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Thursday, 27 October 2016

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See IDRA’s latest annual report, The Power of Possibility: How IDRA and Our Partners are Transforming 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.


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Across the country, this is a time for getting ready. Families are gathering supplies. Teachers are arranging their rooms. Principals are preparing their staff. To help you get ready for a great year, we have some new service offerings in the areas of: STEM makerspaces, English learner education, project-based learning, dropout prevention, early childhood education, and more.

Differences as Deficiencies – The Persistence of the 30 Million Word Gap
Hart & Risley introduced the so-called “word gap,” referring to one of their most popular conclusions in which they estimate that, by the time children enter school at age 3, there would be a 30 million gap in words heard, on average, between children of poor parents and children of professional parents. This conclusion has garnered much media attention and numerous local initiatives across the country. Yet, as Sofía Bahena, Ed.D., describes, several experts in the education and linguistics field have raised concerns about the study’s measures, data collection, theoretical basis, conclusions, and sampling.


Latest issue of the IDRA Newsletter focusing on Culture of Poverty vs. Culture of Possibility
This issue of the IDRA Newsletter provides stories about open source technology tools, problems with the 30 million word gap perceptions, and exceptional student essays. In the culture-of-poverty perspective, the traits (and deficits) of students are the focus. But IDRA’s culture of possibility frame recognizes the assets of students and focuses on the responsibility of the institution.


“Equity-Centered Capacity Building for Stronger Schools” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 165
Seeing the fragmentation of school reform efforts across the country, a group of experts came together to pull together capacity-building approaches for school and system change. This network offers a lens, skills and specific strategies to support school systems, communities and states to address issues of power, race, poverty, special education status, gender and other dynamics of difference, as well as historical community, cultural and political tensions as they relate to the healthy functioning of school systems. Sheryl Petty, Ed.D., of the Movement Tapestries and Management Assistance Group, gives an overview of this new network and the journal that was published earlier this year, Essential Approaches for Excellence & Sustainable School System Transformation. She also describes three capacity building communities of practice that need to be connected in this work. Sheryl is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., former director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity, who also contributed a chapter in the ECCBN journal.


The Role of Conversation in the Classroom – Promoting Student Voice through Instructional Dialogue
In order to assess what students are thinking and how they are learning, we have to get them talking. This strategy for teachers is instrumental in the development of academic vocabulary for all students, especially English learners. Paula Johnson, M.A., investigates the role that conversation plays throughout instruction toward building teacher capacity and student self-efficacy in subject matter knowledge.

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