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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

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See IDRA’s latest annual report, The Power of Possibility: How IDRA and Our Partners are Transforming 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.


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“Equity-Centered Capacity Building for Stronger Schools” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 165
Seeing the fragmentation of school reform efforts across the country, a group of experts came together to pull together capacity-building approaches for school and system change. This network offers a lens, skills and specific strategies to support school systems, communities and states to address issues of power, race, poverty, special education status, gender and other dynamics of difference, as well as historical community, cultural and political tensions as they relate to the healthy functioning of school systems. Sheryl Petty, Ed.D., of the Movement Tapestries and Management Assistance Group, gives an overview of this new network and the journal that was published earlier this year, Essential Approaches for Excellence & Sustainable School System Transformation. She also describes three capacity building communities of practice that need to be connected in this work. Sheryl is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., former director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity, who also contributed a chapter in the ECCBN journal.


The Role of Conversation in the Classroom – Promoting Student Voice through Instructional Dialogue
In order to assess what students are thinking and how they are learning, we have to get them talking. This strategy for teachers is instrumental in the development of academic vocabulary for all students, especially English learners. Paula Johnson, M.A., investigates the role that conversation plays throughout instruction toward building teacher capacity and student self-efficacy in subject matter knowledge.


Youths in Action – Intergenerational Leadership
Young people informing their community about environmental problems, presenting about their experiences with dual credit classes in high school, and organizing field trips to a local college – all of these are aspects of leadership modeled by youths from neighborhoods that outsiders often claim don’t value education. Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., describes how a group of 20 youths launched a campaign to inform the community and to present testimony to the city council and the county commissioners on the issue of environmental justice.​


Six Teens Win 2016 Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program National Essay Contest Awards
Six students received prizes in a national competition among participants in the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, a nationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program. Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors wrote about how the program helped them do better in school and how they had helped their tutees to do better. Irma Tinoco wrote: “These kids motivated me to push further in my education. When you have little ones who look up to you like you’re some kind of super hero, you don’t want to let them down.”


“How Principals Can Support their Teachers” IDRA Classnotes Podcast 
(June 6, 2016) We have high expectations for our teachers. IDRA’s Quality Schools Action Framework points to teaching quality as one of the four critical components that must be addressed in any comprehensive school reform effort that will be sustained over time. But teaching quality cannot happen in isolation. The structure of the school, the school leadership and valuing climate also are essential to teaching quality. Former teacher Judith Urdiales describes how her principal, Nilka Avilés, Ed.D. (now an IDRA senior education associate) built a system of support for teachers in their school that resulted in dramatic success for students. Judith is interviewed by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., an IDRA senior education associate.


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