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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Graduation for All e-Letter

Dropout Rates Still High: It's Time for Bold Action
Welcome to IDRA’s Graduation for All e-Letter. In each monthly edition, we will send you up-to-date information on the dropout issue that you can use to take action in your school and community to strengthen school holding power.

Sigue Alta la Tasa de Deserción Escolar: Es Hora de Tomar Acción Definitiva.
¡Bienvenidos a Graduation for All, un boletín electrónico (e-Letter) de IDRA! En cada boletín mensual, le enviaremos información actualizada que puede utilizar para tomar acción en su escuela y en su comunidad para fortalecer a las escuelas.

To send us a question or comment, please email us at gradforall@idra.org.
Para enviarnos una pregunta o comentario por correo electrónico, use la dirección: gradforall@idra.org.

Sign up today to receive the Graduation for All e-letter.
Para suscribirse, favor de entrar su correo electrónico aquí.

Read current and past issues

Graduation for All – Six Teens Win 2014 National Essay Contest Award – May 2014
Six students received prizes in a national competition among participants in IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, a nationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program. Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors wrote about how the program helped them do better in school and how they had helped their tutees to do better. “I never wanted to come to school, but those kids made me come to school every day. They are also the reason my grades are up, so that they can look up to me and say ‘He is really smart.’” – Nicholas Alderete

Graduation for All Don’t Slide Back, Step Up to Make the Lone Star State Great – November 2013
Texas is in the throes of a debate. Now that the legislature has adopted new policies governing diploma plans and endorsements, what will the newly-allowed curricula include? Will Texas fulfill its obligation to assure that all paths equitably prepare young people for the future or will it go backwards? This issue of Graduation for All shares resources in five key areas to support your efforts to assure that all children graduate from school and are well-prepared for their future.

Graduation for All – Principals and Principled Leadership – June 2013
The School Principal as Leader by the Wallace Foundation based on a decade of research and lessons on strengthening school leadership, asserts that effective principals: (1) Shape a vision of academic success for all students; (2) Create a climate hospitable to education; (3) Cultivate leadership in others; (4) Improving instruction; and (5) Manage people, data and processes to foster school improvement. This issue of Graduation for All highlights facets of each of these practices, as well as the underlying characteristic – principled leadership – that draws them together.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – Family Leadership – May 2013
Decades of research have shown that family engagement in public education matters. Grassroots models like IDRA’s PTA Comunitario build new relationships among families – amplifying family leadership and voice; mobilizing communities, families and schools around a shared vision for children, an in-depth look at actionable data, and a framework for action, and galvanizing joint efforts to improve public education policy and practice. With a grant from U.S. Department of Education, we have the opportunity to expand on this model and study, document and share how it works.

Graduation for All – All Students Need Excellent Teachers – April 2013
Improving teaching quality is essential to closing graduation gaps. This issue of Graduation for All focuses on strategies IDRA has undertaken in Texas in partnership with K-12 public schools, universities and communities to promote the preparation and placement of skilled teachers in high-need classrooms, particularly in mathematics, bilingual education and special education.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – From Rio to São Paulo: Benefitting 36,000 Youth – November 2012
This latest issue of Graduation for All celebrates 13 years of accomplishments of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in Brazil.

Graduation for All – Texas Public School Attrition Study, 2011-12 – October 2012
The Texas high school attrition rate is below 30 percent for the third year in a row, with 26 percent of the freshman class of 2008-09 having left school prior to graduating in the 2011-12 school year. This issue of Graduation for All brings you key findings from the study, and tools, resources and recommendations for improving graduation rates for all students.

