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Education Policy

Growing and Sustaining Healthy School Districts

Healthy school districts are diverse, community-centered, and are given the support they need to serve all students.

Many systems and policies – including segregated communities, unfair district accountability measures, and harmful student testing methods – make districts unhealthy.

Learn more about IDRA’s work to support healthy school districts below.

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Healthy school districts are a critical part of strong communities – they involve diverse groups of families, students and other local partners in school governance, policy, and practice. But, punitive accountability systems, testing that punishes students and schools, and systems that take control away from communities without supporting their success create barriers to school district health. 

School districts should be accountable to their own diverse communities. School success and student performance should not hinge on a letter grade. IDRA works to grow family leadership in education, supports research-based assessment systems that are not harmful to students and schools, and researches the impacts of inappropriate state intervention in local school districts. 

Learn more about IDRA’s policy recommendations for Texas.


Changing Policy

Joint Testimony: Teaching Quality, Texas House Higher Education Committee Interim Charge #3 (Questions 1-3), September 1, 2020

Statement: Flaws of standardized testing in Texas revealed 

Article: In-grade retention is a civil rights concern 

Article: Will States Use ESSA to Undermine Communities of Color as Some Have for Voting Rights? 

Acting on Research and Data 

State Takeovers Don’t Work Issue Brief 

Individual Graduation Committees Policy Brief 

Infographic: The Benefits of Individual Graduation Committees 

IDRA EAC-South: Resources for Achieving Integrated Schools 

Engaging Communities

Habits of a Healthy School District Where All Students Thrive, by Celina Moreno, J.D., & Christie L. Goodman, APR

Communicating Effectively 

Podcast: School District Takeovers History and Today 

Data Deficit: No A-F Grades for Districts or STAAR Exams for Students 

For more resources, see IDRA’s Accountability that Doesn’t Hurt Children site.