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African American Studies Curriculum across Texas High Schools

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April 17, 2020 will literally be in the history books because it was a historic day in Texas.  After years of meetings, organizing, and advocating, The African American Studies course which is only the second ethnic studies course for Texas students received a unanimous final board approval last Friday to approve an elective African Studies Course to be taught across high schools throughout Texas. 

Dallas ISD was the first to pilot the course after the Mexican American studies gained statewide approval back in 2018.  Under the leadership of Texas State Board of Education Member, Marisa Perez, one of our very own San Antonio natives Dr. Lawrence Scott, Texas A&M University- San Antonio professor led the San Antonio advisory team of 40 experts around Texas and the nation to make this once advocated proposal a reality. There were other advisory teams in Houston, Dallas, and Austin as well. Texas State Board of Education Trustee Aicha Davis (Dallas) who proposed and formulated the course brought representatives from all the advisory teams together in Austin to prioritize content and curriculum standards prior to the 1st and 2nd readings at the TX State Board of Education. 

Proponents of the course stressed that a course such as the African America Studies would give students an opportunity to “see themselves” when they study. The course is said to be available as early as this fall.

Congratulations to The Texas African American Studies Course Curriculum Advisory Team (San Antonio) on your efforts and success.

Dr. Donna Donna Y Ford, Distinguished Professor, Ohio State University

Dr. Cary Carey Latimore, History Department Chair, Trinity University

Professor Mario Marcel Salas, African American Studies Professor/Author/Historian, University of Texas at San Antonio / President KROV

Dr. Karla Broadus, Director of African American Studies Dept., University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Dorinda Rolle, Professor of African American Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Claudia García-Louis, Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio

Ms. La Juana Chambers Tacit Grower LJ, President, San Antonio African American Community Archive Museum

Dr. Daina Berry, Associate Dean/Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Keffrelyn D. Brown, Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Anthony Brown, Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Nicole Carr, Assistant Professor English, Texas A&M University San Antonio

Dr. Ramona Pittman, Professor, Texas A&M University of San Antonio

Dr. Dwonna Goldstone, Associate Professor of History/ Director of the African American Studies Program,  Texas State University

Mr. Cary Clack, Senior Columnist, San Antonio Express News 

Ms. Morgan Jones, Learning & Development Specialist, Spurs Sports and Entertainment

Dr. Paula Johnson, Director / IDRA EAC-South, Intercultural Development Research Association

Ms. Laura Thompson, CEO TAAN TV/Who’s Who SA/Former TX State Representative District 120, The African American Network (TAAN)

Dr. Aaron J Griffen, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/Author/Consultant, DSST Public Schools/Prosperity Educators, LLC Denver, CO

Dr. Marcus Croom, Research Scholar, Durham Public Schools 

Dr. Stuart Rhoden, Professor/Author, Arizona State University

Ms. Brandi Pace, Teacher/Racial Equity Committee,  Ft. Worth Independent School District

D.L. Grant Carver, Executive Historic Carver Library/Antoinette Franklin Entrepreneur/Founder, Talented Tenth Scholars/Author Library Association/Deltas

Ms. Quincy Boyd, Regional Director Leadership ISD, Houston, TX

Dr. Milton Fields, Associate Superintendent,  Judson Independent School District

Ms. La Quita Dalton, Secondary Teacher,  Judson Independent School District

Ms. Amy Carter, Dual Credit Teacher/Adjunct Professor Floresville Independent School District/Coastal Bend College

Ms. Graciela Escobedo-Bell, Leadership Coordinator,  San Antonio Independent School District

Ms. Tiffany Grant, Chief of Staff, San Antonio Independent School District

Ms. Edwina L. Salas, Reading Specialist, San Antonio Independent School District

Mr. Jason Rochon, Secondary Teacher, San Antonio Independent School District

Mr. Ronald Tipton, CTE Educator, South San Independent School District

Trustee  José A. Macias, Jr., Board Trustee, District 2,  Alamo Community College District

Trustee Alicia Perry, School Board Trustee District 2,  San Antonio Independent School District

Dr. Langston Williams Jr, Pastor/Retired School Principal  Magnolia Church / San Antonio Independent School District

Dr. Mateen A. Diop, Principal/Executive Director,  San Antonio Independent School District

Ms. Jennifer McCall, J Renee Love, International Baccalaureate Curriculum Specialist,  San Antonio Independent School District

Ms. Antoinette Franklin, Founder, Talented Tenth Scholars/Author,  San Antonio Library Association 

Dr. D. Anthony Miles, Entrepreneur/Researcher/Statistician,  Miles Development Industries Corporation

Lawrence Scott, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Education and Human Development Department of Educator and Leadership Preparation,
Texas A&M University-San Antonio

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Community

Diversity and Inclusion at Alamo Colleges

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By: Jose Macias Jr., D2, ACCD,

When people say things like the “system is broken” or “everything is fixed” – what they are really saying is that they have little faith or trust in the system. Instances of corruption, oppression, and a lack of accountability over the decades, have done little to restore confidence in government. Government seems to benefit those “who have” verse those “who have not.”

