COVID-19 Updates: Visit our Learning Goes On site for news and resources for supporting educators, families, policymakers and advocates.

Learn More

Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework

About the Contributors

About the Editors

María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., is president and CEO of IDRA. A nationally-recognized expert on the prevention and recovery of dropouts, her doctorate is in research and evaluation. Her lifetime concern with youth – especially youth who are minority, poor or limited-English-proficient – has provided inspiration and vision for many communities across the country. (formerly María del Refugio Robledo, Ph.D.)

Christie L. Goodman, APR, coordinates IDRA’s print and online communications. Accredited in public relations, she has a bachelor’s degree in advertising with minors in sociology and art.

About the Contributors

Veronica Betancourt, M.A., was lead developer of IDRA’s Science Smart! professional development model. A former classroom teacher, her master’s degree is in bicultural/bilingual studies and she is a doctoral student in school improvement.

Hector Bojorquez, a former teacher himself, guides schools in technology integration. He led development of the IDRA School Holding Power portal.

Kathryn Brown created IDRA’s Math Smart! professional development model. She now is an instructional designer with Edvance Research.

José A. Cárdenas, Ed.D., is the founder and director emeritus of IDRA. Now retired, he is nationally recognized as a school finance expert and civil rights advocate for equitable educational opportunity.

Albert Cortez, Ph.D., an expert on minority education policy and education research. His doctorate is in cultural foundations of education with a support area in educational administration.

Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., creates research-based and scientifically-based programs and products. A medical anthropologist by training, she also researches and advises on cross-cultural medical ethics. (formerly Josie D. Supik, M.A.)

Kristin Grayson, M.Ed., researched and developed the IDRA engagement model of sheltered instruction for English language learners. A former school teacher and administrator, she has a master’s degree in bilingual, ESL, and multicultural education and is a doctoral student in leadership studies.

Roy L. Johnson, M.S., directs IDRA’s research and evaluation and coordinates IDRA’s annual attrition studies, which monitor the number of students lost from public school secondary enrollment in Texas. His master’s degree is in urban studies.

Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., leads IDRA’s innovative parent engagement work and developed its trainer of trainers model. A former public school teacher at all levels, his master’s degree in bilingual education.

Laurie Posner, M.P.A., focuses on community-based strategies and partnerships to strengthen neighborhood public schools. A National Urban Fellow, her master’s degree is in public administration.

David G. Ramirez, Ph.D., is president of The Inova Center, Ltd., working with school districts in the areas of evaluative research and the development of solutions to accountability. A Ford Foundation Fellow, his doctorate is in psychology.

Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., designs and leads projects to strengthen school-family-community partnerships and to build cross-sector, multicultural alliances to improve education. A former teacher and assistant superintendent and trained in clinical psychology, her doctorate is in education with emphasis in evaluation.

Bradley Scott, Ph.D., leads training and technical assistance to schools in race and human relations and equitable schooling. An expert in early childhood and elementary education, he holds a doctor of philosophy with a concentration in educational administration.

Adela Solís, Ph.D., a former bilingual teacher, has extensive expertise in bilingual education and ESL instructional methods. She designs mentoring programs for beginning teachers and holds a doctorate in education with a specialization in applied linguistics.

Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D., directs IDRA’s training and technical assistance to school districts. He has unparalleled expertise in program management, effective technical assistance delivery, curriculum development, and implementing and facilitating innovative models for school change. His doctorate is in curriculum and instruction.