• IDRA Newsletter • May 2006 • 

Intercultural Development Research Association • April 11, 2006

Recently, national media – from the Oprah Winfrey Show to Time magazine – are spotlighting the national crisis of students dropping out of school.

Since 1986 when IDRA conducted Texas’ first statewide study of high school dropouts, Texas schools have lost over 2 million students. That’s like losing a student every four minutes.

Schools lose almost half of their Hispanic students, close to half of African American students, and one in five White students.

Schools must make it a high priority to strengthen their student holding power.

Together, schools, parents, students and policymakers can make a difference in strengthening school holding power.

Schools must have the capacity to prepare every student for graduation and college. We must ensure:

  • All students are valued.
  • There is at least one educator in a student’s life who is totally committed to the success of that student.
  • Students, parents and teachers are provided extensive, consistent support in ways that allow students to learn, teachers to teach and parents to be meaningfully involved.

Band-Aid solutions are not enough. We must secure:

  • Equity and excellence in schools to contribute to individual and collective growth, long-term stability and advancement.
  • Statewide credible counts of student dropouts, shared accountability and evidence of measurable improvement.
  • Institution-based solutions that embrace family and community participation and draw on the strengths and contributions that students and their families bring.

Learn more about how you can join us in making a difference for children. Visit www.idra.org where you will find:

  • IDRA’s “Quality Schools Action Framework” for systems change
  • Latest state trends in attrition with county-level data and graphs
  • Seven Lessons from Texas on what’s behind the numbers
  • Vital components of successful dropout prevention and school holding power

Weak school holding power affects every Texan. It robs our children of their futures, our communities of their talent, and our state of its economic vitality.

Together we can create schools that work for all children!

Find out more! IDRA has undertaken more than two decades of research on attrition; designed and implemented the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, which has served more than 23,000 youth who had been considered at risk of dropping out and helped schools keep 98 percent of participants in school; and launched the Graduation Guaranteed/Graduación Garantizada initiative, a statewide summit on school holding power, convened with LULAC on November 4-5, 2005, that links school and community partners to strengthen school holding power.


For more information on national coverage and dropout data:

Alliance for Excellent Education (http://www.all4ed.org)

National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (http://www.dropoutprevention.org)

Public Education Network (http://www.publiceducation.org).

Intercultural Development Research Association (www.idra.org)

Comments and questions may be directed to IDRA via e-mail at feedback@idra.org.

[©2006, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the May 2006 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]