From the President's Desk
Querida familia del mundo bilingüe,
It’s unbelievable that this historic school year is coming to an end. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced an event with such a drastic impact on how we live and work as educators and advocates. Thank you to all the wonderful teachers, administrators, district staff, parents, students, and community members who worked tirelessly to support our schools throughout the year to ensure that our children were safe, happy, and engaged in learning.
As we finish the school year strong and prepare for the future, we know that listening to everyone’s voice is critical. We have learned so much about how important relationships and being together are in schooling. It has been a total team effort, and our united perseverance will continue to guide us as we remember those we have lost and ensure our children have the clarity and support they need to be successful. We are the strength that will carry us through.
TABE is embracing our newfound need for innovation and change in bilingual education. We have proven to ourselves that we are ready, willing, and able to make change. We have grown both technologically and ideologically, experiencing new opportunities for digital learning and seeing great legislative victories benefiting bilingual education during this difficult time. We are grateful for the work of Senators Jose Menendez and Eddie Lucio, whose bills have pushed for more qualified bilingual teachers, increased dual language programs, and the replacement of the term “student of limited English proficiency” with the term “emergent bilingual student.”
Finally, on behalf of TABE, I want to wish everyone a wonderful, restful summer to regain, reflect and re-energize so that we can begin the new school year even stronger than the one we just closed. Our students are resilient, and they have learned so much inside and outside the classroom this year. When they return to school, we will be ready to support them, accelerate their learning, and leverage our strengthened relationships to make bilingual education stronger than ever.
Dra. Olivia Hernández, TABE President
Getting to Know Us: Executive Board Stories
Dr. Joy Esquierdo, Past-President
Dr. J. Joy Esquierdo is the daughter to Jesús and Sofía Esquierdo and mother to Andrés Joaquín and Rolando Jesús. She is a Professor in the Department of Bilingual and Literacy Studies at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. She is the Director for the Center for Bilingual Studies and currently is the Interim Director of the School of Art. She also serves TABE as Past-President. Dr. Esquierdo’s research agenda includes topics that focus on the academic performance of bilingual-dual language students in various areas such as gifted education, content biliteracy development (English and Spanish), and overall best teaching practices for bilingual-dual language learners that focus on academic rigor. She has co-authored two books: Teaching Content to Latino Bilingual-Dual Language Learners: Maximizing Their Learning and A Practical Guide for Student Interns: Meeting the Needs of Latino Students and their Communities.Her most important role is being a mother to two boys, Andrés Joaquín and Rolando Jesús.
Dr. Pilar Moreno-Recio is currently the Director of Bilingual/ESL Education in Goose Creek CISD, Baytown, Texas. She is the ninth child in a family of eleven. She is a citizen of Spain and USA. She is married to her husband Viren from India. They are both first generation immigrants and have an eight-year old child, Aditya, who currently learns in a Spanish immersion program in Humble ISD. Aditya is also learning Hindi, Gujarati, and English.
Dr. Moreno-Recio has taught in several countries: Spain (E.S.L), Ireland (S.S.L), and U.S.A (Bilingual education). She has served in instructional leadership positions at the school level (bilingual campus literacy coach) and district level executive and administrative positions (district bilingual cognitive coach and Executive Director of Bilingual/ESL/Migrant Education) in Tyler ISD, Ector County ISD, and Goose Creek CISD. She has contributed to turning around bilingual programs and is on a mission implementing dual two-way and one-way language program models in her current school district at GCCISD.
Dr. Moreno-Recio holds two masters’ degrees, one from the Universidad de Extremadura in Spain and another master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Tyler. She also has a doctorate in Educational Leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Her research focuses on all school leaders’ efficacies, language standards, assessments, and language learners’ empowerment. She holds her Texas Principal and Superintendent certifications.
She is and has been an advocate of multilingual ed, bilingual kids, families, teachers, education through ENABLE at SMU, HAABE, TABE, and NABE. She has published research-articles in the AASA journal and JBERI. She presents nationally and internationally. She has been serving as a HAABE board member for three years now. She is the social media/webmaster/professional development member in charge of promoting multicultural/multilingual education through social media, HAABE website, teacher of the year awards, professional development, and students’ scholarships in the great Houston area.
