Iris Maria Chávez

iris

Guest Blogger

Education Advocate and Communications Consultant

Portland, Oregon

Iris Maria Chávez is an education advocate and communications consultant, currently working with national and Oregon focused organizations to advance equity by supporting the creation of just policies, engaging with communities and supporting communications efforts that better communities in Oregon and across the nation. Iris Maria has lived in Portland for just over a year and came to the Pacific Northwest from Washington, D.C., where she worked for over a decade in education policy and advocacy for civil rights and advocacy organizations such as the Education Trust and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

Iris Maria earned a BA in history, sociology and African diaspora studies from Tulane University in New Orleans and a MA in social policy from the University of Chicago, during which she also worked as a social worker in the Chicago Public Schools.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Sep. 6, 2016
ell

Her Daughter Was in ELL Classes for Nine Years and She Had No Idea

I’m an education policy expert, but I know that the real experts when it comes to schools are parents. Recently,…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted July 19, 2016
iris-photo-3-resized

Want to Help Oregon’s Dismal Graduation Rate? Check Out These Superstar Schools

The latest stats on Oregon’s performance in education are disheartening at best. When it comes to graduation rates, we’re performing…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted July 14, 2016
Grad-Rates-Oregon-2-resized

With These Graduation Rates, Oregon’s Got Nothing to Be Proud Of

People here are proud of Oregon, especially of its natural beauty and progressive politics. And my sense is that if…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted June 22, 2016
scantronblue

Why I’m Not Disappointed Opt Out in Oregon Has Lost Its Steam

Last year, parents, educators and community advocates across Oregon joined forces in a campaign to fight standardized tests in schools…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted May 16, 2016
English-Language-Learners

Helping English-Language Learners Avoid the Summer Slide

Growing up in Denver, my mother made me attend a summer reading program at a public library every year. And…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted Mar. 22, 2016
woodburn

Let’s Not Think That Because a District Is Largely Poor With Many English Learners That It Can’t Be Great

Although Oregon is mostly white, it’s whiteness obscures the fact that about 33 percent of students in k-12 schools are…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted Mar. 10, 2016
millspark

This District Has Figured Out How to Help English-Language Learners

Oregon doesn’t often come to mind when the education world talks about equity challenges; it’s usually overshadowed by bustling California…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted Feb. 23, 2016
math

Turns Out Ms. Martin and Her ‘Crazy Math’ Program Weren’t So Crazy After All

As a Latina student, my experience in school was one with courses varying in quality—most of them weren’t challenging. Now that…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted Feb. 10, 2016
portland

What Choice Do Portland Parents Have When There Is No Choice?

In all my years of advocacy and community engagement, nothing gets parents as fired up as deciding where their kids…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Posted Feb. 3, 2016
For this week's Twitter Photo Challenge, "Tre". This small norwegian word has at least to meanings: Three and tree. I went for the numeral interpretation.

Luck and Privilege Should Have No Place in Education

Opportunity, access and luck: that’s my story. Thanks to a supportive family, strong educators, access to a few high-quality opportunities—and…

By Iris Maria Chávez

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Featured Posts

Posted Mar. 22, 2017
realchoice

When the Only Real Choice Is Private: My Unlikely Attraction to School Vouchers

I felt that the free education my daughter was getting was just too expensive. I needed to find a school that would start filling her academic gaps while also providing culturally responsive pedagogy.…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted Mar. 22, 2017
girlatlunch

Public Dollars Should Pay for Public Schools: That’s Why I Support High-Quality Charter Schools and Not Vouchers

We live in a free country and a parent should have the right to opt out of the public school system. But that parent does not have a right to take with them a proportional share of public education dollars any more than a pacifist can extract his share of defense spending. …

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Mar. 21, 2017
parentinvolvement

You Want Parents? This Is What It’s Going to Take to Empower Them in the Fight for Better Schools

Parent organizing ain’t easy. Many organizations have tried to organize parents and communities and have failed. We end up yelling at parents, “Parent involvement is…

By Keri Rodriguez Lorenzo

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