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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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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!





“Tutor’s Success Surprises Elementary Teacher” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 145
(September 29, 2014) Karen Leahy knew that having a Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutor work with students in her elementary classroom would help the tutors strengthen self-esteem. And she welcomed that opportunity. But she was surprised to see how they genuinely helped her first grade tutees get up to grade level in reading. Ms. Leahy is first grade teacher at the NOW Academy in the Los Angeles Unified School District and describes how she selected the students the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors would be assigned to and how the tutors were embraced by not just her two charges, but by the whole class. The IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is a research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that has kept 98 percent of its tutors in school. It works by identifying junior high and high school students who are in at-risk situations and enlisting them as tutors for elementary school youngsters who are also struggling in school. Valued Youth tutors learn self-discipline and develop self-esteem; schools shift to the philosophy and practices of valuing students considered at-risk. Results show that tutors stay in school, have increased academic performance, improved school attendance and advanced to higher education. Ms. Leahy is interviewed by Dr. Sulema Carreón-Sánchez, a senior education associate. Send comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new episodes are available.



Video about Dropout Prevention that Works
See this quick overview of how the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program impacts students and schools [01:30 min]. This research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program keeps 98 percent of its tutors in school – students who were once considered at-risk. Learn more about the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program here.

See the program up close at the Coca­-Cola Valued Youth Program Introductory Seminar October 1, 2014. 


National PTA Visits Comunitario PTAs in the Rio Grande Valley
National PTA President, Otha Thornton, visited the lower Rio Grande Valley in May to see first-hand IDRA’s Comunitario PTA effort that is spreading all over the lower Rio Grande Valley. He was invited by Lourdes Flores, co-founder of the first Comunitario PTA at ARISE. A Comunitario PTA is a community organization-based-PTA that gathers family leaders in Texas’ poorest communities to engage them on education policies and educational opportunities for their children. Also, the Comunitario PTAs were awarded by the National PTA President.



How the Common Core Must Ensure Equity by Fully Preparing Every Student for Postsecondary Success
The national network of equity assistance centers is urging educators and other stakeholders to examine how implementation of the Common Core impacts all diverse leaners. Of particular concern are those students who traditionally have been underserved by our education systems and underrepresented in positive outcomes, including students of color, ELL students, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students. This brief outlines recommendations to help educators meet the Six Goals of Educational Equity to ensure that every student is equally well served by the Common Core.



Dr. Robledo Montecel Receives San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Award
In July at its business awards event, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored IDRA President and CEO, Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, with its Advocacy Award. Upon receiving the award, she noted that the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber recently joined IDRA, MALDEF, Presente! and others to advocate for a San Antonio City Council resolution establishing college readiness as the gold-standard city-wide: “The resolution, adopted unanimously, signals that our city sees economic competitiveness and educational quality as inseparable.” She added: “Research tells us that schools that focus on college readiness for all their students are best at reducing high school dropout rates. Education is, in fact, an indispensable economic strategy.”


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