Laurie Weaver has been an educator for over 30 years. After growing up in Michigan, she moved to Mexico City for her first teaching position. Subsequently, she taught in both bilingual and ESL settings in Texas. Currently, she is a Professor of Bilingual and Multicultural Studies at the University of Houston-Clear Lake where she teaches courses on language learning and biliteracy development. Dr. Weaver serves as the Instructional Supervisor at a local elementary school, a role that developed as part of a partnership between a local district and the university. She is proud to have helped plan and implement the first dual language program in that district, a program that has now been implemented at all the district’s bilingual campuses.
Dr. Weaver has previously served TABE as the secretary, treasurer, public relations chair, and newsletter editor. She has also co-chaired the local committee for several TABE conferences.
The mother of one daughter who was a participant in a dual language program, Dr. Weaver is a passionate advocate of bilingualism and biliteracy. She is honored to serve on the TABE Board.
Dr. Emiliano Gonzalez, Professor & Director of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, has over 33 years of working with ELs and Bilingual students. He began teaching ESL in middle school named Project/Curriculum Writer for At-Risk/Migrant/ESL Populations in Donna, Texas to being ESL/Bilingual teacher and Bilingual Department Head then assistant Principal in La Joya, Texas. He was hired at Lecturer, then University of Texas, Pan-American, Edinburg, Texas, in the Curriculum & Instruction/Bilingual Education Department where he taught BIED Classes and helped prepare students for the TExES state exam.
He has taught courses internationally/nationally dealing with Linguistically and Diverse Populations at the University of Bethlehem, Palestine, Mexico City and John Hopkins University. He has been recognized in news outlets such as Telemundo Houston, NBC Universal and La Voz de Houston, Houston Chronical Media Group for his summer Academy serving first generation Migrant/Immigrant College students.
Los gigantes del bilingüismo: Historical Perspectives of Bilingual Education in Texas
By Rudy Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Dr. George Isadore Sánchez
Professor of Education
University of Texas at Austin
October 4, 1906 – April 5, 1972
A Tribute to “Si Se Puede”
In the introduction to the Proceedings of the First National Conference on Bilingual Education held in Austin, April 14 and 15, 1972, Dr. Severo Gómez, Associate Commissioner, TEA, described Dr. George Sánchez “as one of the first voices for bilingual education. Dr. Sánchez pointed to the plight of the Mexican - American student when it was not a popular thing”. This was at a time the schools’ instructional program was governed by harsh English – only requirements with deeply rooted manifestations of the ethnocentric proclivities of the larger American society.
These institutionalized requirements were for decades used by educators to sanction punitive actions taken against Mexican - American children who violated the English - only rule supported by state law.
The segregated Mexican schools that operated in the 1920s and through the 1960s were stark reminders of the severity of the assimilationist practices of the time. Dr. Sánchez argued in court cases, such as the Delgado v. Bastrop case in 1948 and Hernández v. Driscoll case in 1957 that the segregated schools for the “language handicap” (label used to describe non-English speakers) was not the sole criterion for isolating the children. Indeed, Sánchez further argued, Mexican - American children were assigned to segregated schools purely on the basis of surname when is fact many were more fluent in English than Spanish.
Dr. Sánchez fought fiercely for the civil rights of Spanish-speaking children and for the dismantling of the segregated Mexican schools many years before the U.S. Civil Rights Act was enacted in 1964. He later embraced bilingual education as a viable educational alternative to English-only schooling.
In the 2014 biographical text documenting the life of Dr. Sánchez, Texas A&M Professor Carlos Blanton portrays Sánchez as a relentless warrior who fought for the vulnerable and the least powerful. He was without a doubt an indefatigable defender of human rights. His actions represented a critical pivotal point in the reinvention of education for a community of young learners who had gone through a school program run amok with racist practices embedded heavily in the administration and instructional systems of the schools.
In his final remarks delivered by Dr. Severo Gómez at the opening session of the bilingual education Austin conference, he touted the impactful influence of Dr. Sánchez, as follows:
“When the true history of the Spanish-speaking population of the nation is written, George I. Sánchez will be listed among those at the top. A él le dedicamos esta conferencia. Que en paz descanse.”
Soon after his death in 1972, the National Education Association sponsored the George I. Sánchez Memorial Award to recognize him as the “father of the movement for quality education for Mexican-Americans.”
In 1995, the University of Texas made its biggest institutional commitment honoring the work of this outstanding educator and civil rights activist when it renamed the College of Education building the George I. Sánchez building.
