Mexican tapestery pattern

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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

José Cárdenas


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(104 pages)

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Biography:

Mr. Cárdenas was the first Mexican American school superintendent in the Edgewood Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas. He was founder and executive director of the Inter-cultural Development Research Association in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Cárdenas earned his Doctorate degree from the University of Texas in 1966.

Interview Summary:

Mr. Cárdenas elaborates upon the purposes, history, and activities of the Inter-cultural Development Research Association (IDRA) that he founded in 1973. He details the history of Texas' public schools finance system which the courts ruled was racially biased and inherently unconstitutional. He provides overview of the many court cases on school finance and desegregation and tells how he was involved in many of the litigation suits. Mr. Cárdenas discusses school finance equity, desegregation of schools, bilingual education, and race discrimination practices in public schools and institutions of higher education in Texas. He talks about his efforts to develop educational continuity programs for children of migrant workers in Texas and the difficult struggle he faced trying to win recognition by state authorities that the need existed and should be provided. Mr. Cárdenas explains how Texas' current system for requiring accountability by students through its TAAS tests is flawed. He talks about his educational background, his professional preparation and participation in the field of education, and he gives details regarding the contributions he has made throughout his career for better and more equitable educational opportunities for Texas' children.

Locations of residence or activity:

San Antonio

Interview Date:

12/10/1997