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IDRA Newsletter – This Issue's Focus:

Pandemic Effects on Learning

In This Issue

VisionCoders Teens Learn Computer Science to Support Younger Students – IDRA Responds to Pandemic’s Effects on Social Emotional Learning


NAEP Scores Reveal Ongoing Inequities and New Questions about Approaches to COVID-19 Learning Recovery


Strategies for Recruiting Bilingual Educators


IDRA, Lubbock NAACP join Slaton and Lubbock Families in Demanding End to School-Based Racial Discrimination 


Lessons for Teaching about Race and Culture


New Classnotes Podcast Episodes


Recent News

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VisionCoders Teens Learn Computer Science to Support Younger Students

 IDRA Responds to Pandemic’s Effects on Social Emotional Learning

by Stephanie García, Ph.D.

In a new course, eighth grade students in two South San Antonio ISD schools are piloting the IDRA VisionCoders class to create educational games for prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade students. The computer science course is being developed by IDRA in partnership with Texas A&M University-San Antonio and 12 schools in seven Bexar County school districts.

The project aligns with the philosophical foundation and tenets of IDRA’s highly successful VYP program and targets high-need students with limited computer science opportunities to support Pre-K through first grade students impacted by the pandemic. VisionCoders provides multiple opportunities for its participants, to including educational field trips, mentorship opportunities, and a paid summer internship experience. 

Keep reading VisionCoders teens learn computer science article

STEM Equity – Online Technical Assistance Toolkit

IDRA's STEM Equity – Online Technical Assistance Toolkit shows how schools and communities can open pathways for girls and students of color in the curricular pipeline to prepare them for STEM careers. The fgree toolkit has videos, eBooks, infographics and other resources.

NAEP Scores Reveal Ongoing Inequities and New Questions about Approaches to COVID-19 Learning Recovery

by Morgan Craven, J.D., & Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often called “the nation’s report card” is a federal-administered assessment given to a sample of students across the country. The 2022 scores for fourth and eighth grade students in reading and mathematics, the first released since 2019, show disturbing declines in reading and math across the nation, with notable differences across student groups.

These results, when considered with other metrics of student success, underscore the need for greater investment in student learning, particularly for systemically-marginalized students. While the results are not a definitive look at the condition of student learning, they can give important information about state and school district outreach strategies. Given the limits of any single assessment, stakeholders should consider other metrics of student opportunity and success, from sound asset-based pedagogies to college access and success measures. 

Keep reading NAEP scores article
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Strategies for Recruiting Bilingual Educators 

by Lizdelia Piñón, Ed.D.

One in every five students in Texas public schools is an emergent bilingual student, yet Texas has a crisis in the shortage of bilingual educators that has impacted generations of students. In this article, Dr. Lizdelia Piñón provides strategies for school and district leaders to co-create an inclusive, multilingual, equipped and sustainable workforce of educators.

These strategies include creating a bilingual student-to-classroom teacher pathway, forging collaborative partnerships between school districts and higher education, using varied modes of recruitment, and removing the myriad barriers that prevent skilled educators, like retired teachers, from becoming bilingual educators. 

Keep reading strategies article

IDRA, Lubbock NAACP join Slaton and Lubbock Families in Demanding End to School-Based Racial Discrimination 

Yesterday, IDRA joined students, families, and the Lubbock NAACP to challenge racially discriminatory practices in two west Texas school districts through an administrative complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Attorneys from Ellwanger Law, ACLU of Texas, and Texas Civil Rights Project serve as legal counsel to the complainants. The complaints allege that Slaton ISD and Lubbock-Cooper ISD failed to protect Black students experiencing racial bullying and harassment in their schools and imposed inappropriate and harmful discipline against those students.

IDRA’s Chief Legal Analyst, Paige Duggins-Clay, J.D., led research, community support, and strategy in collaboration with co-complainants and legal counsel.

“All students deserve to feel safe and welcome in school,” Duggins-Clay said. “We are hopeful the Department of Education will facilitate a resolution that eliminates the districts’ discriminatory discipline practices and effectively addresses the racially hostile environment.”

