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Saturday, 28 February 2015

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See IDRA’s latest annual report, The Power of Possibility: How IDRA and its partners are changing public education.



IDRA’s book, Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework™. See how communities and schools can work together to strengthen their capacity to be successful with all of their students. Visit the book’s web page to get a table of contents, excerpt, related podcasts and other resources related to this book.


We’ve launched the IDRA Newsletter in a mobile-ready e-Letter format! Now you can choose how you want to receive the newsletter, which is also published in print and on the IDRA website. Sign up to get the IDRA Newsletter by email today!





Texas Underfunds ELL Education; Impacts Student Achievement
English language learners make up the fastest growing segment of the student population but they are one of the lowest academically performing groups of students, and the achievement gap widens as students progress through school. Dr. Oscar Jimenez-Castellanos, IDRA's inaugural José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellow, presented his research findings on securing educational equity & excellence for ELLs in Texas secondary schools at a symposium in San Antonio. In person and via livecast, the event gathered more than 80 education and community leaders, and experts in law and education research around the critical question of how we can improve secondary education quality and access for English learners.​



Gauging Grit – Gouging the Poor
Competing views of students and their families have great impact on education results. Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., compares and contrasts the culture-of-poverty perspective with IDRA’s culture of possibility frame that recognizes the assets of students and focuses on the responsibility of the institution. He also provides a list of “contrasts of incongruities” that are prevalent in education conversations today.



Institutional Grit and Perseverance – Valuing Students and Supporting Academic Success in the Era of the “Grit Gap”
This focus on children and grit is not actually new. An emphasis on character development for low-income children and children of color is baked into American history, describes Laurie Posner, M.P.A., as she reviews attention that has been given to student grit and character development over time. In this article, she also highlights other works that counter the concentration on student traits and instead point to school success and grittiness.



Grit and Non-Cognitive Skills – Framing the Narrative
A growing chorus of academics, administrators and policymakers are steering educational research, money and the public’s imagination to conversations around resiliency and non-cognitive skills. Words like “grit” are now consistently being used to describe a student’s ability to persevere, to face challenges and to overcome failure. In this article, María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., and Hector Bojorquez raise the concern that often these conversations are being framed in ways that yield little but negative attitudes, defeatism and deficit practices in the education of young people.



“PTA Comunitarios Focus on Strengthening their Schools” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 148
A revolutionary model of parent engagement is demonstrating how families and communities can collaborate with their schools to improve education for all students. In two earlier Classnotes podcast episodes, we outlined how to start a PTA Comunitario in three phases and then we focused on the first phase, “PTA Comunitarios are Born in their Communities.” In this episode, Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., IDRA senior education associate, discusses the second phase of establishing a relationship with a school and the third phase of taking on education projects. Aurelio is interviewed by Sofia Bahena, Ed.D., senior education associate.



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