Graduation for All – Spotlight on STEM – September 2012
With a Spotlight on STEM, This issue of Graduation for All offers a “field notes” guide to our progress in working with education and family leaders across states to improve STEM teaching and learning, including new publications and resources, effective practices for districts and classrooms and stories from teachers.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – “I used to be a student who didn’t like school” – July 2012
Since 1984, IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program has been implemented in 550 schools and has impacted 160,390 students in Brazil, the United Kingdom, the United States and Puerto Rico. But those are just the numbers. The tutors tell it best in their own way. Each year, IDRA holds a national essay contest, inviting students to share their experiences as tutors. In this issue of Graduation for All, we’ve tried to pack in as many excerpts from the 2012 award-winning student essays as we could. Congratulations to all the students, their teachers, schools and families. Your leadership inspires us.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – Excellence for English Language Learners – May 2012
In roughly a decade, the number of English language learners enrolled in U.S. public schools has increased by more than 50 percent. But substantial gaps persist between ELL students and their peers, average mathematics scores for eighth-grade ELLs have shown little improvement since 2009, and graduation rates can range anywhere from 20 to 70 percent. This issue of Graduation for All highlights a set of strategies and resources that educators, parents and community members are using to make a difference.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – Canton Youth Picture Pathways – March 2012
Mississippi faces one of the lowest graduation rates in the country. Learn how local leaders, community-based organizations, family leaders and youth are taking action in Mississippi in this issue of Graduation for All. This issue features IDRA’s Pathways initiative, through which students in Canton, Mississippi used documentary photography to share their stories and perspectives on how to expand pathways to high school graduation and college.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All  – December 2011 – Texas Dropout Rate Slightly Better, Effects of Budget Cuts Loom
For two years in a row, the Texas high school attrition rate has been below 30 percent, according to IDRA’s latest annual attrition study. Still, 27 percent of freshmen leave school before graduating. This issue brings you key findings from the study, and tools, resources and recommendations for improving graduation rates for all students.

Graduation for All  - November 2011 - Share Your Story: How are Cuts in Education Affecting Your School?
This spring, despite its constitutional obligation, Texas lawmakers cut $6.4 billion from the state's public education system. The cuts sliced into a system already weakened by inequity. Funding cuts by the state are now affecting schools in every part of Texas . How are funding cuts affecting your school? This issue of Graduation for All provides resources to put your story on the map, and speak out for equitable, excellent education for every child.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – September 2011  – Education and the American Dream
Having the opportunity to prosper, no matter what a persons’ background, is at the heart of the American Dream. But cuts to education funding that impact the quality of public education and reduce needs-based scholarships, are slicing into the core of that dream. Students from lower income families are far less likely to enroll in college then their comparably-qualified, but better off, peers. And college enrollment of middle income students is actually on the decline. This issue of Graduation for All briefs you on  the trends, spotlights what people are doing to address this, and gives you resources to make a difference. 

Also available in Spanish

Graduation for All – May 2011 – On Creating a College-Going Culture
As we race toward the end of this school year, our partners in schools around the country are working hard in the midst of great uncertainty to close gaps and improve teaching and learning. Spotlighting three interviews with school leaders, this issue of Graduation for All shares how education leaders are expanding post-secondary opportunities for all students.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – March – Dollars and Sense
Around the country cuts to core educational programs have already been made since 2008. Even deeper cuts are on the way unless we can make clear that education is a staple, not a frill. This issue of Grad4All considers what cuts like these mean for students, families and schools; highlights how people are speaking out and urges everyone to promote education as a priority.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All - What Students Say
This issue of Graduation for All shares award-winning essays from IDRA's 2010 National Essay Contest for the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program and highlights a special podcast interview with four youth Tekies, students who provided peer guidance on college-going to over 600 high school students in San Antonio. Across the board, students remind us why valuing youth matters, what youth leadership in learning can mean, and why – even in these lean times –  we must not pull back but press forward in promoting educational excellence and equity for all.

