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Thursday, 28 April 2016

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See IDRA’s latest annual report, The Power of Possibility: How IDRA and Our Partners are Transforming Public Education.



IDRA’s book, Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework™. See how communities and schools can work together to strengthen their capacity to be successful with all of their students. Visit the book’s web page to get a table of contents, excerpt, related podcasts and other resources related to this book.


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“TEDx Speaker on Maker Education” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 162
Mark Barnett
, IDRA’s new chief IT strategist, was a presented a TEDx talk at TEDx San Antonio on “Everyone is a Maker, but Not Everyone has Access.” Mark is a STEM and Maker education expert who is passionate about equal opportunity technology education. In his time as a teacher and consulting with schools and other youth serving organizations he has been committed to showing that hands-on learning and project-based learning improves education outcomes and excites students. He also served almost 30,000 students in low-income and rural schools with the high-tech makerspace on wheels called the Geekbus, which has received national recognition and awards. In this podcast episode, he shares highlights from his TEDx talk including the development of “Maker Education” and his early days as a teen building a 3-D printer from a rudimentary kit from the Ukraine before most people had ever heard of 3-D printers. Mark is interviewed by Laurie Posner, MPA, IDRA senior education associate. Send comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new episodes are available.


The Power of Possibility: How IDRA and Our Partners are Transforming Public Education
We are pleased to share with you IDRA’s 2015 Annual Report, which highlights the ways in which 2015 was a pivotal year for children both in terms of progress and deepening disparities. It shows how IDRA and our partners are valuing children of all backgrounds by keeping a sharp focus on educational quality and equity. We are producing research and analyses that matter and putting in place effective programs, strategies, policies and solutions to secure public education that works for all children.​


Leaders Turn Around Schools – Transformational Equity Focus Makes College Readiness a Priority
Turning around challenged schools requires exceptional, effective leadership and practical guidance on what works for successful student outcomes (Theoharis, 2009; de la Torre, et al., 2013). Transformational leaders are agents of change directly responsible for leading, encouraging, empowering and overseeing the school-turnaround efforts regardless of their students’ circumstances. They are directly responsible for the preparation of students for college and career. In this article, Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., describes how it was this kind of transformational leadership that made a concrete difference for students at one middle school in San Antonio.



Beyond the College T-shirt Days – Transition Counseling to Ensure College Success
The superintendent of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, Dr. Daniel King, saw that many of the district’s students were registering for college, but they weren’t actually staying and completing their studies. So seven years ago, he brought in “college transition counselors.” Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., interviewed two of PSJA’s counselors: Vera Boda, PSJA college transition lead, and Cynthia Martínez, PSJA college transition specialist. This article is a synopsis of their conversation.


“Texas Higher Ed Commissioner on College Access” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 161
IDRA recently brought together researchers, K-12 educators, policymakers, family and community leaders, higher education faculty, and students to give input on the future of post-secondary education in Texas and the study of HB5 implementation. House Bill 5 was passed in 2013, setting new graduation requirements and removing the more rigorous courses from the standard curriculum. In contrast, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s plan, 60x30TX, sets a goal that 60 percent of the 25- to 34- year-old workforce in Texas will hold a post-secondary credential by 2030. At IDRA’s Ready Texas: Stakeholder Convening event, Dr. Raymund A. Paredes, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education, shares insights about how Texas students were faring under the previous curriculum plan compared to other states and what stakeholders need to examine now to assure the state is preparing all students for post-secondary success. He is interviewed by Christie L. Goodman, APR, IDRA communication manager with an introducation by Laurie Posner, MPA, IDRA senior education associate and director for the Ready Texas project. The Ready Texas: Stakeholder Convening is a project of IDRA, hosted in collaboration with the UTeach Program, College of Natural Sciences, the University of Texas at Austin. This project was made possible through a grant from Greater Texas Foundation. 

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