IDRA Classnotes Podcast 216

Education Policy Fellows Get Things Done in the Suppression Session – Podcast Episode 216 | Classnotes Podcast 216

IDRA Classnotes Podcast 216Classnotes Podcast (December 13, 2021). The policymaking process is more complicated that Schoolhouse Rock would have you believe. IDRA’s policy fellows got a crash course during the 2021 Texas legislative sessions on how the process excludes many community voices and how they were able to transcend those barriers to make a difference for communities of color.

As IDRA’s groundbreaking Education Policy Fellows Program closed its inaugural year, we sat down with our four fellows to reflect on their experience. With this program, IDRA set out to change the landscape of state education advocacy by training advocates with a commitment to and experience with communities of color to influence state laws and lead a powerful network of impacted communities.

Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA National Director of Policy, Advocacy and Community Engagement, led the conversation with fellows: Dr. Altheria Caldera, Araceli García, Thomas Marshall III and Christina Quintanilla-Muñoz, M.Ed. In this the third of four episodes, as they discuss the good, bad and ugly of the 87th Texas legislative session.

The IDRA Education Policy Fellows Program that operated from November 2020 through July 2021 was generously supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Trellis Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and in partnership with the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship, facilitated by Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service.

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Show length: 26:44 min.


IDRA Education Policy Fellows 2020-21 Profiles

IDRA Launches Education Policy Fellows Program – Fellows Will Engage a Network of Impacted Communities to Transform Education Policymaking, August 28, 2020

A Case for Changing How We Label “English Learners,” Highest Aspirations Podcast, Ellevation Education, featuring Araceli García, September 28, 2021

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Show Notes

  • Christina gives an overview of the fellows’ work during the legislative sessions.

  • Araceli talks about writing a piece of the legislation for SB 560, for emergent bilingual students, that ultimately became law.

  • Araceli considers the challenging issues addressed by the Texas Legislature, and the highs and the lows that she and the fellows experienced through the sessions.

  • Altheria offers her general impressions of educational policymaking in the legislature, and the lack of integrity and transparency that she observed.

  • Thomas talks about the changes needed in how the legislature operates so that a wide array of community interests can truly be heard and represented.

  • Christina recounts her proudest accomplishment from the legislative sessions - contributing to an amendment for the expansion of HB5 - and explains how Thomas became her “brain soulmate” during the process.

  • Altheria reflects on the moment she realized that an “everyday person can make such a difference” in the legislative process.