(August 23, 2010) Parent and community involvement in schools has too often been led by so-called experts imparting their knowledge or even sometimes preaching at an audience. Other times, there is worry that talking in-depth about education in a particular school is either too complicated for non-educators or that the conversation will turn adversarial. This summer, IDRA held an event in the Rio Grande Valley that brought together more than 140 cross-sector education stakeholders, including families, community organization leaders, public school educators, students, foundation representatives and public officials. Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center, tells how participants at the ¡YA! Es Tiempo event demonstrated how people in different sectors of a community can come together to talk meaningfully about education and create strategies for improving their own neighborhood public schools to ensure all students graduate ready for college and career. Aurelio is interviewed by Laurie Posner, MPA, an IDRA education associate. Send comments to
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* Aurelio offers an overview of the ¡YA! Es Tiempo and its purpose.
* Aurelio discusses how data from the IDRA School Holding Power Portal was presented, noting how often-complicated numbers could be discussed and understood “in a real context.”
* Laurie asks Aurelio about the launch of the new IDRA book, Courage to Connect – A Quality Schools Action Framwork, at the event.
* Aurelio explains how conversations at ¡YA! Es Tiempo developed organically, and how parents were respected. "Our faith is in what people bring to the table ... was reinforced. We don't have to think about parents as anything other than critical-thinking human beings who are children's best allies"
* Aurelio talks about the significant partnership with community-based organizations (CBOs) in the Rio Grande Valley.
* Aurelio notes the relevance of the 6th tenet in the IDRA Family Leadership Principles: “Families, schools, and communities, when drawn together, become a strong sustainable voice to protect the rights of all children.”
Show length: 16:36
Communities Using Data to Improve their Schools – June 3, 2008
School Change Strategies – April 27, 2009
School Accountability to Poor Families – October 16, 2009
Parents as Leaders in Education – May 14, 2010
Families and Teachers Communicating – November 7, 2008
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