eBook: Supporting Immigrant Students’ Rights to Attend Public Schools
As schools are opening their doors for a new school year, this alert is a reminder that public schools, by law, must serve all children. The education of undocumented students is guaranteed by the Plyler vs. Doe decision, and certain procedures must be followed when registering immigrant children in school to avoid violation of their civil rights.See eBook and other resources
Code-switching as a School Strategy – Podcast Episode 192
Classnotes Podcast (July 1, 2019). In linguistics and language classes, the term “code-switching” describes how speakers mix two or more languages and speech patterns in writing and conversation. But the term has become broader to encompass dialogue that spans cultures, such as how we change the way we express ourselves depending on who’s in the room. In our increasingly diverse schools, many students still do not see themselves reflected in the curriculum or the classroom discussion.
In this episode, special guest, Dr. Martina McGhee talks with Michelle Vega and Hector Bojorquez about how schools can build inclusive curriculum that is more honest and whole and how to use code switching to help students feel encouraged and supported. Dr. McGhee is a doctoral fellow in the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) who is leading a new course on race and identity through pop culture. Michelle Martínez Vega is IDRA’s technology coordinator, and Hector Bojorquez is IDRA’s director of operations.
Show length: 27:23 minGet info and listen
Classnotes Podcast Episode: Skills Needed for Teaching in Diverse Classrooms – #173
With the quickly-changing dynamics across our communities, teachers often are facing the challenge of incorporating multicultural education without proper preparation. To stay engaged in the learning process, students – like adults – need the school climate and curriculum to reflect their racial and economic backgrounds, languages, religions, funds of knowledge and family structures.Get details and listen
Paula Martin Johnson, M.A., an IDRA education associate, presents three critical areas of professional development that school leaders need to be providing for their teachers to effectively deliver high-quality and inclusive instruction in 21st-century classrooms.
Paula is interviewed by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., IDRA senior education associate. Show length: 14:30 min.
Article: Three Approaches for Dismantling Discriminatory Discipline in Schools
by Paula N. Johnson, Ph.D., & José A. Velázquez, M.Ed., March 2019
In recent years, schools across the nation have moved toward resolving behavior issues that do not take the child out of the classroom – focusing on a “whole child” approach to student learning and success built on relationships and community.
The IDRA EAC- South has a three-pronged approach to addressing disparities in school discipline. First, technical assistance builds capacity to increase positive school climates through research-based services; second, revising discriminatory school discipline practices better aligns schools with the district’s tiers of support for behavior; and third, building capacity for effective family and parent engagement to improve relationships between all stakeholders.
As a result, districts we’ve worked with across the IDRA EAC- South region report lower rates of suspension and expulsion each year.See article
Article: School Leaders Improve English Learner Literacy with Focus on Inferencing
by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., September 2018
Inferencing and literacy skills are vital to students’ success. With leaders at five schools, IDRA provided customized teacher professional development focused on inferencing and reasoning skills. Through this program, the schools improved literacy scores and helped close the achievement gap between English learner and non-English learner students.
IDRA found effective implementation practices for improving leader and teacher capacity for educating EL students, improving school climateSee article
Article: Institutionalized Discrimination… Does it Exist in Your School
by David Hinojosa, J.D., April 2018
This article addresses how schools can identify institutionalized discrimination – discriminatory practices that manifest through behaviors, actions and policies of public institutions that target or exclude based on race, sex, gender, national origin, religion and disability, among others. This kind of discrimination can be difficult to stop because it often has a basis in patterns and practices from historical norms. David Hinojosa pinpoints three critical areas – expectations, school funding and curriculum – as starting points for schools to identify and correct their own discriminatory policies and practices.See article
Article: Addressing “Ecological Shock” – Supporting Refugee Students in School
by Kristin Grayson, Ph.D., and Hannah Sung, March 2018
Dr. Kristin Grayson and Hanna Sung address in this article how schools can support refugee students through building connections and fostering understanding. Educators and school stakeholders must understand the effects of trauma and the unique aspects that refugee students bring to the classroom.
Schools can pro-actively create a welcoming and positive learning environment to help these students cope with stress and fear by fostering community – bringing students in fully as members of their schools rather than isolating them. Building this positive learning environment requires a commitment to equity.See article
Article: Schools’ Duty to Educate English Learner Immigrant and Migrant Students
by Kristin Grayson, Ph.D., March 2018
English learners in our schools are a vastly diverse group, from the languages they speak to the to the age they began learning English to how they entered the school system. By instilling policies and practices that value their language, multiculturalism, and families and that provide them the tools necessary to succeed, we can help prepare these students for flourish in the global economy.See article
Article: Data to Measure an Effective Instructional Context for Secondary Level Newcomers and English Learners
by Kristin Grayson, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, June-July 2017
Teachers and administrators may feel overwhelmed by the use and analysis of data for English learners (ELs) as is required by the federal guidelines under Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Yet collecting and conducting data analysis is essential for EL success and is based on strong and seminal research in second language acquisition. Using data is even more critical when students are secondary level newcomers and English learners with interrupted schooling.Read article
When considering how to collect and use data, the Casteñeda v. Pickard decision of the Fifth Circuit Court,1981, provides an excellent framework (Thomas & Collier, 1997). This article focuses on the data needed to support teachers and English learners who enter U.S. schools as newcomers and as students with interrupted schooling. IDRA’s Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English ~ A Guide (Robledo Montecel, et al., 2002) and its supplement for secondary students also provide a way to collect much of the needed data.