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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September 2012 Issue ~ Articles


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Focus ~ Change Strategies

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

ISSN 1069-5672

The Challenge of Seeing – Shaping the Sixth Generation of Civil Rights and Educational Equity
Beginning with the Brown vs. the Board of Education Supreme Court ruling in 1954, this nation has passed through several phases – or generations – of tending to civil rights in education. We have moved from focusing on desegregation to equitable access for all students and later to systemic equity and accountability. Bradley Scott, Ph.D., director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity, describes how we are now entering into a sixth phase that is challenging us to be more focused on rigorous curriculum being presented by highly qualified teachers under the supervision of dynamic leadership. He says that this new sixth generation is calling us to examine the quality, correctness and suitability of the inputs to produce different outcomes for all learners regardless of their differences.

Listen to a Classnotes podcast episode on the Sixth Generation of Civil Rights and Educational Equity.

Science Classroom Strategies for English Learners – Learning with the iPad and Other Tablets
The iPad and other tablets have many possibilities for use in the classroom when applied to real-world circumstances that engage students in analyzing situations and applying critical and creative thinking to find reasonable solutions. In a three-part series of articles, Veronica Betancourt, M.A., and Paula Johnson, M.A., are sharing how use of the iPad and other tablets can be maximized in multiple contexts: learning with the iPad, teaching with the iPad, and leading with the iPad. This first article focuses on learning with the iPad and other tablets.

Identification and Assessment Issues Raised in English Learner National Evaluation of Title III Implementation
The American Institutes for Research recently released a national study conducted for the U.S. Department of Education regarding Title III education of English learners. In this article, Albert Cortez, Ph.D., discusses the study’s findings in the areas of EL student identification, assessment and exiting practices. He concludes that, absent some uniformity, EL student populations are subject to the whims and political leanings of state political leaders who may have limited interest in identifying – and thus being required by law – to provide specialized educational services to EL students residing in their communities. 

Can’t Wait to Celebrate 100% Graduation in Texas
In this statement, Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA President and CEO, comments on the Texas Education Agency’s latest dropout study. She cautions that improved graduation rates are likely to be reversed due to lack of equitable investment in education, recent budget cuts, particularly in dropout prevention programs, and a return to student tracking.

Other short story…

Lady Bird Johnson Centennial Symposium on Early Childhood Education
November 8, 2012, at Texas State University ,
San Marcos

September 2012 Issue ~ Newsletter Plus 

Classnotes podcasts on teaching English learners in math and science:

Visual Literacy in Math and Science – August 29, 2012

How Does it All Add Up? – May 31, 2012

Science for English Learners #1 – March 30, 2012

Data and Vocabulary in Math and Science – March 9, 2012

Science Success for English Learners – August 26, 2011

Learning Content Learning English – September 30, 2010

Teaching Opportunities through Discovery on Science – May 19, 2008

Science in Early Childhood Bilingual Classrooms – September 14, 2007

Six Goals of Education Equity – flier in English and Spanish, related articles and podcasts

Seven Actions for Fulfilling the Promise of Mendez and Brown available online or in print from IDRA

National Evaluation of Title III Implementation – Report on State and Local Implementation by the American Institutes for Research (2012)

IDRA’s Education of English Language Learners in U.S. and Texas Schools – Where We Are, What We Have Learned and Where We Need to Go from Here – A 2009 Update gives an overview of increasing numbers of ELL students, distribution of ELL students, increasing diversity and varying languages, instructional programs provided, and funding provided to ELL programs along with recommendations.

Science Instructional Strategies for English Learners ~ A Guide for Elementary and Secondary Grades is a practical resource with seven research-based strategies for instruction of English learners in science with teaching learning premises, research support, essential teacher competencies, and steps for strategy implementation – along with a matrix of techniques for implementation.

Semillitas de apprendizaje™ is a bilingual (Spanish/English) supplemental early childhood curriculum based on the art of storytelling. It focuses on literacy development and has culturally-relevant materials for early childhood and primary grades.

Sample Semillitas de aprendizaje™ story flipbook

Fair Funding Now! online Crowdmap


Fair Funding Now! website

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.