Keep reading press release and updates

In today’s climate of classroom censorship, tools for culturally sustaining teaching can be hard to find and implement. This is why IDRA launched our school resource hub for educators, families and policy advocates who want to make sure students receive a strong, truthful education in our public schools.

See our latest four-part lesson plan series that will facilitate thoughtful high school classroom discussions of real-world issues and solutions.

Get lessons & tools at We All Belong ~ School Resource Hub

How has classroom censorship affected you?

Educator Survey  •  Student Survey  

Family Survey (English)  •  Family Survey (Español)

New Classnotes Podcast Episodes

AIM Framework for Teaching Intercultural Skills

– Podcast Episode 230

Dr. Marlon C. James and Dr. Kelly N. Ferguson describe the America is Me (AIM) framework for teaching five key intercultural skills. The framework and sample lessons are featured on IDRA’s School Resource Hub – We All Belong.

Visit episode 230 webpage

The Law in Education – U.S. Supreme Court Update

– Podcast Episode 231

IDRA chief legal analyst, Paige Duggins-Clay, describes what happened in the last term of the U.S. Supreme Court and what the court’s most recent decisions might mean for the future of educational equity.

Visit episode 231 webpage

More ways to Listen:



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Recent News

Recent Media Coverage

Texas school district accused of inaction over racist bullying of Black students, Antonia Hylton, NBC Nightly News, December 15, 2022

Claims of racism in Lubbock-area schools make national news, by Wes Rumbelow, EverythingLubbock/KLBK-TV (CBS-Lubbock), December 15, 2022

‘This Is the Only Way’: Black Texas Student Slapped Bully Who Called Her the N-Word; She Faced Severe Discipline, Driving Her Into a Mental Institution, by Nyamekye Daniel, Atlanta Black Star, December 15, 2022

West Texas parents are suing their schools over racism as others demand action over antisemitic bullying, by Jayme Lozano, The Texas Tribune, December 14, 2022 (also ran in KERA, December 15, 2022)

Families demand action after civil rights complaints filed against Lubbock-Cooper ISD, Slaton ISD, by Jaxie Pidgeon, EverythingLubbock, December 13, 2022

Texas high school accused of ignoring ‘daily’ racist harassment of Black students in federal complaint, Josh Marcus, The Independent, December 13, 2022

Taunted for being Black, a student fought back, civil rights complaint says. The 30-second fight derailed her life, by Mike Hixenbaugh, NBC News, December 12, 2022

Federal civil rights complaint alleging racism filed against Lubbock-Cooper ISD, by Sarah Self-Walbrick, KTTZ (NPR), December 12, 2022

Families at Lubbock-Cooper ISD, Slaton ISD file complaints of civil rights violations, by Caitlyn Rooney, EverythingLubbock/KLBK-TV (CBS-Lubbock), December 12, 2022

NAACP, parents address school board, by Brittany Michaleson KCBD-TV (NBC Lubbock), December 12, 2022

Escola secundária do Texas acusada de ignorar o assédio racista ‘diário’ de estudantes negros em queixa federal, Por Redação, G7, 13 De Dezembro De 2022

Column: Schools have a moral (and legal) obligation to resist ‘divisive concepts’ ban, by Tom Shields, Richmond Times Dispatch, December 3, 2022

Mississippi coalition with other organizations seeks to end corporal punishment in schools, by Joshua Williams, Mississippi Clarion Ledger, November 30, 2022

State NAACP to Host Group Seeking to End Corporal Punishment, Press Register (Mississippi), November 10, 2022

See recent media coverage with links

Other IDRA News

December 13, 2022 – IDRA, Lubbock NAACP join Slaton and Lubbock Families in Demanding End to School-Based Racial Discrimination

November 29, 2022 – Free classrooms from censorship with #GivingTuesday – Get our reading list of great banned books

November 25, 2022 – For #GivingTuesday Buy a Banned Book – Your help needed for #GivingTuesday

November 15, 2022 – Anti-Equity Order Does Not Limit Virginia Schools – See new analysis with guidance for schools

November 3, 2022 – Knowledge is Power – Texas State Board of Ed plans; Tools for Educators • (Español)

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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.
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