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Wednesday, 05 August 2015

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See IDRA’s latest annual report, The Power of Possibility: How IDRA and its partners are changing public education.



IDRA’s book, Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework™. See how communities and schools can work together to strengthen their capacity to be successful with all of their students. Visit the book’s web page to get a table of contents, excerpt, related podcasts and other resources related to this book.

IDRA Job Opening: Chief IT Strategist
As a full-time, senior staff member, the Chief IT Strategist will play a lead role in integrating technology both in organizational operations and in services. Applications are due August 15. See details.

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Meet Sofía Bahena, Ed.D., IDRA Senior Education Associate
This year, the IDRA Newsletter is highlighting our staff’s varied and diverse talents and backgrounds. Dr. Sofía Bahena is a member of IDRA’s Department of Civic Engagement. She has been part of a group of Latinos diligently working to establish the Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance (HLAA), the first of its kind to be officially recognized by Harvard University. As a first-generation college student and as a Latina in higher education, the mentorship and support from her community has played a critical role in her academic and professional journey.


Educating English Language Learners in Texas Middle and High Schools
Texas middle schools and high schools serve 200,000 English language learners – the fastest-growing segment of the Texas student population. They also are among the least well-served student groups, with the lowest academic achievement. And the achievement gap widens as students progress through school. This report shares key insights from the robust discussion among the participants in IDRA’s ELL symposium along with the research study conducted by Dr. Jimenez-Castellanos. The report also provides a set of recommendations useful for policymakers, educators, community and business leaders and parents.


Parents from Across Texas Share Ideas and Strategies at Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute
Nearly 300 people participated in the Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute this spring, most of them parents – and all of this with minimal advertisement, in fact, mostly by word of mouth. The institute is designed to be a forum for parents to demonstrate their roles as decision-makers and as presenters, which are the two highest components of IDRA’s family leadership model in education. In this article, Felix Montes, Ph.D., summarizes results of in-depth interviews from participants who attended the institute this year.


¿Y Ahora Qué? And Now What? – Community Groups in South Texas Work Together to Improve Education
Over the course of eight years, the Equal Voice-Rio Grande Valley Network has grown with 11 community-based organizations and seven working groups, all collaborating to give voice to an estimated 50,000 constituents in their low-income communities. Throughout it all, with funding from the Marguerite Casey Foundation and leveraged funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the Kresge Foundation, as Josie D. Cortez, M.A., describes here IDRA has provided strategic capacity strengthening support to the Equal Voice-RGV Network and its individual organizations. She highlights one initiative in particular that led to a revealing community survey about graduation requirements.


Supporting Undocumented Youth through Community Engagement
Given that children from families with at least one undocumented parent make up almost 7 percent of all K-12 students in the country, it is imperative that we as a community provide these youth with the necessary support structures to achieve their academic potential and grow up to be thriving adults.  In this article, Sofia Bahena, Ed.D., discusses  how schools, families and communities can play a significant role in development and educational experiences of undocumented youth and those who are members of mixed-status families.


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