This month's focus: Data for Actionable Knowledge
"Real, lasting change in schools comes when people are engaged at all levels, from state capitols to board rooms, from classrooms to community centers and kitchen tables, and where people have the knowledge they need to take the right steps on behalf of all children." 
- Dr. María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, IDRA President and CEO
In this issue: 
  • Office for Civil Rights Data Reveals Patterns of Inequity
  • Using Data to Uncover Facts for Strengthening Education
  • Family Leadership in Education Projects... and the Data that Drives Them
  • Corazón - A Poem for María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel
  • Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute - Save the Date: April 5, 2019
  • Call for Applications - 2019 IDRA José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellows Program
Data for Actionable Knowledge
Office for Civil Rights Data Reveals Patterns of Inequity
by Bricio Vasquez, Ph.D..
Bricio Vasquez
Ensuring all children are valued and receive a quality education requires the use of extensive data. One tool for gathering relevant data is the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) dataset. The CRDC contains comprehensive information on the patterns of educational inequities within schools and their districts. Stakeholders may use these data to better document issues of inequity and use the knowledge to inform solutions. Too often, equity problems in education are woven tightly into the culture of institutional processes such that they cannot be easily identifiable by district leadership. Tools such as the CRDC can help districts understand patterns of inequities within their own schools by making comparisons with others.  . 
by Bricio Vasquez, Ph.D., and Hector Bojorquez  
The increase in Hispanic college enrollment demonstrates a connection to and valuing of education that is in stark contrast with conventional perceptions of Hispanic students and their families that assume they do not care about education. 

Access to the proper data such as this also can spur positive change to reduce inequity in public schools. Educators can leverage data to inform their teaching and learning practices. IDRA has committed to expanding data access in the coming months to the broader education community in Texas and the rest of the nation. This will include easy-to-use yet powerful metrics and visualizations intended to help educators and families understand and act on areas in education that need focus.
Aurelio Montemayor
Being "data-driven" should not simply mean dumping data on families at school and community meetings. Data are important but only to serve the interests and drive of families to have excellent schools for all children. IDRA's family leadership model, as seen in its Education CAFE work, gives actionable data and information a prominent role.

When working with families on issues in education, it is critical to assess which issues are most interesting and relevant to them. As IDRA's Quality Schools Action Framework emphasizes, providing relevant and current data on real issues that concern families equips them as well as education leaders with a key resource they need to drive action.  
by Laurie Posner, MPA

On the occasion of Dr. Robledo Montecel's retirement, the staff asked former staff member and comadre, Laurie Posner, to write a poem. She presented her artistry, Corazón, at a celebration event in December 2018.

Call for Applications - 2019 IDRA José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellows Program
IDRA is inviting research applications for the IDRA José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellows Program. This will be the third round of this fellows program to support research that will inform efforts to secure equitable funding of public schools across the country. 
Under the leadership of Dr. María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, IDRA President & CEO, the program was established by IDRA to honor the memory of IDRA founder, Dr. José Angel Cárdenas.

IDRA will select one or more fellows who will dedicate themselves to a period of intense study and writing in school finance. We will hold a symposium that includes release of the fellows program paper. The paper and findings will be published in the symposium proceedings and disseminated to the education research and policymaker community.
IDRA Policy Issues for Texas in 2019 Released
This month, the Texas Legislature opened for its 2019 session. IDRA issued a call for attention to seven key policy issues that are essential to the state providing an excellent and equitable education for all children in the state.
  • Fair Funding that Ensures Equity and Excellence for All Students
  • Fair Discipline that Keeps Children in Safe Schools
  • Policies that Keep the Public in Public Education
  • Effective Accountability that Puts Children First and Supports Schools
  • Testing that Doesn't Hurt Children
  • Instruction for English Learners that Ensures Success
  • Higher Education Access that Expands Opportunities
Get details, including research and key resources, online.  For questions, contact our National Director of Policy, Morgan Craven, J.D., at
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See IDRA's Texas School Finance Dashboard for curated news, Twitter feeds and resources during this legislative session.

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Save the Date: April 5, 2019!
Set your budget now to make sure your group of parents are able to join us!
January 2019
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.