The IDRA Newsletter is published 10 times a year. Each edition focuses on issues in education, striving to provide many different perspectives on the topics covered and to define its significance in the state and national dialogue. The IDRA Newsletter can only be mailed to U.S.addresses, but pdf and web copies are available online.Click Here to Subscribe
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February 2015 Issue ~ Articles
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.
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.
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.
Low Funding for Educating ELLs Affects Students Across Texas – New Research on Education of English Learners in Middle School & High School Released at IDRA José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellow Program Symposium
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.
Meet Dr. Bradley Scott
Director of IDRA’s Educational Transformation & Innovation Department
This year, the IDRA Newsletter is highlighting our staff’s varied and diverse talents and backgrounds. Dr. Bradley Scott directs the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity, a federally-funded equity assistance center, and leads IDRA’s Department of Educational Transformation and Innovation. The department conducts professional development, including coaching and mentoring for teachers, teacher leaders, principals leaders, and administrative leadership in school districts. While it is known by many that Dr. Scott is a singer, it may not be known that as a choir director, he was named the Best Choir Director of the Year, three years running.
February 2015 Issue ~ Newsletter Plus
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).
Classnotes podcasts on culture of possibility
Busting Myths About Children of Poverty – Episode 50
Tool for Building Quality Schools – Episode 81
The Civil Rights Issue of Our Generation – Episode 88
Six Goals of Educational Equity – Episode 29
Framing Systems Change for Student Success – Episode 8
Webinar On Demand: IDRA Opportunity Matters Roundtable with Dr. Paul Gorski, “An Equity Literacy Approach to Poverty and Education”
Dr. Paul C. Gorski is associate professor in New Century College and a Research Fellow in the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University. His scholarly work in education centers on anti-poverty activism and social justice in education. The roundtable conversation included a presentation of Dr. Gorski’s work, followed by an open, roundtable discussion of these ideas. The topic of this roundtable – the impact of deficit ideologies – is an area of long-standing concern to IDRA whose core commitment is to promote education policy and practice that values all children, without exception.
College Bound and Determined – IDRA Report
PSJA Proves that a School District Can Assure that All Students are College Bound
IDRA’s report, College Bound and Determined, shows how the Pharr-San Juan Alamo school district in south Texas transformed itself from low achievement and low expectations to planning for all students to graduate from high school and college. In PSJA, transformation went beyond changing sobering graduation rates or even getting graduates into college. This school district is changing how we think about college readiness.
Six Goals of Education Equity
Every child in each school district, of any background, should have the chance to excel. Schools must ensure that all students are on track to graduate, prepared for college. To help schools and communities look together at these goals and create a plan of action, the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity has outlined Six Goals of Educational Equity that school personnel and communities can use as a yardstick to measure their progress and as a lightning rod to galvanize change.
Video: Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – Valuing Students
A teacher describes what it means to “value youth” in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program. [00:36]
Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program winning essays
IDRA’s Quality Schools Action Framework™
Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework
At a time when public education makes a world of difference to our students, communities and economic success, many are looking for strategies that will work for them and that will last. Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework shows how communities and schools can work together to strengthen their capacity to be successful with all of their students.