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Friday, 06 May 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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Implementation of New Texas Graduation Requirements Needs Further Study – Ready Texas: Stakeholder Convening Proceedings Report Released
Texas adopted substantial changes to high school curricula in 2013 (under House Bill 5). Policymakers, education and business leaders, families, and students are now faced with the question of how implementation of those changes is impacting the state of college readiness and success in Texas. The Ready Texas: Stakeholder Convening led by IDRA and carried out in partnership with UTeach at UT Austin, brought together education, community, policy, foundation, business and philanthropic leaders to discuss the future of post-secondary education in Texas and to provide input on the design of a statewide study of HB5 implementation. The convening was made possible through a grant from Greater Texas Foundation. The proceedings report captures highlights from the project.


Three Signs that Your Pre-K Might Need a Make Over
​This article by Felix Montes, Ph.D., offers some guidance in this regard, through three scenarios based on comments he heard in some of my classroom observations and teacher interviews. There is no question about the need and long-term effectiveness of investing in universal prekindergarten education. The question now is one of quality. As an advocate for high-quality education for all children, IDRA is deeply concerned about this issue.


Latest issue of the IDRA Newsletter Early Learning
Take a look at our latest newsletter. Quality early education has an immediate impact on both the hard skills – language, numeracy, higher cognitive thinking – and the soft skills – social skills – that last a lifetime. Access to quality early childhood education (including bilingual programs for ELLs) is critical to ensuring academic success while valuing children’s cultural, linguistic, gender and racial uniqueness. This issue of the IDRA Newsletter includes: “Three Signs that Your Pre-K Might Need a Make Over,” by Felix Montes, Ph.D.; “Bilingual Early Childhood Education – Capitalizing on the Language and Culture of the Home and Introducing English,” by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., Consuelo Casas, and Berta A. Medrano, and Abby Gonzalez; “Technology in Early Childhood,” and our staff feature, “Meet Felix Montes, Ph.D.


Watch the Live Stream – Bilingual Parent Institute Family Leadership for Student Success – On Friday, April 29, 2016, the Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute will be held in San Antonio with more than 250 parents, educators, and community leaders. All presentations are bilingual (English-Spanish). Host a watch party and join the discussion. Send in questions for the presenters. ​



“TEDx Speaker on Maker Education” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 162
Mark Barnett
, IDRA’s new chief IT strategist, was a presented a TEDx talk at TEDx San Antonio on “Everyone is a Maker, but Not Everyone has Access.” Mark is a STEM and Maker education expert who is passionate about equal opportunity technology education. In his time as a teacher and consulting with schools and other youth serving organizations he has been committed to showing that hands-on learning and project-based learning improves education outcomes and excites students. He also served almost 30,000 students in low-income and rural schools with the high-tech makerspace on wheels called the Geekbus, which has received national recognition and awards. In this podcast episode, he shares highlights from his TEDx talk including the development of “Maker Education” and his early days as a teen building a 3-D printer from a rudimentary kit from the Ukraine before most people had ever heard of 3-D printers. Mark is interviewed by Laurie Posner, MPA, IDRA senior education associate. Send comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new episodes are available.

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