Legislative Corner: Updates of the 87th Texas Legislature
By Mr. Jesse Romero, TABE Lobbyist & Dr. E. Gonzalez, TABE Legislative Chair
Now that the 87th Legislature is over, the Texas Governor will decide by June 20th to sign bills into law, let them become law without his signature, or veto them. This legislative session saw
five great bills pass supporting emergent bilingual students. As such TABE was very instrumental as we supported these bills with phone calls to House and Senate Education staff, emails and supplied written testimony. Below is a brief recap, or simply hit the link and it will take you to the full text of the bill:
87(R) HB 1744 In total, TABE secured $2,425,736 for both the Bilingual Teacher Scholarship program and the Teacher Aide Exemption in a very difficult budget funding Session. TABE secured $1,462,500 for the Bilingual Teacher Scholarship program that to date has produced over 900 qualified Bilingual Teachers in Texas classrooms. In addition, $963,236 was secured for the Teacher Aide Exemption which grants Teacher Aides financial incentives by covering tuition and fees so long as the student agrees to become enrolled in a Texas University and seek teacher certification to serve in our classrooms;
HB 2256 by Rep. Guerra/Sen. Creighton will establish a teaching certification in Bilingual Special Education. These certified Bilingual Special Education teachers will provide services that can meet the student’s language needs and address the student’s disabilities and delays;
SB 560 by Sen. Lucio/Rep. Guerra will establish a State Strategic Plan for Bilingual Education. This plan will include tangible goals and timelines to increase the number of educators certified in bilingual education, increase the number of one-way and two-way dual language programs;
SB 2066 by Sen. Menendez/Rep. Dutton updates the Education Code to change the term “limited English proficient” to "emergent bilingual," a term better reflecting students' bilingual potential and strengths; and
SB 2081 by Sen. Menendez/Rep. Talarico sets a new pre-k class size cap of 22 students per class. Manageable pre-k class sizes will help students of all linguistic backgrounds be ready for Kindergarten and strong readers by third grade.
We like to thank our legislators and their staff for all their work to ensure these bills got a voice and a voice and eventually were passed. We also like to thank our TABE president, its Board and affiliates for all their support. Muchas gracias a todos.
In the Spotlight: Celebrando a nuestros futuros líderes bilingües
San Benito CISD celebrates Newcomer Leadership Academy participants
By Special to the Star, MyRGVNews
Earlier this month, approximately 40 San Benito High School (SBHS) students, participants in the Newcomer Leadership Academy (NLA), attended an event hosted by the school district’s Bilingual Department. The keynote speaker was Dr. Jose Luis Zelaya, co-founder of the Academy which is intended to empower students to experience the power of language, education and culture. The NLA program works with recently arrived students of different ethnic, gender identity, age, and grade levels and helps prepare them to succeed personally, academically, and socially. To read more about this wonderful event, click here!
Amigos PLC: Sharing Best Practices
Yoga 4 Maestros is brought to you by Cinful Joy Healthy Living-Nopal Yoga. Nopal Yoga was started in 2019 by two passionate yogis, Drs. Joy Esquierdo and Cinthya Saavedra*, who want to inspire others, especially educators, to live a healthier lifestyle. They both provided two yoga sequences at the TABE 2019 Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas. These movements in the video were selected based on the lifestyles most educators live- in front of the computer. This video demonstrates one breathing exercise, two yoga poses, and one wrist stretch; all that can be practiced at home or in the classroom. Enjoy and namaste!
*Dr. J. Joy Esquierdo is a Professor of Bilingual & Literacy Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is also the Director for the Center for Bilingual Studies. She is the Past-President of TABE. She was an elementary bilingual teacher before teaching at the university.
*Dr. Cinthya Saavedra is a Professor of Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is also the Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts. She was an elementary bilingual teacher before teaching at the university.
Beyond PK-12: News from the Higher Ed World
By Dr. Judith Marquez and Dr. Laurie Weaver
Candidates who would like to become bilingual teachers in the State of Texas now need to pass five certification exams. These include the TExES Core Subjects EC-6, the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility EC-12, the Bilingual Supplemental, and the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT), as well as a new exam. As of January 2021, all certification candidates who will be working with students in prekindergarten through sixth grade are required to take the Science of Teaching Reading (STR) exam. Questions on this exam address theories and pedagogy related to the teaching of reading in English. The STR exam is one of the requirements that resulted from House Bill 3 which was passed in the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019.
