Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

Community Expects College Prep for All – Podcast Episode 156 | Classnotes Podcast 156

Hector BojorquezClassnotes Podcast (September 14, 2015) Community groups, parents and students came together recently with 16 school superintendents from across the Rio Grande Valley to affirm their expectation that all students be put on a path to graduate highly prepared for college.

At this second annual Mesa Comunitaria event, community leaders of the RGV Equal Voice Network Education Working Group presented results from their survey of more than 1,600 parents about their knowledge about Texas’ curriculum tracking policies and new graduation requirements. The survey found that few parents across 24 school districts and 30 cities in the RGV have received information from their children’s schools. IDRA analyzed the survey data and developed a report with the survey’s key findings, implications, and recommended next action steps for communities. In this episode, Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., IDRA senior education associate, Sofia Bahena, Ed.D., senior education associate, and Hector Bojorquez, IDRA education associate, describe how at this unique event, parents shared personal stories about barriers and successes in getting their children into college prep courses. Then participants met in cross-sector teams (families, educators, etc.) to develop action plans to work together to set college-readiness as the standard graduation plan for all students.

Show length: 13:32

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¿Y Ahora Qué? And Now What? – Community Groups in South Texas Work Together to Improve Education
by Josie D. Cortez, M.A., IDRA Newsletter

More Comprehensive Advising Needed in the Aftermath of Changes to Texas High School Curriculum Requirements
by Albert Cortez, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

Equal Voice Rio Grande Valley Graduation Requirements Community Survey Infographic

Equal Voice Rio Grande Valley Graduation Requirements Survey Results (Bilingual)
Also available on Slideshare

IDRA’s Family Leadership Principles
By Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., IDRA Newsletter

Media Coverage

School Days2015: Making Sure Graduation Means Something
by Michael Seifert, Network Weaver for the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network. Rio Grande Guardian

New Survey Finds Colonia Parents Know Little About House Bill 5
by Steve Taylor, Rio Grande Guardian.

Education Success Happens When Parents Come Together
by Michael Seifert, Network Weaver for the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network

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Show Notes

  • Hector recounts the first Mesa Coumunitara in the Rio Grande Valley that took place in 2014, and the discussions of the new graduation requirements for Texas students from House Bill 5.

  • Sofia talks about the second Mesa Comunitaria from the summer of 2015, where community groups, parents and students continued to focus on the graduation requirement and tracking plans. She also summarizes the results of 1,600 surveys given to parents to gauge their knowledge of these requirements.

  • Hector and Aurelio explain how the “power dynamics were shifting” at the Mesa Comunitaria, moving away from the institutions and toward families and community members, who were guiding the roundtable discussions.

  • Sofia shares some of the participants’ key takeaways from the event, including a new sense of empowerment among families in approaching teachers and school administrators with critical questions about their children’s graduation progress.

  • Aurelio describes how IDRA supported and empowered the planning groups in the months leading up to the Mesa Comunitaria, and the role that the Equal Voice Network Education Working Group will play in carrying out the action plans discussed at the event.

  • Aurelio and Hector discuss the commitments made by the schools to improve their communication with parents.