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IDRA Newsletter – This Issue's Focus:

Equity Matters

In This Issue

Families Insist on Equitable School Funding – Rodríguez v. San Antonio ISD Ruling 50 Years Ago Has Lasting Effects


How to Know if Your District Needs an Equity Audit


MAS Springs Youthfully – Teacher and Student Advocacy of Mexican American Studies


Recent News

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Families Insist on Equitable School Funding – Rodríguez v. San Antonio ISD Ruling 50 Years Ago Has Lasting Effects

by Christie L. Goodman, APR

This article tells the story of persistent families who took down a state’s system of school finance. In the late 1960s, students walked out of their schools to protest the poor conditions of their schools and their education. Families then joined forces, got excellent lawyers and went to court. After a surprising win, the devastating reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court in Rodríguez v. San Antonio ISD – 50 years ago this week – could have sent everyone home in defeat. But the families in Edgewood ISD and others with them pressed on.

After the Rodríguez v. San Antonio ISD ruling, Dr. José A. Cárdenas resigned as Edgewood’s superintendent and founded IDRA. IDRA led efforts to achieve school finance equity and was instrumental in the state-level Edgewood court cases, litigated by MALDEF and others, that followed.

In the last five decades, families, communities, and advocate partners have demonstrated the critical importance of persistence to insist that the state do its job and fund schools fairly. 

Keep reading Families Insist on Equitable School Funding article

New Infographic!

Texas Schools Need Funds to Serve Students

Despite five decades of walkouts, advocacy, litigation, research, advocacy and state leadership promises, some students are still considered more valuable than others. See new infographic.

Video Playback

Rodriguez v. San Antonio 50th Anniversary Commemoration 

Everyone is raving about the stories shared at our event Wednesday!

We heard moving tales of the families and policy experts. And we talked about what communities can do today to promote fair funding of public schools.

If you missed it, don’t worry! Watch the video online.

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How to Know if Your District Needs an Equity Audit  

by Hector Bojorquez

Equity audits are useful tools that can help districts evaluate their efforts, target resources, hold themselves accountable, and better serve their students and communities. These audits examine school climate, student discipline, curriculum, resource allocation, teacher quality and student outcomes.

IDRA has worked with a number of clients to conduct or support equity audits at their request. Our intention is not to create a list of failures. The point is to uncover opportunity gaps, which is the first step in developing a plan to address them.

There are several equity indicators to consider when asking the question: “Does my district need an equity audit?” This article concentrates on achievement gaps and disproportionate discipline as two indicators that school leaders should think deeply about when deciding it's time to conduct an equity audit.

Keep reading Equity Audits article

Webinar Today at 4:00 pm CT

Register Now!

MAS Springs Youthfully –

Teacher and Student Advocacy of Mexican American Studies

by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

In an environment newly critical of diversity, equity and multicultural instruction, ethnic studies classes have demonstrated great value and benefits for students.

In San Antonio area schools, Mexican American Studies (MAS) teachers formed a community of practice that nurtures educator and student leadership. These communities of practice are powerful because they truly build networks of advocacy, community and empowerment.

IDRA’s work with San Antonio MAS programs has supported critical curriculum development, culturally responsive teaching, community engagement, mentoring, extracurricular activities, family engagement, and supportive resources. And the best part, has been the deliberate inclusion of students themselves to lead.

Keep reading MAS Springs Youthfully article

New! 5 Tips for Organizing Student-Led Ethnic Studies Group

The tips here are designed for a student or team of students who are already ethnic studies advocates and who respect and value student opinion. This young person or team should be part of a peer group that gives mutual support and encouragement. See tips

Visit IDRA's School Resource Hub ~ We All Belong

Get free lesson plans for ethnic studies, culturally sustaining instruction and healthy classroom conversations about this nation’s past and present. See tips

Recent News

Recent Media Coverage

In Texas Senate hearing, education savings accounts raise questions about accountability and impact on public schools, Brian Lopez, The Texas Tribune, March 22, 2023 (also published by KSAT-TV, March 23, 2023; KERA News, March 23, 2023)

School choice bill goes before Texas Senate committee, Ali Linan Rockwall County Herald-Banner, March 23, 2023

Bill in Texas Legislature aims to reduce bullying after Lubbock civil rights complaint, by Sarah Self-Walbrick, NPR KTTZ Lubbock, March 22, 2023