I have been addressing this issue for over ten years as an elected official. I won my first election in 2010 due to the climate of distrust in Judson ISD over a bond package that was mismanaged. A stadium renovation project that voters approved for 4 million dollars ballooned to over 10 million dollars. The construction company said that operational cost had increased since the bid as justification for the increase. It is something I never believed.

Anger in the community was off the charts, and as I began my work in trying to understand the process, I began to understand how the “system” was built. I also understood how linked bond and construction projects were directly tied to the classroom and to student success. Poor facilities meant that our students were not getting the very best environment to learn, and taxpayers were not getting what they paid for. As a school board member, I had to be diligent about understanding our construction strategies just as much as I had to be about our curriculum, teacher retention, and support programs.

In my role serving District 2, I can apply that experience to helping Alamo Colleges grow even stronger. Since it is all about student success, it is imperative we build an efficient system. During my first 100 days in office, I met with many minority business owners in D2 and asked them about their experiences in doing work for Alamo Colleges. Many of the responses were not kind. There was an overwhelming sentiment that we were not being inclusive of small minority businesses.

I recognized immediately the significance of this disconnect, and I committed then to help my district. I reached out to the Alamo Black Chamber of Commerce, The Hispanic Contracting Coalition, and the Fair Contracting Coalition (FCC) and began significant dialogue about creating inroads to greater inclusion of small minority businesses at Alamo Colleges.

Many hours and countless conversations have taken place across District 2 in preparing to take next steps to increase diversity and inclusion practices at Alamo Colleges. It is critical that our business partners reflect our community, and just as important that our tax dollars benefit businesses operating in our community as well.

Our data does reflect a strong record of utilizing minority businesses at Alamo Colleges, but our current course has not bridged the disconnect felt by a large group of minority business owners. With some modifications in our strategies and policies, we can bridge that disconnect.

The issue of diversity and inclusion is something that I know is important to my constituency, and if it is important to those I represent, then it is important to me. After all, the core of representative governance strongly implies that you must “Represent” and “Fight” for the community you serve. That is what I call “Truth.”

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Community

Sam Houston H.S. Has A New Principal

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Sam Houston High School in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) has a new principal. Ms. Sharene Dixon has been named the new campus leader starting this 2020-2021 school year. Students, parents, teachers, community and stakeholders will have an opportunity to meet their new leader and participate in a virtual celebration this evening via Zoom. The Meeting ID: 964 2198 1219 Password: SHHS.

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School Re-opening Update

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SAN ANTONIO, TX (July 15, 2020) – Following today’s announcement from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that local public health officials that orderTexas schools closed for in-person instruction this fall will not risk state education funding, Metro Health with the support of the COVID-19 CommunityResponse Coalition will convene a task force to make local recommendations the public health authority for Bexar County.

“We’ve heard from many parents, teachers and administrators with concerns about starting the school year with in-person instruction while cases ofCOVID-19 are surging in Texas,” said Assistant City Manager and InterimMetro Health Director Dr. Colleen Bridger. “This task force will work together to help us make an informed decision about the best way to proceed with the health and safety of our children and all school staff as our highest priority.”

School districts typically fall under the authority of the State of Texas, not the City of San Antonio or Bexar County. However, the TEA has effectively given the authority to local communities to decide whether schools will open with in-person learning, rather than just remote learning.

The task force will include teachers, parents, students, teachers’ unions, school districts, universities, pediatricians and public health professionals. The task force will meet this week and will make recommendations about the safe reopening of schools in Bexar County. Updates will be shared at covid19.sanantonio.gov<http://covid19.sanantonio.gov/>.
FOUR WAYS TO SIGN UP FOR COVID-19 ALERTS
  1.  Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes<https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ready-south-texas/id1090438177> andGooglePlay<https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.quickseries.BexarTX&hl=en_US> stores  

2.  Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates  

3.  Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  

4.  Bookmark covid19.sanantonio.gov

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