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IDRA Newsletter – This Issue's Focus:

Bridging the Digital Divide

In This Issue

Students Press for Affirmative Action


Texas High School Attrition Rate Worsens for the First Time in Seven Years – Highlights of IDRA’s 37th Annual Attrition Study


Keeping Young Digital Citizens Safe


Digital Divide Stories in South Texas Colonias


The Parallel Roads to Digital and Racial Justice


Free Tools for Teaching in a Climate of Classroom Censorship


Recent News

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Students Press for Affirmative Action

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Texas High School Attrition Rate Worsens for the First Time in Seven Years –

Highlights of IDRA’s 37th Annual Attrition Study

by Charles A. Cavazos

IDRA’s 37th annual attrition study found that 20% of the freshman class of 2018-19 in Texas public schools left school prior to graduating in 2021-22. In addition to being an increase over last year’s 19% rate, it is the first time Texas has experienced an increase since 2015-16.

Across racial and ethnic groups, attrition rates are lower than they were almost four decades ago, but in this year’s study, the attrition rate of each racial-ethnic group increased by 1 or 2 percentage points in the last year, except for Asian American students, whose rates remained unchanged.

School closures and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have had serious implications for student learning, engagement and dropout rates and some educational experts believe that remote learning during the pandemic placed students at a higher risk of dropping out of school. IDRA’s full attrition study for 2021-22 will be published soon. 

Keep reading Texas High School Attrition article

Keeping Young Digital Citizens Safe

by Michelle Martínez Vega

In a digital landscape where even educators find it challenging to discern fact from fiction, how do we ensure that students have the skills to keep themselves safe? In matters of safety, it is best to not take chances. The average person is inundated with digital content, from emails to media, and new terms like “fake news” and “alternative facts” are being baked into the public lexicon.

It is critical that we teach students to be digitally literate and capable of distinguishing between credible information, misinformation, opinion pieces and scams. This article provides resources for educators teaching digital citizenship.

Keep reading Keeping Young Digital Citizens Safe article

Digital Divide Stories in South Texas Colonias

For Digital Inclusion Week 2022, IDRA and our long-standing partner, ARISE Adelante, led a site visit with a representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to hear from families in south Texas colonias. We heard compelling stories of digital inequity faced by students and families.

Keep reading Digital Divide Stories article
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The Parallel Roads to Digital and Racial Justice

by Christina Quintanilla-Muñoz, M.Ed.

Like other injustices, the digital divide is perpetuated by racism and poverty. The pandemic made digital inequities even more apparent as it impacted our most vulnerable communities to include families with low incomes, older adults, individuals with disabilities and students. Access to digital technologies and the Internet was one of the most pervasive equity issues at the peak of the pandemic, when technology was necessary for learning and interaction. 

Grassroots digital inclusion advocates recognize that meaningful digital equity demands aggressive action led by the impacted individuals, thus sustainable efforts can only be achieved when community members help design impactful solutions that address root problems. Community-focused strategies for digital equity that prioritizes racial justice include democratizing knowledge of digital inclusion, leveraging community assets and activating the community through digital inclusion initiatives. 

Keep reading The Parallel Roads article

Free Tools for Teaching in a Climate of Classroom Censorship

Get lessons & tools at We All Belong ~ School Resource Hub
Register for Nov 1 Webinar: Tools for Teaching About Race & Culture (3:00 pm ct)

How has classroom censorship affected you?

Educator Survey  •  Student Survey  

Family Survey (English)  •  Family Survey (Español)

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Recent News

Recent Media Coverage

‘Unsafe, unwelcoming’: LGBTQ students report facing hostility at school – More than 80% of LGBTQ students say they faced harassment or assault, by Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat, October 25, 2022

State of Texas: Common ground solutions where Texans agree, by Monica Madden, Kelly Wiley, Josh Hinkle, Arezow Doost, John Thomas, KDAF CW33 Dallas-Fort Worth, October 10, 2022

Weeks into school year, vacancies impact bilingual and special education classrooms, by Kelly Wiley, KXAN News, October 6, 2022

Other News

October 31, 2022 – Webinar tomorrow! Tools for Teaching about Race and Culture – Get tips for using IDRA's new Culture Lesson Plan Series

October 28, 2022 – Meet IDRA’s New Education Policy Fellows – Changing the landscape of state education advocacy

October 24, 2022 – Webinar tomorrow! 6 Steps to Revolutionary School Leadership – See how to dismantle racist policies and practices in your school or district

October 19, 2022 – Knowledge is Power – Upcoming Webinars with Tools for Educators

October 13, 2022 – IDRA Federal Education Policy Update – Federal hearing in Uvalde, student advice, tools for schools

October 4, 2022 – Webinar Thursday!: Realities of the Digital Divide within Texas Colonias – Digital Inclusion Week (Español)

September 30, 2022 – September 2022 Issue of the IDRA Newsletter – This Month’s Focus: Student Voice for the New School Year

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