IDRA’s Quality Schools Action Framework shows how we can strengthen public education for all students. The framework – or theory of change – is grounded in school reform research and practice. Developed by IDRA executive director Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, it asserts that:
Coalition-building and community capacity-building are critical, though often neglected, change strategies in improving graduation rates.
One hundred percent graduation and preparation for success should be our goals for all children and the measure of our success.
While critical for students who are at immediate risk of dropping out, discrete dropout prevention programs cannot change the systems that give rise to risk in the first place.
Fair Funding – Availability of funds in a school district to support a quality educational program for all students.
Governance Efficacy – The capacity of administrative and supervisory personnel to deliver quality educational services to all students, along with the policymaking and pro-active support of a school board to hold on to every student.
Parent and Community Engagement – Creating partnerships based on respect and a shared goal of academic success and integrating parents and community members into the decisionmaking processes of the school.
Student Engagement – School environment and activities that value students and incorporate them into the learning process and other social activities within the school with academic achievement as a result.
Teaching Quality – The preparation of teachers and the placement of teachers in their fields of study. Teaching is informed by continual professional development. Also the practices that teachers use in the classroom to deliver comprehensible instruction that prepares all students to meet academic goals and ensures that no child is left behind or drops out of school.
Curriculum Quality and Access – The educational programs of study, materials and other learning resources such as technology and their accessibility to all students. Also relates to assessment and accountability – the school practices related to fair and unbiased assessment of students and degree that schools take responsibility for the academic success of all students.
Even though this blog is my personal statement, and I have a disclaimer about it in the side column, it's pretty hard to separate me from an organization that I've worked for since 1975 & for whom I'm a senior staff member. I've included the framework complete and unchanged from our organizational website because it is the foundation for my wishlist for the new and improved Elementary & Secondary Education Act, whatever it is labeled in the new iteration.