The IDRA Newsletter is published 10 times a year. Each edition focuses on issues in education, striving to provide many different perspectives on the topics covered and to define its significance in the state and national dialogue. The IDRA Newsletter can only be mailed to U.S.addresses, but pdf and web copies are available online.

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October 2012 Issue ~ Articles


October 2012

Focus ~ School Holding Power

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Newsletter Executive Editor
María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, Ph.D.

ISSN 1069-5672

Texas Public School Attrition Study, 2011-12:
While Attrition Rates Continue their Decline in Texas, Schools Lost One in Four Students

Attrition rates have continued their slow decline in
Texas public high schools according to the latest annual attrition study by IDRA. In this article, Roy L. Johnson, M.S., gives an overview of IDRA’s latest study finding that the overall attrition rate declined from 29 percent in 2009-10 to 27 percent in 2010-11 and 26 percent in 2011-12. Though this implies improvement in schools’ abilities to hold on to their students until they graduate, long-term trend assessments also suggest that it is not yet time to celebrate as the data show persistent gaps among racial and ethnic groups along with the fact that schools still are losing one out of every four students.

See the full attrition study: Texas Public School Attrition Study, 2011-12: Attrition Rate Decline Appears Promising – Though High Schools are Still Losing One in Four Students

See infographic:
Texas public schools are losing one out of four students
 (shareable web graphic, png)


Building Strong School Systems that Hold on to All Students
Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., says that without effective reform structures, equitable finances, program implementation structures, and passionate and dedicated leadership, we resign ourselves to lip service; to prevent high dropout rates and close the achievement gap, well-planned actions must be in place. In this article, she describes strategies and initiatives that research demonstrates have been not just successful in dropout prevention, but successful in preparing students for college.

An “Until Next Time” from San Antonio – On the Occasion of Celebrating 13 Years of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in
At an event in
marking the completion of the Coca‑Cola Valued Youth Program there and marking the many success stories from the program during its 13 years in
Brazil , IDRA President, Maria “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., presented a farewell message in Spanish. The message is translated into English for the IDRA Newsletter.


See also, the original Spanish-language version and the video presentation from the event.


13 Years of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in Brazil
  – What Have We learned?
IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is a research-based dropout prevention program that since 1984 has been implemented in schools across the
United States
as well as Puerto Rico and the
United Kingdom . As the program’s 13-year presence in
Brazil has recently come to a close, we reflect on its both its impact and legacy. In this article, Felix Montes, Ph.D., provides an overview of the final evaluation and lessons learned from the program in
Brazil .

See the free eBook with the full evaluation summary: 13 Years of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in
Brazil – What Have We learned?

October 2012 Issue ~ Newsletter Plus 

Classnotes podcasts on dropout prevention and student success:

School Holding Power for Every Child – January 4, 2007

Framing Systems Change for Student Success – March 2, 2007

Action for School Change – October 21, 2008

Fundamentals for School Change – April 7, 2009

School Change Strategies – April 27, 2009

Counting Dropouts – November 24, 2009

Tool for Building Quality Schools – December 9, 2010

The Civil Rights Issue of Our Generation – April 29, 2011

See the free eBook: “Types of Dropout Data Defined” 


Tool – Quality School Holding Power Checklist


OurSchool data portal – see district- and high school-level data 

IDRA Graduation for All – October 2012

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program
IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is a research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that has kept 98 percent of its tutors in school. Learn more about the program and how to bring this program to your school. 

Continuities – Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca‑Cola Valued Youth Program
This publication vividly captures seven key lessons for improving the quality of education for all students. It presents the voices of youth, teachers, family members and program leaders and the reasons valuing youth is at the heart of school transformation. It was released on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program and in celebration of its success in keeping tens of thousands of students in school and positively impacting more than half a million children, families and educators on three continents. 

Classnotes podcasts on the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program:

Teacher Perspectives of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Valuing Students and Children

Continuities with Lessons in Dropout Prevention

Student Voices on Being Valued

Creating Leadership Opportunities for Students

Leading a Diverse Campus to Success

Dropout Prevention for Students with Special Needs 

Professional Learning Communities in Schools

Learnings from the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Set of principles for policymakers and school leaders

Look Up Your County – See attrition rates and numbers over the last 10 years


Listing of other dropout and graduation studies


Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework
At a time when public education makes a world of difference to our students, communities and economic success, many are looking for strategies that will work for them and that will last. Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework shows how communities and schools can work together to strengthen their capacity to be successful with all of their students.