so when you are writing poetry or even when you are speaking, it’s an advantage to have these two languages to use.
Ocelot Launches Bilingual English-Spanish Artificially Intelligent Chatbot for Colleges and Universities

The Bilingual Chatbot, the first-of-its-kind in higher education, is fully customizable for colleges to communicate with Spanish-language speakers, especially parents

Ocelot, the leading provider of Artificially Intelligent Conversational Chatbots for colleges and universities, announced today a new development: the first-of-its-kind fully bilingual English-Spanish chatbot.

Schools that struggle to communicate with native Spanish-language speakers, especially parents, now have access to an easy-to-use customizable tool that opens up lines of communication and reduces obstacles for both students and parents.

Spanish-speaking families are the fastest growing share of all families with children attending college. The percentage of Hispanic students in school has doubled over the past twenty years, and today roughly 1 in 5 college students are Hispanic, according to the US Census.
What can we do to help low-income kids graduate from college?

For the first, time it seems possible that we’re figuring out how to accomplish an agonizingly elusive goal: ensuring that low-income students not just enter college but complete college.

The latest evidence emerged this week when Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a national college readiness nonprofit found in many high-poverty schools, released its college success numbers. AVID, which works with teachers to guide low-income, minority students into college-prep pathways — and give them the tools to succeed — was able to track its 82,807 alumni from three graduating classes.

Bottom line: 42% of its alumni earned four-year degrees, compared with 11% of similar students. That’s striking, considering the students AVID targets: So-so students who at some point, in some class or on some test, showed a glimmer of college potential.

Read more here: What can we do to help
The Story of Latinos and Education in American History
The 2014–2015 academic year marked the first year that American, preK–12 public school enrollment became majority nonwhite, with Hispanic/Latino as the largest minority. Population shifts have continued to occur, with Latinos now representing 28% of public school students.
American public schools are in trouble, with national achievement reaching new lows and progress for nearly two-thirds of all 4th and 8th graders below proficiency levels and stagnant for years. According to the Nation’s Report Card, students of color rank lowest, with Latinos and African Americans consistently at the bottom.

To understand the history of Latinos in particular,  The Story of Latinos and Education in American History  goes back in time to recreate the story. In this book, Dr. Noboa-Ríos relates the dark legacy before and after  Plessy , as well as the post- Brown  challenges that linger. For a better and more balanced future for the nation, America’s challenge is to ensure that Latino students excel. Understanding how and why this dark history has occurred is imperative to rectify the situation.

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