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Friday, 06 March 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!





“A School District Vision for ELL Education” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 149
(March 6, 2015) In an environment where the pressure on educators is to push English and show results on English-language tests has been an excuse for side-stepping research and best practices, the effect has been dismal academic performance among English language learners. IDRA’s 2015 inaugural IDRA José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellows Program symposium highlighted research for Texas showing that ELLs are among the lowest academically performing groups of students, particularly in middle school and high school. In this podcast episode, dual language coordinator Rosalva Silva, however, describes her vision for her school district that ELL children have the opportunity to become bilingual, bicultural and biliterate. With her leadership in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district, Ms. Silva is making sure teachers and administrators understand and use effective strategies for educating ELLs that give students a strong academic foundation in their native language, which catalyzes their learning of English. Ms. Silva and her sister Rosario Lucero, a retired educator from the Raymondville school district, are interviewed by Laurie Posner, MPA, director of civic engagement at IDRA. 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.


Register today for the Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute on April 23 in San Antonio
Family Leadership for Student Success ~ Liderazgo familiar en pro del éxito estudiantil

This popular annual institute offers families, school district personnel and community groups from across Texas the opportunity to network, obtain resources and information, and receive training and bilingual materials on IDRA’s nationally-recognized research-based model for parent leadership in education. This institute is interactive and participatory and all presentations are bilingual (English-Spanish). #AllMeansAll    #TodosSonTodos


Latest issue of the IDRA Newsletter Focusing on Culture of Possibility
Take a look at our latest newsletter with articles about the culture of possibility (juxtaposed to the “Culture of Poverty” myth) – Arkansan Parents “Pushing Beyond the Breaks,” advancing the culture of promise and possibility, how culture-of-poverty thinking shortchanges students and families, news about IDRA’s ELL symposium  and a new staff feature: meet Dr. Bradley Scott, director of IDRA’s Educational Transformation & Innovation Department. 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.



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