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The recommendations in this letter are submitted on behalf of the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), a national non-profit organization with the mission of achieving equal educational opportunity through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college. 

Celina Moreno

Since 1973, IDRA has advocated equitable and excellent schools for all young people, particularly those from historically-marginalized communities, including students of color, those from families with limited incomes, emergent bilingual students, those who face gender-based discrimination, and immigrant students. These students are disproportionately impacted by harmful systemic inequities within our education and other related systems. IDRA’s guiding principles emphasize excellence, equity and accountability. Equity without excellence is unacceptable, and excellence without equity is impossible. 

IDRA’s approach combines research and data analyses; effective educational practices; and community- driven policy recommendations and advocacy campaigns. Additionally, we operate the IDRA EAC-South, one of four federally-funded equity assistance centers. We provide technical assistance, training, equity audits, and coaching to schools, education agencies, and related entities in 11 southern states and Washington, D.C. 

IDRA urges President-elect Biden’s administration to immediately prioritize the recommendations below, which focus on several key areas: 

• An equitable response to COVID-19 that addresses systemic inequities;
• Research-based funding policies for public schools that emphasize resource equity and opportunities, coupled with excellent outcomes;
• School climate policies that end harmful discipline and policing practices, address systemic racism, protect the civil rights of all students, and support safe and culturally-sustaining schools;
• Funding, programmatic changes, explicit agency guidance, and a national school-based network that ensure excellent educational opportunities for emergent bilingual students; and
• Community engagement strategies that center students and families in proven educational leadership practices. 

IDRA looks forward to serving as a resource to the Biden-Harris transition team and administration. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss these recommendations, please contact Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement at [email protected] 

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Celina Moreno, J.D., president and CEO of the Intercultural Development Research Association. It is based upon a letter Moreno sent to President-elect Biden’s Education Transition Team.


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