August 2018 IDRA Newsletter
This month's focus: Religion Equity
"We live to some purpose: Helping schools work for all children and valuing children, educators, families and communities. We care deeply about children and believe that the lives and choices of many hang in the balance of what you and I as educators are able to provide today.
- Dr. María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, IDRA President and CEO
In this issue: 
  • Religion Equity in Schools - Protecting Students and Their Civil Rights
  • Religion Equity and School Dress Codes
  • Immigrant Students' Rights to Attend Public Schools
  • Six Teens Win 2018 National Essay Contest Awards
  • Call for Applications - 2018 IDRA José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellows Program
Plus online tools:
  • Video: Dropout Prevention that Works - Overview of how the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program impacts students and schools. [12 min.]
  • Winning Essays: Booklet with full text of the six winning essays
  • eBook in English and Spanish on Immigrant Students' Rights to Attend Public Schools
  • Infographic: Welcoming Immigrant Students in School
Religion Equity
Religion Equity in Schools - Protecting Students and Their Civil Rights
by Paula Johnson, Ph.D.
Paula Johnson
Recently, there has been a rise in the number of Muslim and Sikh students who face bullying and harassment at school due to their religious affiliation or expression. In this article, Paula N. Johnson focuses on religious diversity as a protected civil right, how schools can foster more inclusive learning environments, and recommendations for educators. 

Many times, students can be targeted because of visible symbols they wear in accordance with their religious beliefs. To alleviate these issues and protect all students, we must work to prepare teachers and help students appreciate, respect, understand and learn from students of other cultures.
Graphic - Religion-Based Bullying in School
Graphic - Religion-Based Bullying in School
by Sulema Carreón-Sánchez, Ph.D., and Phoebe Schlanger  
This article explores the history of school dress codes and students' religious expression. The role of religious activities observed and practiced in districts and public schools has been one of the most unclear, misinterpreted and misunderstood civil rights issues.

All educational settings should provide a welcoming, nurturing and educational setting for students, families and communities regardless of faith or belief. To achieve this end, Sulema Carre ó n-S á nchez and Phoebe Schlanger provide tips and resources for schools, educators or parents seeking strategies and information about religion equity, bullying and inclusive dress codes.
South  is the equity assistance center funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide capacity-building technical assistance to school districts in Washington, D.C., and 11 states in the U.S. South. One of the four areas of students' civil rights that we focus on is religion equity to help schools build inclusive school environments, reduce biases, and increase positive relationships among all members of the school and community.
IDRA sponsored a national essay competition among participants in the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, a nationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program of IDRA. Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors wrote about how the program helps them do better in school and how they help their tutees to do better. Six students received prizes. Here is one of the winning essays.

"I hope that these students I'm tutoring remember this opportunity that was given to them so that they will be the best they can be in the future."
- First Place Middle School Winner, Marely García (pictured)
Call for Applications - 2018 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 app
August 2018
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.