“Students are far more likely to succeed and graduate when they have the chance to work with highly qualified, committed teachers; when they are using effective, accessible curricula; when their parents and communities are engaged in their schools and learning; and when they themselves feel engaged,” said Dr. Robledo Montecel.
“The good news is that when it comes to transforming education, we don’t need to take wild guesses: educators are already showing what works,” added Dr. Robledo Montecel. “If you look at all of the best, high-impact innovations – none involve stop-gap, slap-dash or silver bullet solutions. Rather, they all have demonstrated a set of key features: they value youth of all backgrounds, without exception; they are built around sound information and metrics; they engage families and community members as key partners in academic success; and they assure that students have access to quality teaching and a high quality curriculum.”
IDRA’s Quality School Action Framework™ guides communities and schools in identifying weak areas and strengthening public schools’ capacities to graduate and prepare all students for success. IDRA’s book, Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework™ shows how communities and schools can work together to be successful with all of their students. The book’s web page (http://www.idra.org/couragetoconnect) provides an excerpt, related podcasts, images of the framework and other resources.
Each fall, IDRA releases its attrition study. The latest study
became available this week online. Attrition rates are an indicator of a school’s holding power, or the ability to keep students enrolled in school and learning until they graduate. IDRA was commissioned to conduct Texas’ first-ever comprehensive statewide study of high school dropouts using a high school attrition formula to estimate the number and percent of students who leave school prior to graduation. That study in 1986 was the state’s first major effort to assess the school holding power of Texas public schools and resulted in state-level policy reforms for the state education agency to count and report dropout data. IDRA is the only organization that has examined Texas attrition rates consistently, with the same methodology, for 27 years.
The annual attrition studies released by IDRA include county-level data by race and ethnicity. Trend graphs of high school attrition in each Texas county are available online. The study includes detailed findings, a supplemental analysis for reaching a rate of zero and graphics showing different types of dropout data. IDRA’s study also looks at the latest dropout study released by the Texas Education Agency.
In addition, IDRA has developed a one-page School Holding Power Checklist with a set of criteria for assessing and selecting effective dropout prevention strategies and for making sure your school is a quality school.
Following the Texas legislature’s adoption of substantial cuts to public education using inequitable mechanisms that have increased funding disparities across Texas school districts, IDRA has launched an initiative to help communities across the state as they take action to make sure that schools are equipped to guarantee that all children graduate ready for college and career. More information about Fair Funding Now! Excellent Schools for All Texas Students is online at www.idra.org.