Model Policy Shop

All students deserve excellent and equitable educational opportunities.

This IDRA SEEN Model Policy Shop is a tool to advance this ideal.

Here, we provide research-based and community-informed policies that promote an inclusive vision of public education and counter efforts to undermine safe, welcoming, culturally sustaining schools. 

Designed for Communities

We believe that all community members – particularly students and historically underrepresented community members – should have the opportunity to have a strong voice in the development of school and state level policies. 

We actively seek feedback and inspiration from these partners to collaboratively develop these model policies. And we support advocates and community members in achieving their adoption and effective implementation. 

We also provide support and drafting assistance for youth and other community-based youth and families seeking to translate their lived experiences into actionable policies to improve public education for all. For example, IDRA’s work in solidarity with those directly impacted by discriminatory bullying resulted in model legislation co-created with Black students and families in Texas and filed and advanced in the 2023 Texas Legislative session.   

What is in Our Model Policy Packages?

Our model policy packages provide policy language and sample legislation that can be easily adapted for federal, state and local levels. In each model policy package, you will also find supporting research and evidence, guidance for implementation and advocacy toolkits.  

Questions? 

Terrence Wilson, J.D.

Contact: Terrence Wilson, J.D.

IDRA Regional Policy and Community Engagement Director

IDRA Model Policies

Get tools here for
policy change!

IDRA works to promote a positive, proactive vision of excellent, equitable education. A key strategy is to create and promote model policies. These policies focus on several areas of education policy that are in desperate need of forward momentum: ensuring fair and full funding for public schools to serve all students, protecting and expanding opportunities for emergent bilingual students, ensuring schools prepare all students to access and succeed in college, promoting culturally-sustaining schools where all students feel safe and welcome, and ensuring that students may access safe schools free from harmful, punitive discipline and policing.

Over time, we will add new policies to this site. Sign up to get email notices when new policies are available.

Identity-Based Bullying – IDRA Model Policy​

To develop safe and healthy school environments, schools must be able to respond to bullying and harassment appropriately and take deliberate action to prevent it. This includes incidences where the bullying taking place is based on or related to a student’s identity, such as their race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, religion or disability status.

IDRA’s package includes a policy brief, model policy for state-level legislation, school board policy and an advocacy toolkit.

Identity-Based Bullying - Title Image

IDRA Principles, Roadmaps and Frameworks

Protecting and Expanding Opportunities for Emergent Bilingual Students

In conjunction with Texans Care for Children and Philanthropy Advocates, IDRA crafted a policy framework to improve educational outcomes for early childhood Emergent bilingual students. The recommendations focus on four key areas for pre-K, other early grades and child care: improving the quality of early learning programs, strengthening the workforce, collecting better data, and retooling school finance.

Road map TECELI

Civil Rights Principles for Multilingual Learner Education

In partnership with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and a coalition of national civil rights organizations, IDRA helped develop a set of principles to ensure that children who speak more than one language have access to and are included in comprehensive, diverse and high-quality education settings.

Safe Schools Free from Harmful, Punitive Discipline and Policing

Schools should be safe and supportive environments for all students to learn, play and grow. IDRA’s School Safety Roadmap promotes a policy agenda that promotes school safety and an environment where every student can enter their classroom and know they are in an environment that affirms their culture, supports their individual dignity and rights, and protects them from bullying and harassment and physical violence.

Policy Roadmap for School Safety cover

Culturally-Sustaining Schools Where Students and Families Feel Welcome

IDRA’s model for family leadership involves building strong parent-educator partnerships to improve schools and raise students’ academic achievement. See our bilingual infographic outlining IDRA’s six principles of family engagement.

IDRA Parent Leadership in Education Model

In order for schools to be successful at creating culturally-sustaining school environments, they must move beyond traditional conceptions of family engagement and treat families as leaders. IDRA has developed the following model to emphasize the power and capability of families leading in schools.

A Policy Agenda to Support Black Students

Just like their peers, Black students bring great talents, interests, joy and cultural contributions to their classrooms. They deserve to be supported and guided through their academic and social lives by teachers and administrators who care deeply about their success and believe in their potential. IDRA developed a holistic policy agenda that advocates may use to support Black students in their schools.

