School Desegregation

How can the promise of equal education be fulfilled?


This May the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision declaring racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. But the promise of equal educational opportunity for all offered by the once-controversial Brown v. Board of Education ruling is widely viewed as unfulfilled. Today, an increasing percentage of African-American and Latino students attend schools with mostly other minorities — a situation that critics blame on recent Supreme Court decisions easing judicial supervision of desegregation plans. Black and Latino students also lag far behind whites in academic achievement. School-desegregation advocates call for stronger steps to break down racial and ethnic isolation and to upgrade schools that serve minority students. Critics of mandatory desegregation, however, say stronger accountability, stricter academic standards and parental choice will ...

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