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IDRA Classroom Culture
IDRA Graduation for All

February, 2010

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Classroom Culture • • January 2010

“Changing our schools requires changing our strategy. Americans are great innovators, and educators have created thousands of exciting and successful schools and programs. But bottom-up innovation, while necessary, is not sufficient. We must end our love affair with passing fads and small-scale projects that live at the margins of the system, often in hostile policy environments.” - Linda Darling-Hammond, “A Test for Our Nation”

A new report by the Southern Education Foundation A New Diverse Majority: Students of Color in the South’s Public Schools finds that for the first time in history, children of color now constitute the majority of students enrolled in public schools in the South. As the report notes, the South lags behind the nation in per pupil expenditures, educational achievement and educational attainment. If outcomes are to change, not just at the margins but for new majorities of students in southern states and nationwide, our capacity must improve to serve students of all backgrounds well. This issue spotlights new resources to support your work.

¡Usted puede recibir esta edición de Graduation for All en español!

Is your school seeking to strengthen secondary mathematics teaching and learning? A podcast conversation with Jack Dieckmann, Ph.D., a former senior math education specialist at IDRA, addresses precisely this. In “Professional Development for Secondary Math Teachers,” you’ll learn how teacher training can build on teacher experience to address multiple dimensions like content, pedagogy and language development. To learn more…

To learn more about how IDRA’s South Central Collaborative for Equity and other Equity Assistance Centers can help your school address inequities and raise student achievement, visit: “Helping Schools Address Issues of Race,” a podcast conversation with Dr. Bradley Scott.

To sustain changes in mathematics teaching and learning, families and community members need to be at the table. A series of IDRA articles explores the importance of these roles and provides how-to guidance on creating meaningful school-family-community conversations.

To find out more, visit:

Looking to learn more about the connection between cognition and culture? Visit work by Dr. Rosa Hernández Sheets at Texas Tech University’s College of Education. Dr. Hernández Sheets examines the role of culture in teaching and learning in her work on “Diversity Pedagogy Theory.” To learn more, visit “Student Learning and Culture.”  To find out more about how school leaders can promote cultural proficiency on campus, visit: "Responsibiliies of Culturally Proficient School Leaders Roles" by Randall Lindsey, et al. (from the book Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders).

Listen In! to: Reflective Teaching. No matter how long a person has been teaching or how well-prepared he or she is, there is always room for improvement. And while keeping up with professional development training is critical, teachers also can improve their skills through reflection. In this podcast conversation, Kristin Grayson, M.Ed., an IDRA education associate, describes her work in coaching teachers through the process of reflective teaching.

In “Beyond Input: Achieving Authentic Participation in School Reform,” The Harvard Family Research Project defines authentic family participation as having seven qualities, including the development of a relationship based on trust, parent involvement in a deliberation process in which all participants are on equal footing, and the need to change administrative systems to support authentic participation. To learn more...

“I really wanted to know what was going on. I had a lot of friends dropping out of high school and it just didn’t seem right to me” – student researcher, VOYCE (Voices of Chicago Youth in Education video)

The Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) is an independent, private non-profit organization whose mission is to create schools that work for all children.

We want to hear from you! Have a story of school-community partnership that's raising graduation rates? Let us hear from you. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions at Forward to a Friend! Feel free to share Grad4All with anyone who shares your passion for every student’s success.

Thanks for reading!

Laurie Posner
Graduation for All Coordinator
Intercultural Development Research Association
5815 Callaghan Road, Suite 101
San Antonio, Texas 78228

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