Iris Maria Chávez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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OUR NETWORK

Featured Posts

Posted July 29, 2021

You Can and Must Foster Belonging, Acceptance, and Support for Your LGBTQIA+ Students. It’s a Matter of Life and Death.

Many young people see belonging as a quest to fit in, but it’s so much deeper than that. Belonging means accepting, celebrating, and including our…

By Casey Pettit

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Posted July 26, 2021

At Freedom School Literacy Academy, Black Pride and Academic Achievement Go Hand-in-Hand

Erika Asikoye is the Director of the Freedom School Literacy Academy (FSLA) at The Center for Black Educator Development in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The FSLA, for…

By Laura Waters

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Posted Aug. 3, 2021

Expert Q&A: Focusing on Teacher Well-Being Benefits Students

For more than 35 years, Donna Housman has been helping young children, their teachers and their caregivers build their emotional intelligence. At the Housman Institute,…

By Maureen Kelleher

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