(October 26, 2006) In May, 2006, the Texas Legislature passed a measure to fund an initiative to help prepare and graduate all Texas students from high school. Learn what your high school allotment funds can be used for and ways to maximize impact for students. Dr. Albert Cortez, director of IDRA’s Institute for Policy and Leadership, is an expert on education policy at the local, state and national levels. He outlines ways the new high school allotment can strengthen your school’s holding power, the importance of measuring results and opportunities the new funds present. Albert is interviewed by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center.
01:10 Aurelio summarizes the mission and work of IDRA.
01:20 Aurelio invites listeners to leave feedback through e-mail to
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01:47 Aurelio invites listeners to subscribe to the podcast -- free of charge -- through iTunes.
01:55 Aurelio introduces the topic of this episodes and introduces Dr. Albert Cortez.
02:45 Albert explains the new high school allotment in Texas, and its purpose.
03:07 Albert discusses how the new funding may be allocated.
03:53 Albert discusses whether the new resources can be used at the elementary and middle school levels.
04:29 Albert explains why the emphasis of the legislation is on grades 9-12.
04:42 Albert explains the accountability system for the new allotment.
05:30 Albert talks about where schools can find case studies on effective ways of allocating their new funds.
06:19 Albert talks about key things administrators should consider when deciding how to allocate their new funds.
07:21 Albert addresses the question of whether the new money can be used to expand existing programs.
08:15 Albert explains how much additional money schools will be receiving, and that the amount is based on school attendance.
08:45 Aurelio asks whether the schools are receiving a one-time allotment.
09:24 Albert explains how IDRA can work with schools and districts on developing a plan to use their new allotment, and on evaluating programs already in place.
10:17 Albert explains that IDRA can also work with schools on researching successful case studies.
10:46 Albert explains how IDRA can support schools in actually carrying out new programs.
11:27 Aurelio asks whether IDRA could do a research design around the new programs being implemented.
12:10 Aurelio asks Albert to describe best- and worst-case scenarios for using the new allotment.
13:38 Aurelio asks whether there should be any red flags in adopting a program that research shows has worked well elsewhere. Is there such thing as a “silver bullet”?
16:09 Albert and Aurelio talk about key issues surrounding schools’ AYP (adequate yearly progress).
17:53 Albert discusses how the new high school allotment will give school new opportunities to address long-standing challenges such as low graduation rates.
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