• IDRA Newsletter • August 2010 •

IDRA has released a new book, Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework, that shows how communities and schools can work together to strengthen their capacity to be successful with all of their students.

“The Quality Schools Action Framework helps people hone in on what’s important and needed in their local school context,” said Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA president. “A number of our partner schools and coalition organizations have used the framework to assess baselines, plan and implement strategy, and monitor progress in educating all students to high quality.”

The Quality Schools Action Framework™ is based on experience and empirical evidence that emerges from existing theories of change. It gives a model for assessing a school’s conditions and outcomes, for identifying leverage points for improvement, and for informing action.

Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework gives you a useful tool to:

  • Conceive, design and manage sustainable change at the school or district level;
  • Encourage thoughtful and coherent selection of transformative practices that are grounded in the reality of the school and its community;
  • Focus on particular strategies and/or instructional approaches (e.g., bilingual education) without losing track of the contexts that matter (e.g., teaching quality, school/district leadership, funding);
  • Inform evidence-based community collaboration and oversight in productive ways; and
  • Inform meaningful comparisons across schools and districts.
  • In conjunction with the book release, IDRA has upgraded its School Holding Power online portal that helps community and school partners in Texas examine their school data and plan joint action to improve school holding power. This free portal places accurate, high-quality information in the hands of people at the leading edge of systems change. Educators and community members can find out how well their high school campus is preparing and graduating students, what factors may be weakening school holding power, and what they can do to address them.

“Our future depends on us having an excellent public educational system, where all students graduate from high school prepared for college or the world of work, no matter what the color of their skin, the language they speak, or where they happen to be born,” said Dr. Robledo Montecel. “And this is a goal I believe we can achieve.”

Contents Include:

Foreword; The Framework; 1 The Framework Explored; 2 Levers of Change – What do we need?; 3 Change Strategies – How do we make change happen?; 4 School System Fundamentals – Which fundamentals must be secured?; 5 School System Indicators – Where do we focus systems change?; 6 Outcome Indicators – What outcomes will result?; 7 Closing – Claiming the Courage to Connect.


Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework is available for purchase from IDRA ($15 plus s&h).

Learn more about IDRA’s Quality Schools Action Framework and view the framework, see the detailed table of contents, read an excerpt and listen to related podcasts.

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

[©2010, IDRA. Updated links July 2017. This article originally appeared in the August 2010 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Every effort has been made to maintain the content in its original form. 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.]