Once they are certified, teachers will have an opportunity to further their understanding of the teaching of reading. Also required as part of House Bill 3, all prekindergarten through third grade teachers are now required to attend a teacher literacy achievement academy. The literacy achievement academies include information on phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. The reading academies, as they are informally called, consist of 12 modules. Of the 12 modules, four include supplemental information for bilingual education teachers. Districts have established reading academy cohort leaders who are guiding teachers through the required reading academy modules.
BESO Tips: Sugerencias prácticas para futuros maestros bilingües
The 2020-2021 academic year is over. Woohoo! You made it! As summer approaches take the time to plan out things you may be able to do to help you make progress toward your degree and certification. A few things to consider are:
Taking a class. Perhaps the most obvious, but taking a summer class is an excellent way for you to make progress toward your degree.
Studying for your state exams. Even if you aren’t taking summer classes, it is important to still make time to do test prep. Consider forming a study group with your classmates. Meet weekly. Search for resources online. Some practice questions are available on Quizlet.
Become aware of deadlines. Each university may have its own deadlines/timelines. Make sure you are aware of them. Also, become aware of deadlines to apply for certification depending on the exams you took/are studying for. In particular if you took/are studying for the EC-6 Core Subjects (291). Its last administration date is December 31, 2021. More information can be found here!
In short, the summer is an excellent time to make progress on your studies. Stay focused on your goals—earning your degree and becoming a Bilingual certified teacher.
Un sendero, dos senderos: Dual Language Highlights
By: Dr. Xóchitl Rocha, TABE Treasurer
- TEA’s Dual Language Framework - The framework is to support districts, campus administrators, and educators state-wide implement an effective dual language immersion program to increase student achievement.
Reading Academies Biliteracy Pathways - bilingual educators developing strong literacy skills for our ELs.
Special thanks to the resilient bilingual educators that amid the many challenges this year continued to bring, they were able to support ELs and their families state-wide. So many continued to celebrate the bilingualism, biliteracy, and multiculturalism DLI students developed through their academic experiences while elevating partner language.
Thank you, bilingual educators, students, and families!
Affiliates' Voices: Stories from the Field
1-50 members: $500
51-100 members: $1000
101-199 members: $2000
200+ members: $4000
BESO $10 per member per year
For more information, please see attached letter or refer to this FAQ Document.
Austin Area Association of Bilingual Education
Rio Grande Valley - Texas Association for Bilingual Education
The RGV-TABE executive board awarded several scholarships and grants this past school year:
- 10 technology grants were awarded to current bilingual teachers to enhance virtual learning for emergent bilingual learners;
- 4 undergraduate scholarships were awarded to support future bilingual teachers;
- 4 continuing education scholarships were awarded to RGV-TABE members working towards their Master's or Doctoral degrees in Bilingual Education!
For more details, please see attached letter by Dr. Gina Garza-Reyna, RGV-TABE President.
En familia: Recursos e ideas prácticas para criar hijos(as) bilingües
On the Bilingual Directors' Radar: Latest Updates from TEA, SBEC, and USDE
As Bilingual/ESL Directors we always have so many things on our plate: compliance, instruction, professional development, finances, and the list goes on! Our goal is to simplify your busy lives by offering you a concise list of updated resources in this section of TABE Noticias. We hope you find it useful!
- New Reclassification Video: https://youtu.be/Tv5bQdI72Mg
- EOY LPAC Guidance Checklist: https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/2020-2021 EOY LPAC Guidance.pdf
- Reclassification Criteria: https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/2020-2021-English-Learner-Reclassification-Chart.pdf
Finance, Coding, ESSER Guidance, TXEL Calendar:
Covid-19 Support: District Waivers, Finance, and Grants https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/health-safety-discipline/covid/covid-19-support-district-waivers-finance-grants
Entitlement Planning Amounts: https://tea.texas.gov/finance-and-grants/grants/grants-administration/applying-for-a-grant/entitlements
Update to Fund Codes: https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/Update-to-Fund-Codes.pdf
TXEL Calendar: https://www.txel.org/Calendar
BEAM Awards and Installation Dinner
BEAM is pleased and excited to invite you to the BEAM Awards and Installation Dinner on June 26, 2021. We will be honoring our Bilingual and ESL Teachers of the Year, 2021 BEAM Honorees, and installing our 2021-22 BEAM Executive Board.
Come join us for dinner, celebration, games, and bowling. Tickets to attend can be purchased at www.beamdfw.org/events. All proceeds from this event will go toward scholarships and BESO sponsorships.