Should the state take over Baltimore City Schools? Here’s What Happened When Others Tried, by Chris Papst, EBFF-Fox 45 News, March 22, 2023

Community Members Honored the 50th Anniversary of a Supreme Court Ruling that had a Lasting Effect Here in our Community, KABB-Fox San Antonio, March 22, 2023

Plano ISD runs a deficit. Why? It's sending millions to the state, Caroline Love, KERA News, March 21, 2023 (also published by the Texas Standard, March 23, 2023)

Radio story about voucher proposals in Texas (untitled), KSTX-FM, March 21, 2023, 08:45 am CT

Texas Just Seized One of the Largest School Districts in the Country, by Claire Woodcock, VICE, March 20, 2023

Reemplazan junta escolar: Cuando la TEA asume el control se entrega a una junta de administradores designada por el estado en Houston ISD [Replace school board: When the TEA takes over it is turned over to a state appointed board of trustees in Houston ISD], El Mañana, March 18, 2023

Legislation filed to protect students from identity-based bullying in Texas, Jaxie Pidgeon, KLBK-CBS Lubbock, March 17, 2023

What happens when Texas takes over a school district like Houston ISD?, by María Méndez, Texas Tribune, March 16, 2023 (also published by KWTX-TV Waco-Temple-Killeen, March 17, 2023)

Texas Education Agency will take control of Houston ISD, Brian Lopez, The Texas Tribune, March 15, 2023

Texas Education Agency will take control of Houston ISD in June, Brian López, Texas Tribune, March 15, 2023 (also published by KXVV-ABC, March 16, 2023; Black Chronicle, March 16, 2023; Victoria Advocate, March 16, 2023;; March 19, 2023)

50 years since landmark Edgewood education case, Madalyn Mendoza, Axios San Antonio, March 14, 2023

‘This is our legacy’ — Commemorating 50 years of the fight for school finance equity in Rodriguez vs San Antonio ISD, Texas Public Radio: Fronteras, March 10, 2023

A ‘Dark Vision’ of Discipline: Zero Tolerance Makes a Comeback, by Josephine Lee, Texas Observer, March 10, 2023

A dangerous time, Kerry Sinanan, The Paisano (UTSA), March 7, 2023

San Antonio’s bilingual students affected by U.S. teacher shortage, Madalyn Mendoza, Axios San Antonio, March 1, 2023

Kemgang: Dual Credit Programs Give Students a Fighting Chance to Access and Succeed in College, Rio Grande Guardian, March 1, 2023

See these news stories and other recent media coverage with links on our website.

Other IDRA News

March 24, 2023 – Webinar Monday: VisionCoders free 8th-grade course – Open to all Bexar County Title I middle schools!

March 22, 2023 – It was a terrible ruling - Rodríguez v. San Antonio ISD - 50 years ago today – This is the case that led to IDRA’s founding

March 20, 2023 – Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News - Week of March 20, 2023 • (Español)

March 18, 2023 – Georgia Education Policy Update – Advocacy News - Week of March 20, 2023

March 16, 2023 – Event Wed: Rodriguez v San Antonio 50th Anniversary (Livestream & In Person) – School Finance Equity - Event (Wed) and Twitter Chat (Mon)

March 13, 2023 – Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News - Week of February 13, 2023 

March 10, 2023 – Rodriguez v San Antonio 50th, Valued Youth Partnership, VisionCoders

March 10, 2023 – Bill Filed: Texas Must Prohibit and Prevent Racial Bullying in Schools – Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus, Texas Legislative Black Caucus and IDRA Call on the Legislature to Protect Students from Identity-based Bullying and Harassment

March 7, 2023 – Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News - Week of March 7, 2023 • (Español)

IDRA 50th Anniversary Fun

Serial Re-release of Dr. José A. Cárdenas Memoir

We are re-releasing chapters from our founder’s popular memoir, All Pianos Have Keys and Other Stories, that is now out of print. Watch our social media accounts and the webpage below for each new release.

Stories released to date:

  • All Pianos Have Keys
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • The Epidemic that Never Was
  • Jesus Christ Was Not Bilingual
  • The Shape of the World
  • My Mother Went to Town
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The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, non-profit organization. Our mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity for every child through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college.
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