Graduation for All – November-December - Math and the Class of ‘98
How did the kindergarten class of ’98 fare in mathematics by the time they reached eighth grade? Looking back, this issue of Graduation for All shares findings from the NCES study of this national kindergarten cohort, then gives you new research, resources and multi-media inspiration for addressing equity gaps and creating more dynamic math classrooms.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All - Annual 2009-10 Texas Attrition Study - October 2010
For the first time in 25 years, attrition rates in Texas fell below 30 percent, according to the latest findings from IDRA’s annual Texas Public School Attrition Study. Still, fully 119,836 high school freshmen (29 percent) in Texas were lost from public school enrollment before reaching 12th grade. This edition of Graduation for All presents findings from the 2010 attrition study and highlights actions you can take to raise graduation rates for all students.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All - Early Learning, Science, Student Artwork and Wormology - September 2010
Though we sometimes still view it as spur-of-the-moment decision, more and more research confirms that dropping out does not happen overnight. Providing an excellent education from children's earliest years and preparing strong readers is crucial. But over half of all children are not prepared to meet “proficiency” standards on NAEP fourth grade reading tests. We can turn this around. This fall issue of Graduation for All offers new resources to support your work in promoting educational excellence and equity, from children’s earliest years.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – ¡YA! Es Tiempo– July-August 2010
In this end-of-summer issue, learn how leaders in South Texas are spearheading work to secure educational excellence and equity. Get resources to support such partnerships in your community. And download a copy of the School Opening Alert to defend the educational rights of immigrant children.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – Family Engagement – June 2010
Four decades of research, plus common sense, show that family engagement in schools matters. What can school principals do to pave the way to stronger partnerships with families? How are families going beyond involvement to take up leadership and partnership to improve schools? This issue of Graduation for All offers examples, food for thought and actions you can take to strengthen family engagement.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – Money and Equity – May 2010
With unemployment hovering around 10 percent, concerns about money are front and center for most of us. This is particularly true for states and schools. Across the country, school districts are racing toward what many see as a “funding cliff” as the infusion of stimulus funds runs out. This issue of Graduation for All brings you news and research on school funding and in the “Tools” section you’ll find five resources that cost… nothing.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – Education is a Civil Right – March 2010
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan often calls education “the civil rights issue of our generation.” If we are to secure this right and achieve equity for all students, we will need to address the fact that our current system achieves very different outcomes for various student groups and accepts very different inputs. And we will need to get better at connecting the dots between the two. This issue of Graduation for All offers resources for doing just that.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – Making a Difference: Middle School – February 2010
Over a third of all students who drop out are lost in ninth grade. It turns out that zip code – where you happen to be born and go to school – is a big factor. To make sure that youth have access to a great education, wherever they live, we need to start far earlier than high school. This issue of Graduation for All focuses on middle school, offering new research and resources to help you in your work.

Graduation for All – Classroom Culture – January 2010
For the first time in history, children of color now constitute the majority of students enrolled in public schools in the South, according to a new report by the Southern Education Foundation. If educational outcomes are to change, not just at the margins but for new majorities of students in southern states and nationwide, our capacity must improve to serve students of all backgrounds well. This issue spotlights new resources to support your work.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – Communities Leading the Way – December, 2009
You may not be a teacher or superintendent, but still you care about education and have skills to contribute. You are not alone. And with neighbors, friends, organizations or coalitions, you can partner with schools to take action. This edition of Graduation for All (in English and Spanish) offers resources and examples of how people around the country are doing just that.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – October – Annual Attrition Study Findings: Dropout Rates Demand Bold Action
This month, IDRA releases its 2008-09 study of attrition in Texas public schools. The study finds that nearly one in three students in the state is lost to attrition. In Texas and the nation, the hard but undeniable fact is that in 2009, we are losing 1.3 million students a year from school enrollment and graduating only seven in ten high school students on time with a diploma. In this issue of Graduation for All brings you key findings from the study along with resources and recommendations for changing course by: (1) knowing the issue; (2) taking a stand; and (3) adopting a framework for action.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All - September 2009 - School Opening, Hutto Closing
As summer ends and warm days give way to cooler evenings, we have the chance to rededicate ourselves to making sure that all children have access to a high quality education. This fall issue of Graduation for All brings you resources for promoting the rights of all children, including news about children at Hutto Detention Center , professional development podcasts and tips for starting the year off right and supporting first year teachers from the start. We wish you a great new school year.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – August 2009 – Great Expectations
While new research finds that over one in three teachers views dropouts as “a minor problem or no problem at all,” pro-active educators and community leaders are making a difference. This summer (July-August) issue brings you a raft of resources to support this work: from school and state-level strategies in California, to new research on engaging students to podcasts on promoting mathematical thinking and science picks to keep your classroom buzzing.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – June 2009 – Lau vs. Nichols: A Dream Deferred?
Thirty-five years ago in San Francisco , non-English-speaking students of Chinese ancestry fought for the right to equal educational opportunity under the law. In Lau vs. Nichols, our nation has affirmed that children deserve protection from discrimination and access to a meaningful public education. Today, we have the chance to make good on that promise. What we do today can shape the future of the 5 million children who are English learners in our public school system.

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – April 2009 – San Antonio to São Paulo : Dropout Program Serves 116,000
When IDRA created the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in 1984, we began with a seed grant to work with a handful of San Antonio schools. From these beginnings, the program has grown to serve over 116,000 youth in Brazil , the United Kingdom , the continental United States and Puerto Rico . The program has consistently kept 98 percent of Valued Youth tutors in school. This year marks two milestones: The program’s 10th year anniversary in Brazil and 25th in the United States .
 
Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – March 2009 – National Women’s History Month: Graduation for All Girls 
Many think school dropout rates are a “boys’ crisis.” But on average one in four female students is also lost to attrition. When girls don’t graduate, they face even starker economic hardships than their male counterparts. Women’s History Month is a chance to recognize the accomplishments of women. It is also an opportunity to take stock of where we are in raising graduation rates for girls. This issue of Grad4All is designed to help. 

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – February 2009 – From the White House to the Schoolhouse” 
As the White House gets ready to infuse public education with a $100+ billion stimulus, state and local action must also continue to take action to raise graduation rates. Visit this issue for examples from Mississippi and Kentucky and a call to action in Texas

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – January 2009 – “Seven Resolutions”
Happy new year from all of us at IDRA! As we prepare for all that is next, the January issue of Graduation for All brings you an at-a-glance review of key issues we need to tackle in 2009 along with an action agenda for school, community and family partners, and leaders.
 
Also available in Spanish

Graduation for All – November 2008 – Focus on Technology 
Where there is technology access and equity, you notice a difference when you first walk into the classroom. Computers aren’t pushed against the wall, cords dangling--and the classroom is a-buzz with energy. Find out how what you can do to make this so at your school. 

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – October 2008 – “At this rate, we’ll lose generations” 
The results are in. Texas schools are losing one student every four minutes. The state is on track to lose another 4.9 million. This issue of Graduation for All focuses on ways schools, families and communities can strengthen school “holding power” and what you can do to improve student success. 

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – September 2008 – “I am college material” 
In general, college participation of African American and Latino students is on the rise, but still trails enrollment by White students. This issue focuses on recent findings on college participation and provides resources for educators, family, business and community members poised to make a difference. 

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – August 2008 – All Students Count 
In Texas , and throughout the nation, holding on to students usually requires transformations systemwide rather than piecemeal programs. This issue of Graduation for All brings you research and resources to support this work.

Graduation for All Released – June 2008 – Youth Call for Action 
1.23 million students of the public high school class of 2008  will not cross the stage with a diploma. Youth are taking action and calling for change. This one-year anniversary issue of Graduation for All is dedicated to their perspective, energy and action – and the ability of caring adults to partner with them. 

Also available in Spanish. 

Graduation for All Released – May 2008 – Count Every Student 
Make Sure Every Student Counts. Are undercounts and a confusing mix of reported dropout and graduation rates keeping people in your school or community from taking decisive action to strengthen school holding power? This issue of Graduation for All offers three tips for taking action.
 
Also available in Spanish

Graduation for All – April 2008 – Math Paves Path
Highlights the need for high quality mathematics education for high school graduation, college preparation and access to a better job and gives you tips to make a difference. Also features a new Washington , D.C. , partnership to take on high dropout rates in the district. 

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – March 2008 – Striving for Equity, Excellence
This issue highlights new research from California on five high schools for equity, a new database for finding out how your school stacks up in terms of equity, and six goals you can adopt to achieve equity, excellence.
 
Also available in Spanish

Graduation for All – November 2007
The November issue of Graduation for All highlights new research on education in rural and southern states and cross-race leadership to raise graduation rates.
 
Also available in Spanish 

Graduation for All – October 2007
One student is lost from Texas public school enrollment every four minutes. The October 2007 issue of Graduation for All (now online in English and Spanish) relates these and other findings from the 2007 IDRA annual attrition study and provides links to IDRA’s School Holding Power Portal and other resources for schools and communities to take action now to turn the tide.
 
Also available in Spanish.  

Graduation for All – September 2007
This back-to-school issue of the e-letter provides some proven ways schools and communities can start the year off right and set a course for graduation for all. In this issue, you’ll find links to a city-wide project examining dropout data to work on this issue; resources for student engagement and school-community partnerships. 

Also available in Spanish.    

Graduation for All – July-August 2007 – Double Issue Released
In this issue: a spotlight on student engagement and new national and state level data to inform your work. 

Also available in Spanish.

Graduation for All – June 2007
In this issue: Community engagement is strengthening schools, what you can do – beyond bake sales and an action toolbox.
 
Also available in Spanish

Graduation for All – May 2007 – Dropout Rates Still High: It’s Time for Bold Action 
In this issue: Little Rock leaders craft cross-race agenda for reform, Texans call for action and New Yorkers build networks for change.
 







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