January 2018 IDRA Newsletter
This month's focus: Restoring Justice
"This problem of blaming the students - because their soul, their mind, their heart, or their community environment is deemed unhealthy - is perhaps the main reason we fall short of keeping the promise to educate all children. Today, it is time to dream together a better future, and the core of our dream must value young people - all young people - Dr. María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, IDRA President and CEO
Inside this issue...
  • Integrating the Assets of Social Justice Principles to Transform Schools
  • How Using Restorative Practices Can Prevent Exclusionary Discipline Issues
  • ESSA Requirements for Schools and Parent Involvement - New Tool for School Districts
  • Texas Charter School System Suffers Low Graduation Rates 
Restoring Justice
Integrating the Assets of Social Justice Principles to Transform Schools 
Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., and Hector Bojorquez
Nilka Avil_s and Hector Bojorquez
This article explains the five principles of social justice that a school can adopt to shift from using a deficit-based approach to an asset-based one that values all students equally. Principles of inclusion and equity, high expectations, reciprocal community relationships, a systems-wide approach, and direct social justice education and intervention can assist in transforming the overall culture of a school. Social justice requires critical reflection and real change - in heart, mind and practice. Educators must value all their students as full of potential, promise and brainpower See Article
How Using Restorative Practices Can Prevent Exclusionary Discipline Issues
Kristin Grayson, Ph.D., and Paula Johnson, M.A .
Kristin and Paula
Dr. Grayson and Ms. Johnson focus on reducing exclusionary discipline - discipline practices that remove students from the academic environment - by restoring positive relationships between students, teachers and school leaders. Restorative practices require taking an asset-based approach to educating all students, particularly minority students, boys, and students with disabilities who are significantly overrepresented in discipline rates. This requires building empathy between students and teachers through genuine relationships and reviewing and potentially changing discipline policies. Restorative practices build schools that value all students.   See Article
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eBook Resources on Student Discipline Policy and Practice

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Resources on Student Discipline Policy and Practice, second edition

Texas Charter School System Suffers Low Graduation Rates -
by María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, Ph.D.

Mar_a _Dr. Cuca_ Robledo Montecel
The Class of 2016 saw Graduation Rates of 62% in Charter Schools Compared to 90% in Traditional Public Schools

Dr. Robledo Montecel provides data on the graduation rates in Texas' charter schools showing that 2016 saw graduation rates of 62 percent in charter schools compared to a 90 percent rate in traditional public schools. These data are particularly concerning in the wake of the state's planned expansion of charter schools. Parents in traditionally underserved communities do not need for their children to be "rescued" from "bad" schools through lottery, they need strong community schools that are best equipped to help their children succeed. 
See Article

Infographic _ Pomp and Poor Circumstances

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ESSA Requirements for Schools and Parent Involvement - New Tool for School Districts
Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

Aurelio Montemayor photo
This article outlines new materials to aid school districts with parent engagement activities. These packages are adapted from four of the popular presentations during the 19th Annual IDRA La Semaña del Nino Parent Institute. The first package, "ESSA Requirements for Schools and Parent Involvement," is designed for schools to use in training families on how school districts must have plans to improve learning for all students. The 2018 La Semaña del Niño Parent Institute will be held on April 6, 2018 at the Whitley Center in San Antonio.  See Article

Bilingual Parent Institute * April 6, 2018
Special event for families, community groups and educators

This annual institute offers families, school district personnel and community groups fro m across the country the opportunity to network, obtain resources and information, and receive training and bilingual materials on IDRA's nationally-recognized research based model for parent leadership in education. This institute is interactive and participatory. All presentations are bilingual (English-Spanish). 

Highlights coming in 2018
  • Bilingual presentations on successful family engagement
  • Roundtable educational presentations
  • Parent interviews
  • Breakout sessions on education topics
  • Refreshments and lunch
  • Exhibitors, including service providers, college and universities and non-profit agencies

"There are many ways parents can participate regardless of their English proficiency. In this conference, we are realizing that there is no limit to what we can do."
- previous participant

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January 2018
The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, non-profit organization. Our mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity for every child through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college. IDRA strengthens and transforms public education by providing dynamic training; useful research, evaluation, and frameworks for action; timely policy analyses; and innovative materials and programs.

We are committed to the IDRA valuing philosophy, respecting the knowledge and skills of the individuals we work with and build on the strengths of the students and parents in their schools.