IDRA has gathered and analyzed data that promote a broader understanding of educational and social policy issues among public and professional decision makers.
Using collaborative and innovative methods, we investigate important questions and provide insight into compelling educational issues. As a national resource, we set standards in the design, analysis, and synthesis of timely and useful research involving diverse populations.
Learn more about IDRA Evaluation, Research and Needs Assessment Assistance.
To find out more about research results that are available online, see the list below.
Ten Percent Plan in Texas – IDRA presented testimony on March 11, 2009, that presents IDRA’s research on the probable effects of proposed changes that would limit the number of students offered automatic admission under the Top Ten Percent Plan being considered by the Texas Legislature. In 2007, to help inform the debate on the effects of the Texas Ten Percent Plan, IDRA compiled and analyzed available data on the students entering the University of Texas at Austin and all the Texas high schools that contributed graduating seniors to those incoming freshmen classes between the years of 1995 and 2006.
Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs in
– Almost 10 years ago, IDRA gave voice to the thousands of
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
Attrition and Dropout Rates in Texas – IDRA releases its annual attrition study in the October issue of its newsletter. Attrition rates are an indicator of a school’s holding power, or ability to keep students enrolled in school and learning until they graduate. IDRA has used the same methodology since its inaugural statewide study in 1986.
Education of English Language Learners in
With the current dismal state of English language learner education, major changes in state policy and local school and district practices are essential. IDRA’s latest policy update released April 2009, shows that huge achievement gaps among limited-English-proficient students and non-LEP students at the middle and high school level in particular show need for changes in policy, teacher training and evaluation. Also, IDRA presents a research-based framework that provides guidance for design, implementation and evaluation of an effective English language learner program.
Bilingual Education – IDRA rigorously and methodically studied exemplary bilingual education programs in schools across the nation as determined by limited English proficient students’ academic achievement. As a result, we identified the 25 common characteristics that contribute to high academic performance of students served by bilingual education programs.
Teacher Preparation – IDRA’s Alianza project helped several universities improve their teacher preparation programs to increase the number of teachers prepared to teach English in bilingual and multicultural environments. The project also conducted research to support universities in their reform efforts.
Education Policy Briefs – IDRA developed a series of four policy briefs in 1999 to inform community and policy decisions during the 1999 Texas legislative session. The information is still relevant today.
Literacy in San Antonio – Each decade, IDRA has studied facts about illiteracy in San Antonio with recommendations for solutions of the problem. The studies have provided illiteracy rates for San Antonio, major Texas cities, and the country. The latest study is available online.
IDRA Available Research Publications