TALAS E-newsletter – October 4

Posted on October 4th, 2021
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Texas News
Highlighting Dr. King Davis, Sheldon ISD Superintendent
Dr. King Davis has been with Sheldon ISD since 2016, prior to which he served as Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Student Services of Everman ISD and as superintendent of Wharton ISD.

With over 25 years in public education, at multiple levels of service, Dr. Davis has been commended for his dedication to students and his sharp focus in launching projects and initiatives to support student achievement. He has also earned recognition for his strong leadership in the face of turmoil: Dr. Davis guided Sheldon ISD through the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and has been a force of progress and innovation as the district continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. 

From Dr. Davis’ perspective as an educational leader, failure is simply not an option. He has said that a proper education is, in a sense, a matter of life and death: “the death of dreams, goals, aspirations, prosperity and hope … for many of our citizens who lack the opportunities that come along with a proper education.” With his unshakable commitment to equity and his staunch belief in public education as a whole, Dr. Davis wonderfully embodies the Sheldon ISD motto: “Every Child, Every Day.”
Texas News
Ysleta ISD ranked best school district in El Paso
The Ysleta Independent School District was ranked the best school district in El Paso, according to the 2022 Best School Districts rankings released Tuesday by Niche, a leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools.

Unlike traditional school rankings, Niche officials say their rankings provide a more personal view of a school by combining user input — ratings from current students, alumni, and parents — with quantitative data from sources like the U.S. Department of Education.

San Marcos CISD launches ‘Culture Camp’ celebrating linguistic diversity and identity
A two-day camp for San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District students is setting out to empower them to embrace their bilingual roots.

It’s an interactive program launched by the district this school year, strategically during Hispanic Heritage Month. The district said it wants to empower its secondary students to accept their diverse backgrounds, while also recognizing the power of education.

Reason for hope: An optimistic vision of public education in Dallas
To get the real story, you need the details.

From the outside looking in, the story of education in Dallas is simple and familiar.

This is a city where a relatively small number of wealthy people enjoy an array of options for their children, from excellent but expensive private schools to some of the best magnet schools in the country. Meanwhile, a much larger number of low-income residents send their children through a struggling school district where the majority of kids underperform academically.

Texas Education Agency considers rules that weaken charter accountability for special ed and ESL
The Texas Education Agency has proposed changes to the Charter School Performance Framework (CSPF) that leave out consideration of two important student groups: students receiving special education services and students in bilingual education/English as a second language. 

The indicators within the CSPF are supposed to evaluate each charter school’s compliance with federal law, state law, state rules or regulations, and/or the charter contract. However, the proposed changes strike program indicators for bilingual and special education populations from the operations standards. 

El Paso superintendent searches: SISD picks search agency, EPISD plans community meetings
Two of the largest public school districts in El Paso are forging ahead in searches for superintendents.

Socorro Independent School District board trustees voted Wednesday to hire JG Consulting to lead the search for the district’s next superintendent.

The proposed bid is $50,000, but trustees have yet to award the firm a contract, according to SISD spokesperson Daniel Escobar.

Looking for a new opportunity?
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
Bipartisan Coalition’s New K-12 Climate Action Plan Says Net-Zero Schools, Infrastructure Changes are Key to Mitigating Climate Change
Anew bipartisan coalition with some high-profile education leaders has released an action plan outlining how the sector can model climate change solutions.

Recommendations include ways schools can reduce carbon emissions, utilize infrastructure as a teaching tool, support communities of color disproportionately affected by weather crises and create pathways for students to pursue green jobs.

Hispanic Leaders Navigating the Community College Administration Arena
Community college has proven to be an access point for underrepresented groups, with an earned reputation of affordability, accessibility and flexibility. As the number of Hispanic students enrolling in college continue to rise, priorities around increasing ethnic leadership must be addressed. In 2017, the American Council on Education, American College President Study reported 4% of College Presidents were Hispanic/Latino. 

Studies have shown the importance of having a leadership team reflective of the student population to enhance the success of all students. This is particularly helpful with Hispanic students, who continue to fall behind in completion rates compared to other ethnic groups. The community college world recognizes the challenge but how do Hispanic leaders get there?

5 ways superintendents’ roles have changed for good because of COVID-19
There is no longer a one-size-fits-all definition of the position that once could be summarized as leader of a school district

Once a job that, for the most part, could be done during the typical Monday-to-Friday work week, the superintendent role has now become, in the words of Tina McCoy, former Superintendent of Schools in Raymond, N.H., a “24/7” gig. “I need a break that a vacation cannot give,” she said, discussing her reasons for leaving with the school board.

‘Appreciation for one’s roots’: Latino professionals honor family heritage on social media
“I wasn’t ashamed of being Mexican American, but for many years, I did consider it a handicap,” one Latino CEO posted.

Bismarck Lepe’s earliest memories of spending time with his parents are riding in the family’s Ford Granada in the early 1980s as they went from Mexico to Southern California to pick lemons and strawberries, then to the Central Valley to pick apricots, peaches and nectarines, then to northern Washington to pick apples — and then back to Mexico.

Five Latina scientists who are making history
Currently, women scientists represent less than 30% of scientists in the world. However, their performance has been fundamental in history to continue working for scientific and technological progress in the different fields of knowledge. 
 
“To face the immense challenges of the 21st century – from climate change to technological upheavals – we need science and all the necessary energy and, therefore, the world cannot deprive itself of the potential, intelligence and creativity of the thousands of women who are victims of deep-rooted inequalities or prejudices,” said Audrey Azoulay, director general of UNESCO on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

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!
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