IDRA Will Co-lead Statewide Effort to Build Policy Agenda for Young English Learners
(San Antonio: June 24, 2020, updated April 30,2021) IDRA is excited to announce our partnership in launching the Early Childhood English Learner (ECEL) initiative. IDRA will serve as a steering committee co-leader with Texans Care for Children; Philanthropy Advocates (formerly called Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, TEGAC); Dr. Dina Castro, UNT Denton; and Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (TxAEYC).
The new initiative will build a data-driven, statewide policy agenda that improves the quality and equity of early childhood programs, care facilities and early grade programs for Texas’ youngest English learner students, ages 0-8 years old. The ECEL Initiative will use research, stakeholder conversations and robust policy analysis to build an agenda that we can advance during the 2021 Texas Legislative session. Policy recommendations will be released in late 2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting closure of school and childcare facilities have had severe implications for English learner access to effective and equitable bilingual education instruction,” said IDRA President & CEO Celina Moreno. “We are excited to help lead this collaborative work to ensure young English learner children have the best start in schooling possible.”
As a co-leader of the steering committee, IDRA will contribute research, data analysis and policy expertise on English learners and bilingual education policy.
IDRA developed one of the first bilingual early childhood curricula in the country and brings over 47 years of experience in research, policy, school practice and community engagement to this initiative. IDRA’s latest bilingual curriculum, Semillitas de Aprendizaje, equips teachers to build student skills in using language in various ways, through stories, prose, song and verse that are age appropriate in fostering mastery in all components of early literacy.