Ensuring Schools Prepare All Students to Access and Succeed in College

A necessary component of schools that prepare all students to succeed is having faculty and staff that reflect the diversity of the student body. IDRA published a roadmap to community-based, partnership approaches to these programs. Generally, Grow Your Own (GYO) educator programs are a potential strategy for districts and universities to employ to help recruit and retain teachers of color. When designed within an asset-based framework, they emphasize equitable approaches and critical perspectives that combine the powerful roles of “homegrown” teachers, culturally-relevant curriculum, and social justice pedagogy in addressing achievement and opportunity gaps, especially for the nation’s woefully underserved, largely urban, students of color.

Grow-Your-Own-Educator-Programs-Special-Edition-2018-1

Six Goals of Educational Equity and School Reform

In order for schools to prepare students to access and succeed in college, they must assess their own capabilities with regard to educational equity and school reform. IDRA developed six goals and an accompanying scale to help schools assess their level of equity and readiness to reform.

Quality Schools Action Framework for Educational Equity and Success

Excellent schools require action in many areas to produce successful students who graduate prepared for college and life. IDRA developed the Quality Schools Action Framework to outline the components that are necessary to create educational equity and success in schools. The framework – or theory of change – is grounded in school reform research and practice.

QSAF

More Policies & Resources

IDRAs SEEN Model Policy Shop also includes model policies crafted by other organizations, young people and other advocates. Select the links below to access other organizations model policies and materials that you may review and adapt for your own advocacy efforts. 

LGBTQ+ Safety and Inclusivity

See GLSEN’s Model Laws and Policies relating to LGBTQ+ safety and inclusivity. GLSEN has created a toolkit of evidence-based model policies based on what’s working across the country and what its expertise shows will make schools safer for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The policy toolkit is intended for application and adaptation to any community, at any scale. You can take GLSEN’s policy resources to your superintendent or principal, your school board, or even your state legislature to advocate for policies to support safe and affirming schools for all. These tools have all the information you need to advocate for change, including:

  • Sample legislation that might be introduced at the state level
  • The components that make up a comprehensive safe schools law or policy
  • Examples of school policies that support LGBTQ students in school districts across the country
  • Reasons it is vital to identify and expand the categories of students protected from bullying and harassment and ways to answer challenging questions about the importance of such enumerated policies

See also

Whole Child Education

The Learning Policy Institute’s Whole Child Policy Toolkit is designed to give state policymakers and education leaders a set of strategies, tools, and resources to advance whole child policy and systems change. A whole child education prioritizes the full scope of a child’s developmental needs – social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and psychological, as well as academic – to ensure that all children are able to reach their full potential. A whole child approach is built on the understanding that students’ education and life outcomes depend on their access to positive relationships inside and outside of school, a safe learning environment, and deeper learning opportunities. This toolkit is organized into five key elements:

  • Setting a whole child vision
  • Transforming learning environments
  • Redesigning curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability systems
  • Building adult capacity and expertise
  • Investing resources equitably and efficiently

Ethnic Studies Curriculum

This model curriculum was adopted by the California State Board of Education on March 18, 2021. It offers support for the creation and implementation of four ethnic studies courses either as a stand-alone course or for inclusion in existing history-social science and English language arts courses. It covers an approach for four foundational disciplines: Africa American, Chicana/o/x  and Latina/o/x, Native American, and Asian American and Pacific Islander studies. It includes resources that address district implementation, instructional guidance, sample lessons and topics and lesson resources.

State Community Schools Act

This set of model policies (state, school board, and city/county) was developed by Partnership for the Future of Learning to promote the creation of community schools. These schools are public schools that partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities and support for students’ school success.

Also see:

Education and Dignity

Learn about Dignity in Schools’ Model Code on Education and Dignity. The model code presents a set of recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school “pushout” and protect the human rights to education, dignity, participation and freedom from discrimination. The code is the culmination of many years of research and dialogue with students, parents, educators, advocates and researchers who came together to envision a school system that supports all children and young people in reaching their full potential.

Topics include:
• Intervention support team approach for threat assessments
• Culturally relevant curriculum and teaching
• Racial disparities in school discipline
• LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming students
• Immigrant and undocumented students
• Trauma-sensitive schools
• Complete model policies to fight criminalization

Note that the model policies exhibited on this site are reflective of the intent, purpose and objectives of strong public schools that advance equitable educational opportunities for students. They do not necessarily reflect the active policy priorities of IDRA or full endorsement of specific policy text.

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