Living the Legacy
Education Week Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Decision
Series: Taking Stock — A five-part Education Week series explores the place of race in American education, 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court's May 17, 1954, desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. “Brown at 50: The Unfulfilled Promise” featured reporting from five communities that illustrate current issues of race, ethnicity, and education.
Summerton, S.C.: In a town where desegregation pioneers launched a historic lawsuit, racially isolated schools are the norm.
Charlotte, N.C.: This city “made desegregation work,” but today, more schools are becoming racially imbalanced.
Chicago: School overcrowding, not integration, is the concern in majority-Hispanic neighborhoods in this city.
Arlington, Va.: This Washing suburb offers a case study of the promise and challenges facing a diverse public school system.
Milwaukee: Supporters and opponents of vouchers and other forms of school choice both lay claim to the legacy of Brown.
Feature: Crumbling Legacy — In the early 1900s, more than 5,000 “Rosenwald schools” were built for black children not allowed in local public schools. Preservationists are working to salvage and restore these often-forgotten buildings.
In the News
In U.S. Schools, Race Still Counts — Despite progress in integration, many schools remain overwhelmingly white or minority. And schools with many black and Hispanic children, especially if most of those pupils live in poverty, often come up short on standard measures of educational health.
Historic Topeka School Hosts Museum Dedicated to Brown — The Brown Foundation succeeds in its push to preserve the Monroe School building as a museum depicting the story of the battles for desegregation and civil rights.
Commission on Brown Anniversary Draws Mixed Reviews for Its Work — A federal commission was created to commemorate the Brown anniversary. Assessments of its accomplishments range from glowing to disappointing.
Students Less Upbeat Than Teachers on Race Relations — Most public school teachers and students believe integrated schooling is important, a poll shows, but students are more likely to report that racial tensions exists in their schools.
Public Overwhelmingly Expresses Support for Diverse Classrooms — Some 90 percent of respondents to a national poll of the general public say racial diversity is important in schools. But far fewer see it as an aid to achievement.Commentary
‘A Shining Moment’ — Abigail Thernstrom warns that demeaning the impact of Brown distorts the past and misses lessons for the future.
‘A Magnificent Mirage’ — Derrick Bell assesses the decision’s “noble image, dulled by resistance to any but minimal steps toward compliance.”
Still Standing in the Schoolhouse Door — Jacqueline Jordan Irvine catalogs the “dream breakers” in Brown’s wake.
The Legacy of ‘All Deliberate Speed’ — Pedro A. Noguera and Robert Cohen show how a history of accepting slow progress toward educational justice continues today.
The American Dilemma Continues — Sheryll Cashin locates the failure of integration in her modern-day tale of “two schools, separate and unequal.”
Social Class Leaves Its Imprint — Richard Rothstein suggests that bridging the black-white achievement gap will require greater sociological understanding.
Copyright © 2004 by Editorial Projects in Education, Inc. All rights reserved.