IDRA gathered more than 140 parents, community leaders, students, educators, public officials, and policymakers in July 2010 for a day of listening, dialogue and network building to improve the quality of education for all students in the Rio Grande Valley.
The event was convened at Gus Guerra Elementary in Alamo, Texas, at the invitation of Principal Ms. Rebecca Sanchez and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD Superintendent Dr. Daniel P. King. Mr. Juan Sepúlveda, director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, joined the gathering via Skype, to describe national programs designed to support school-community partnership for school change.
“¡YA! Es tiempo. It is time to close the unacceptable gaps in equity and in opportunity that hinder our children on their way to completing the great education that they deserve.”
– Dr. María Robledo Montecel,
IDRA President & CEO
During the event, IDRA released its new book, Courage to Connect – A Quality Schools Action Framework, that shows how communities and schools can work together to strengthen their capacity to be successful with all of their students.
Participants reviewed data on student outcomes and conditions at their schools across the region through IDRA’s School Holding Power online data portal, which is designed around the Quality Schools Action Framework. The portal provides interactive, bilingual access to campus- and district-level data to spark local conversations about how to improve schools and the tools to conduct more research and develop a plan of action. Data are provided on all districts in
; data for other states are not yet available.
“We know something is breaking down in the system when you have a piece of paper that says you’ve graduated from high school but you’re not ready to go to college… Our office has been around since 1990, and one of the challenges is that people don’t know this office existed. We’re trying to first let people know we’re here and let them know people have allies in the White House… but also to get beyond reports to say we as a federal government need to partner with communities.”
– Juan Sepúlveda, director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
As a result of the event, ARISE will be using the portal as part of its leadership development in the colonias. School leaders will use the information they gleaned as they plan for this upcoming school year, particularly in providing staff development training. In addition, this event set the stage for a regional summit on education in 2011, to be convened by Equal Voice – Rio Grande Valley.
¡YA! Es Tiempo demonstrated how people in different sectors of a community (students, parents, school leaders, community-based organizations, and policymakers) can come together to create strategies for improving their neighborhood public schools to ensure all students graduate ready for college and career.
"Our Texas valley is the key to the future of the state. It is a laboratory for resolving problems that that will confront the state in the future. Together we can get this done and the time is now.”
– Dr. Daniel P. King, Superintendent of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD
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