(October 16, 2009) Schools, particularly those that serve low-income students, are required to provide information to parents about the schools’ progress. The intent is for parents to be able to use this data to hold their schools accountable and to be in dialogue with each other and with educators about what areas in their school need more attention. As IDRA prepares to release its latest study of high school attrition in
Texas, Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center, talks about how parents can work together to hold their school accountable and to examine the big picture of how well their children’s school is doing for all students. Aurelio is interviewed by Christie Goodman, APR. Send comments to
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* Aurelio explains the Title I requirements that schools have to inform parents about the schools' progress, helping parents to hold schools accountable.
* Aurelio discusses how IDRA's initial study on high school attrition in Texas in 1986 served as a "rallying cry" for improving academic performance, and how these days it provides a big-picture, county-wide view of dropout rates.
* Aurelio talks about the correlation of academic performance in math classes – and algebra in particular – to high school attrition, including the challenge of making math less "abstract" for students.
* Aurelio explains why accountability "goes beyond the test scores" and how parents can interpret and act on the data and reports they receive from schools.
* Christie and Aurelio discuss IDRA's Quality Schools Action Framework tool and how it helps parents identify which areas of their children's schools need more attention.
* Aurelio talks about the history of PTA groups across the country and their more recent move away from a fundraising tradition and toward a greater role in holding schools accountable for their children's academic success.
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