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Events

Opportunity Matters Roundtable Series

Through IDRA’s Opportunity Matters Roundtable Series, we spotlight key issues in education quality, opportunity and equity.
When: October 18, 2016

Remote Viewing and Roundtable Discussion

With Dr. Robert D. Putnam

Held October 18, 2016rdp12-4in72

IDRA and Voices for Children San Antonio hosted a remote viewing of Dr. Robert D. Putnam’s speaking engagement on “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.” After the viewing we continued with a conversation about the growing opportunity gap in the United States and how national, state and local policy can work together to close that gap for America’s children.

This event was part of IDRA’s Opportunity Matters Roundtable Series, generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The webinar was provided by Partnership for America’s Children to its member organizations (the Voices network) with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

About our Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert D. Putnam’s latest book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, is a groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap over the last 25 years. Dr. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University.

New Research on Post-Secondary Access and Success

Webinar with Ms. Leslie Gurrola, Dr. Melissa Y. Delgado, and Dr. Edna C. AlfarHeldo

Held June 16, 2015

IDRA’s Opportunity Matters Roundtable featured Ms. Leslie Gurrola, strategy manager with the Greater Texas Foundation on the creation of the GTF Fellows Program, along with the research of two GTF fellows, Dr. Melissa Y. Delgado and Dr. Edna C. Alfaro. The purpose of GTF Fellows is to build research and teaching capacity for Texas faculty working in areas related to the foundation’s mission and strategy, which is to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete a postsecondary credential.

About the GTF Fellows Program

“Only one in five Texas students completes a college credential within six years of graduating from high school. GTF Fellows is creating a network of highly talented and committed Texas researchers working to understand barriers for students and identify solutions to help more Texas students succeed at the postsecondary level.”
– Dr. Wynn Rosser, GTF President and CEO

The purpose of GTF Fellows is to build research and teaching capacity for Texas faculty working in areas related to the foundation’s mission and strategy, which is to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete a postsecondary credential. GTF Fellows will support at least three cohorts of junior faculty from accredited Texas public universities for a period of three years at an amount of up to $30,000 per fellow per year;  selected fellows will also benefit from program-related activities, including professional development and guidance related to their intended career trajectory.

About our Guest Speakers

delgadoDr. Melissa Y. Delgado (GTF, 2014) is assistant professor of family and child development, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Texas State University (Mentor: Dr. Nancy Chavkin, Regents Professor of Social Work, Texas State University). She earned her doctorate and master’s in family and human development from Arizona State University. After that, she completed a W.T. Grant Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. She also has a bachelor of arts in psychology and bachelor of science in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University.

Research focus: Broadly, Dr. Delgado’s research interests focus on family, school, peer, and cultural settings in youth development, from early adolescence to early adulthood. Grounded in ecological and positive youth development perspectives, her work centers on the understanding of mechanisms leading to academic success, particularly among Mexican-origin adolescents. Her work highlights the normative processes shaping Latino youth well-being. Her current project, the ALCANCE Project (funded by GTF), is a mixed-method study examining how parents, teachers, and peers socialize and support Latino adolescents’ academic identity and, in turn, how academic identity is related to school belonging and academic achievement.

alfaroDr. Edna Alfaro (GTF, 2013), assistant professor of family and child development, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Texas State University (Mentor: Dr. Stephanie Brickman, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Texas Pan-American). She received her doctorate in family and human development from Arizona State University, obtained a master’s in human development and family studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at St. Mary’s University-San Antonio.

Research focus: Dr. Alfaro utilizes the ecological and academic resilience frameworks to better understand the processes by which individual, relational, and contextual characteristics relate to Latino adolescents’ and college students’ academic outcomes. She is especially interested in understanding how mothers, fathers, and siblings help Latino students achieve academic success. Additionally, her work has focused on understanding how the processes associated with Latino students’ academic success differ based on the gender.  Dr. Alfaro is currently running the Mexican-origin Student Success (MoSS) Project, which utilizes longitudinal data from college students and their parents to examine how cultural, university, parental, and individual factors work together to contribute to Mexican-origin college students’ academic success.

gurrolaMs. Leslie Gurrola, strategy manager, Greater Texas Foundation. Ms. Gurrola assists in the implementation of the foundation’s strategic plan to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete a postsecondary credential. She has a master of public service administration and a bachelor of science in journalism, both from Texas A&M University.

The Greater Texas Foundation is a statewide education grantmaker, based in Bryan, Texas. The foundation’s mission is to support efforts to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete a postsecondary education. GTF puts particular focus on helping underserved and disadvantaged populations. GTF pursues its mission by forming partnerships, supporting research, sharing knowledge, and making grants.

An Equity Literacy Approach to Poverty and Education

Webinar with Dr. Paul C. GorskiHeld February 17, 2015

This research roundtable, conducted via webinar, featured a conversation with Dr. Paul C. Gorski, associate professor in New Century College and a Research Fellow in the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University, whose scholarly work in education centers on anti-poverty activism and social justice in education.

The roundtable conversation included a presentation of Dr. Gorski’s work, followed by an open, roundtable discussion of these ideas.

The topic of February’s roundtable – the impact of deficit ideologies – is an area of long-standing concern to IDRA whose core commitment is to promote education policy and practice that values all children, without exception.

About our Guest Speaker

paulPaul C. Gorski is an associate professor in New Century College and a Research Fellow in the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University. His work and passion is social justice activism. His areas of scholarly focus include anti-poverty activism and education, economic justice, racial justice, environmental justice, and animal rights. He helped design New Century College’s Social Justice and Human Rights Concentration and Minor around these topics. He also is interested in the ways in which mindfulness practices can strengthen the resiliency of social justice activists.

Gorski is a busy consultant and speaker, working with community and educational organizations around the world – such as in Colombia, Australia, India, and Mexico – on equity and social justice concerns. Gorski founded EdChange and is serving his second term on the board of directors of the International Association for Intercultural Education.

Gorski’s most recent books include Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap, The Poverty and Education Reader: A Call for Equity in Many Voices (with Julie Landsman), Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education (with Seema Pothini), The Big Lies of School Reform (with Kristien Zenkov), and Cultivating Social Justice Teachers (with Kristien Zenkov, Nana Osei-Kofi, and Jeff Sapp).

For more resources, visit: EdChange or IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity.

Dual Language Learners and Education Policy and Practice

Discussion with Conor P. Williams

Held October 6, 2014

English language learners (dual language learners) are a large and growing segment of the student population in the United States. In eight states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Texas) 10 percent or more of public school students speak a language other than English at home.

At this IDRA Opportunity Matters Roundtable, we looked together at how children who are English language learners are faring and talk about state and federal policies and practices that impacting educational quality and opportunity.

This conversation featured a presentation by our guest, Dr. Conor Williams, on findings and recommendations from “Segregate or Support? States’ Reclassification Policies for Dual Language Learners in the PreK–3rd Years (a forthcoming publication of the New America Foundation) followed by an open roundtable discussion of ELL/DLL policy, resources and practice.

About our Guest Speaker

conor_williamsConor P. Williams is a senior researcher in the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation. His work addresses educational equity, dual language learners, and school choice. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, Talking Points Memo, and elsewhere. Before joining New America, he taught first grade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

For more resources, visit: Reclassification Rules for Dual Language Learners Matter

Research and reports by Dr.Conor Williams, New America Foundation

IDRA English Language Learner Education Website

IDRA’s publication Education of English Language Learners in U.S. and Texas Schools – Where We Are, What We Have Learned and Where We Need to Go from Here