Using inclusive, cutting edge and broad based strategies, IDRA develops leadership within communities, schools, and policymaking bodies to create collaborative and enlightened educational policies that work for all children.
Learn more about significant education policy issues at state and national levels by selecting a box at the bottom of this page.
IDRA Policy Issues in 2015 for Texas
Much is at stake as the Texas Legislature convenes in Austin this January. See IDRA’s policy issues for this session in Texas. The issues include: fair funding, special program funding, access to instruction for ELL students, quality curriculum for all students, accountability that doesn’t hurt children, access to early childhood education, education of immigrant children, access to high quality teaching, higher education access for success, and public funding for public schools.
ESEA Reauthorization Measure Fails to Protect Student Civil Rights or to Promote Student Success
IDRA released a statement today on the U.S. House of Representatives passage of the Student Success Act. On July 8, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives voted (218 to 213) in favor of HR 5, the Student Success Act, which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). While much debate has circled around the uncompromising nature of the latest iteration of the ESEA, known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the House has abandoned key civil rights protections in HR 5 and seeks to turn back the clock on the progress achieved to date.
Key Issues in ESEA Reauthorization that Are Vital to Ensuring High Quality Education for All Students
The U.S. Congress plays a pivotal role in helping states achieve this goal as it considers reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). IDRA’s track record in educational pedagogy, research and policy on behalf of minority and at-risk school children and emerging communities forms a strong basis for its policy recommendations at the federal level. See the key issues IDRA has identified that must be addressed in any proposed federal policies impacting students.
IDRA Calls for Greater Federal Role in Education
In testimony presented before the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission, IDRA stated that it is imperative that new federal policies be adopted to protect the right to equal educational opportunities for all of our students in every state. “When families can’t count on their neighborhood public school to be funded equitably, something has gone deeply wrong in America.” See IDRA’s three recommendations.
Education Funding in Texas
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Court Rules Again that Texas School Funding Must Serve All Students Equitably
The Texas District Court, Judge John Dietz presiding, ruled in August of 2014 that the Texas school finance system violates the Texas Constitution. Judge Dietz ruled that the current funding system is “constitutionally inadequate, unsuitable and financially inefficient.” Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA President & CEO, said: “The state of Texas has struggled with inadequate, inequitable education funding for far too long – perpetuating funding schemes that value some groups of schools and students over others. That was the old Texas. It is time for the new Texas – one that provides equal educational opportunity not for just some – but for all of its children.”
Infographic: Texas School Funding Equity Gap
See IDRA’s new graphic showing how some children are considered more valuable than others in Texas. It doesn’t have to be this way. (shareable web graphic, png)
Infographic: State Ranking in Education Funding
See IDRA’s graphic showing Texas' rank of 43 in education funding per student. It doesn’t have to be this way. (shareable web graphic, png)
Infographic: High School Attrition in Texas
See IDRA’s graphic showing how Texas public schools are losing one out of four students. It doesn’t have to be this way. (shareable web graphic, png)
Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs in Texas
Almost 10 years ago, IDRA gave voice to the thousands of Texas public school students who were being criminalized, ostracized and stigmatized for “offenses” that were formerly managed by a simple timeout or even a visit to the principal’s office with its seminal assessment of Texas DAEPs. IDRA’s latest policy update released March 2009, shows that in the last decade, more than three quarters of a million students have been sent to DAEPs. Four out of five students of them are not there because of serious offenses. Put simply, DAEPs are a mess. They don’t work for kids, they don’t work for schools, and they don’t work for Texas.
Read Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs in Texas – A 2009 Update (pdf)
Access to Quality Curriculum Weakened in Texas
Three out of four parents of teens in the Texas Rio Grande Valley have not received info about the new tracking policies and graduation plans
The Equal Voice-Rio Grande Valley Network surveyed more than 1,600 parents about their knowledge about Texas’ curriculum tracking policies and new graduation requirements. Few parents across 24 school districts and 30 cities in the Rio Grande Valley had received information from their children’s schools. IDRA analyzed the survey data and developed a report with the survey’s key findings, implications, and recommended next action steps for communities. Results were shared at an event and press conference in August 2015. See the bilingual infographic and the report as a PDF or on Slideshare.
Bilingual Flier on the New Texas Graduation Requirements
The Texas Legislature changed the graduation requirements for Texas students. The Texas diploma is no longer standard across the state. Some rigorous courses are no longer required by Texas, which means many students may not be prepared for college. But it doesn’t have to be this way. See this one-page flier for an overview of the requirements and what families, schools and communities can do. (also available for black and white printing)
What Parents Want to Know about the New Texas Graduation Guidelines
The new Texas graduation guidelines went into effect with incoming ninth grade students in the 2010-11 school year and contain critical information we must provide parents, educators, students and community members. As educators, we are obligated to inform parents and students of the consequences related to each track or program. Rogelio López del Bosque, Ed.D, provides some quick facts for schools to convey -- in a language that is comprehensible for each family. The information is based on the questions parents have been asking IDRA about the new guidelines.
IDRA publications related to education policy