{View as Webpage} • October 13, 2022
For almost 50 years, IDRA has advocated excellent schools for all students, using our proven model of community-centered advocacy and engagement.

Our policy advocacy, educator training and research promotes equitable educational opportunities for all students, particularly students of color, immigrant students and those from communities with limited incomes in the U.S. South. IDRA’s research and teacher training work allows for a focused, robust and holistic approach to equitable policy and practice, and provides critical insights for federal policymakers. 
In this edition, you will find IDRA’s written comments from the federal listening session in Uvalde, Texas; reflections about educational policy and practice from the 10 high school students that make up IDRA’s Youth Advisory Board; and IDRA’s featured resources from Banned Book Week.
IDRA Testifies at Congressional Children’s Caucus Listening Session in Uvalde, Texas 
On September 26, 2022, Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA National Director of Policy, Advocacy and Community Engagement, presented testimony about school safety at a Congressional Children’s Caucus listening session entitled, Federal Relief: The Next Steps for our Children, Teachers, and Parents. Convened by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Joaquin Castro, the listening session featured testimony and important policy demands from the families and teachers impacted by the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School earlier this year. 

IDRA's comments focused on the proactive policies and practices that consistently create positive school climates and decrease the likelihood of school violence. Craven discussed the ecosystem of supports and relationship-building strategies that schools should adopt. Importantly, she discouraged the use of harmful approaches to school security, like school-based policing and harsh discipline policies, that can hurt students and have not been shown to increase safety.  

IDRA’s Youth Advisory Board Provides Policy Solutions 
IDRA's Youth Advisory Board of 10 high school students have been working to craft and refine local, state and federal education policies that center young people. The board members wrote articles with critical education policy recommendations for the September issue of the IDRA Newsletter. Check out their amazing work!

School Support Systems Help Students Succeed, by Shreya Selvaraju, High School Junior 

Policing Students Through Dress Codes Needs to Stop, by Ryan Cyrus, High School Senior 

Equip Schools to Support Student Mental Health, by Tatiana Martínez Alvarez, High School Junior 

Mexican American Studies is American History, by Josué Peralta de Jesús, High School Senior 

School Safety Requires Listening, by Hawaii Guerin, High School Senior 

We Need a Well-Rounded Education – An Open Letter to Lawmakers, by Kennedy Moore, High School Senior 

IDRA Resources that Promote Education Equity and Excellence 
IDRA has a number of resource hubs, materials and training opportunities for schools, educators, students and families. Please check out and share some of our newest resources with the education agencies in your district! 

Examples of services available through the IDRA include: 

  • Assessing discipline policies and practices and introducing restorative practices; 

  • Conducting equity audits and developing schoolwide plans; 

  • Providing professional development to school leaders and teachers on cultural competency and implicit bias; 

  • Assisting school boards to support equitable policymaking, budgeting and governance;

  • Reviewing policies and practices on recognizing and responding to bullying and harassment;  

  • Planning and teacher training for ethnic studies;

  • Conducting analyses to identify strengths and needs of language program policies and practices; 

  • Leading climate analyses and training to ensure student diversity, bilingualism and student experiences are valued; 

  • Developing train-the-trainer workshops to help build internal district capacity; 

  • Leading coaching and mentoring of instructional and/or administrative staff online and/or onsite; 

  • Planning and training for increasing family engagement and family leadership; 

  • Training staff for schoolwide project-based learning; and 

  • Analyzing data to pinpoint areas of need. 

Contact IDRA for details tailored to your needs (contact@idra.org).
Get Free Classroom Lessons on IDRA's We All Belong ~ School Resource Hub
We’re proud to release the following new original lessons created for you to access through our School Resource Hub.

Grades 7-8: Math

Grades 9-10: Debate, English Language Arts, Social Studies, U.S. Government, U.S. History

Grades 6, 7, 8: Science

Grade 1: English Language Arts, Social Studies

Grade 2: English Language Arts

Grade 2: English Language Arts

Grade 3: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Please check out IDRA’s resources on school resource equity, culturally-sustaining schools, educational opportunities for emergent bilingual students, access and preparation for college, and ending harmful school discipline. For more information, contact Morgan Craven, J.D. 
IDRA is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college.