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Wednesday, 01 April 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.


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“Civil Rights Update for English Learners” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 150
The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice recently published new guidance regarding education of English language learner students. The January 2015 statement was designed to remind states, school districts and schools of their “obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential.” Kristin Grayson, Ph.D., an IDRA education associate who works with schools to improve EL student achievement, discusses steps schools and school districts need to take to make sure they are serving ELL students and their families in ways that protect their civil rights as required by law. Kristin is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D. director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity.


Embracing the Culture of Possibility for Student Success – Culture-of-Poverty Thinking Shortchanges Students and Families
When schools operate from a position of valuing the worth of the student, the parent and the teacher they are much more likely to have success with their community. In this article, Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., presents examples of IDRA’s Family Leadership in Education Model at work, particularly as it lives in the Comunitario PTA approach. He discusses how the culture of possibility is a lens that enables us to see and focus on the assets that result in academic success for our children and the social and economic stability our families deserve.


Advancing the Culture of Promise and Possibility
The culture of poverty theory postulates that those who are poor gain a poverty-perpetuating value system. In this article, Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., and Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D., discuss how this idea is prevalent in the mindsets of many educators and the resulting dysfunctional practices that undermine the academic success of many students, particularly poor and minority students. They point to the research literature that counters the myth of the culture of poverty and call for adopting a culture of promise and possibility.


David Hinojosa, J.D., Named IDRA National Director of Policy
We are pleased to welcome David Hinojosa, J.D., as the new IDRA National Director of Policy. Hinojosa is well-known for his litigation and policy work as the Southwest Regional Counsel at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). He will join IDRA’s Director of Policy, Dr. Albert Cortez, in developing leadership within communities, schools, and policymaking bodies to advocate educational policies that assure educational opportunity for every child.



Arkansan Parents “Pushing Beyond the Breaks”
Author Bradley Scott, Ph.D., describes a recent event where almost 400 African American and Latino parents and community members gathered in Little Rock for the Second Annual Summit for Parents. This unique event, “Pushing Beyond the Breaks,” brought together families to explore many issues, barriers and conditions in public education that lead to persistently poor outcomes for their children. He gives an overview of what those “breaks” are and how the participating families have committed to take action around them.


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