--------- October 2017 ---------
IDRA's Actionable Knowledge for Equity bulletin gives you info on four campaign areas: bullying and harassment, actionable data, quality teaching, and school leadership.

In this issue... 
  • Bullying Prevention Resources for Schools
  • Title IX at 45 Years Old - Progress and Pause
  • Learning by Doing with Best Practices in Project-based Learning
  • A Principal on Supporting Teachers for Student College Readiness - Podcast
IDRA's empirically-based  Quality Schools Action Framework  outlines indispensable levers of change that depend on the production and use of actionable knowledge - clear, accurate and timely information - to assess what is needed to strengthen public schooling.
Bullying and Harassment 
Bullying Prevention Resources for Schools
Bullying prevention does not happen without deliberate action. Since most school-related bullying occurs in a school hallway or stairwell followed by bullying inside the classroom (see our July bulletin), educators are faced with its impact on a regular basis. 

Teaching Tolerance has compiled a large collection of professional development tools, classroom activities, magazine articles and blogs, with sections addressing such questions as:
  • What is the connection between bias and bullying?
  • What is the most effective tool against bullying?
  • How do I know if students are being bullied at my school?
  • Which students are most vulnerable to bullying?
  • Now that I know bullying is occurring, what can I do to stop it?
  • What role do students play in preventing and responding to bullying?
  • How can I ensure none of my students are targeted by cyberbullying?
  • Why not just reassign students who are being bullied to different schedules, lockers or homerooms?
  • Are zero-tolerance anti-bullying policies necessary?

Also see...
Actionable Data 
Title IX at 45 Years Old - 
Progress and Pause
Forty-five years ago, Congress passed Title IX policy that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federal-funded education programs. The National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education just released a report on the impact of Title IX in multiple areas, "Simply by creating the same opportunities to learn for all students, K-12 schools and higher education institutions have paved the way for new levels of achievement."
However, the report also points to areas where gender bias persists that contributes to gender gaps in some areas, including STEM education.

The NCWGE report outlines research-based suggestions for encouraging girls in math and science in middle and high school as well as ways colleges can ensure gender equity in their STEM programs. 
Quality Teaching 
Learning by Doing with Best Practices in  Project-based Learning

For centuries, educators have seen the benefits of experiential learning, from classical Greek philosophers to present-day teachers. Project-based learning is such a method where students gain a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. It creates both a context for learning and opportunities for students to build non-cognitive skills as well as improve academic achievement.
Studies comparing learning outcomes for students taught via project-based learning versus traditional instruction show that, when implemented well, project based learning... 
  • increases long-term retention of content, 
  • helps students perform as well as or better than traditional learners in standardized tests, 
  • improves problem-solving and collaboration skills, and 
  • improves students' attitudes toward learning. 
It also can provide an effective model for whole-school reform.

But, research shows that student learning improves as teachers become more familiar with the structure of  project-based learning. Below are the eight critical elements of project-based learning.

Elements of PBL

See other resources on implementing  project-based learning
See resources on related research
School Leadership 

A Principal on Supporting Teachers for Student College Readiness - 
Classnotes Podcast
School transformation doesn't just happen by decree from a superintendent or principal. Systems and support for teachers and other staff must be deliberate and sustainable. This is how the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district has become a leader in connecting high school students to college. For example, at the district's College, Career & Technology Academy, two-thirds of high school students last year were in college credit-bearing classes. And the school is aiming for 100 percent.

This is the third and final part of our interview,  Linda Carrillo , CCTA principal, describes types of college credit students are earning, teacher support and how the teachers feel about what they are doing. Linda is interviewed by  Hector Bojorquez , an IDRA education associate. Send comments to  podcast@idra.org . Sign up to receive free e-mail notices  when new episodes are available. 
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.
October 18, 2017