Law & Courts Series

Brown at 50

Throughout 2004, Education Week is providing special coverage the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the doctrine of “separate but equal” in public education. “Brown at 50: The Unfulfilled Promise,” a five part-series running from January through May, takes stock of the continued role of race in American education, looking at key issues, developments, and localities. A related package, “Brown at 50: Marking a Milestone,” collects our coverage of current news, commentary, and analysis connected with the Brown anniversary.

Law & Courts Hearts and Minds
Parental choice, a strategy once used to help integrate schools through the creation of magnet schools and special programs, is now under fire for increasing racial separation. How does this issue play out in Milwaukee—the birthplace of the voucher movement?
Caroline Hendrie, May 19, 2004
15 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion The Brown Decision: 'A Magnificent Mirage'
Brown teaches that advocates of racial justice should rely less on judicial decisions and more on tactics that challenge the continuing assumptions of white dominance, writes author, professor, and former NAACP lawyer Derrick Bell.
Derrick Bell, May 19, 2004
7 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Books on the Brown Decision
Some recently published resources on the Brown decision and related themes.
May 19, 2004
4 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Still Standing in the Schoolhouse Door
Political leaders have eliminated or underfunded most federal legislative and judicial affairs aimed at decreasing segregation, says professor Jacqueline Jordan Irvine.
Jacqueline Jordan Irvine, May 19, 2004
7 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Social Class Leaves Its Imprint
Author Richard Rothstein suggests that a greater understanding of socio-economic factors affecting poor, minority students will help narrow the achievement gap in schools.
Richard Rothstein, May 19, 2004
6 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion The Legacy of ‘All Deliberate Speed’
Professors Pedro A. Noguera and Robert Cohen look at the issue of still-segregated classrooms and question just how much there is to celebrate on Brown’s 50th anniversary.
Pedro A. Noguera & Robert Cohen, May 19, 2004
5 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion The American Dilemma Continues
"We have failed to live up to Brown," says author and educator Sheryll Cashin. In fact, she adds, public schools have become more segregated.
Sheryll Cashin, May 19, 2004
8 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion The Brown Decision: 'A Shining Moment'
The focus on "resegregation" is a distraction from the task of striving towards equal education outcomes, argues Abigail Thernstrom, author and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Abigail Thernstrom, May 19, 2004
8 min read
Law & Courts Mixed Messages
At Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., racial and ethnic integration is part of the fabric of life. But although teenagers at the school are comfortable with diversity, the issue is still not without complexity.
Catherine Gewertz, April 14, 2004
14 min read
Equity & Diversity Close to Home
In 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, integration—to most Americans—was simply an issue of black and white. But, as the experience of one Chicago neighborhood shows, the growing number of Hispanic students in public schools has created a more complex picture.
Mary Ann Zehr, March 10, 2004
13 min read
Law & Courts Color Bind
Three decades ago, a legal division involving Charlotte, N.C., paved the way for mandatory busing nationwide. Now, integration depends on where you live.
Karla Scoon Reid, February 18, 2004
13 min read
Law & Courts In U.S. Schools, Race Still Counts
Since the historic decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka half a century ago, much has changed in American life and education. In this first of a five-part series, Education Week takes a comprehensive look at Brown 50 years out.

Caroline Hendrie, January 21, 2004
16 min read
Law & Courts Stuck in Time
The move to desegregate precollegiate education got its start in Summerton, S.C. But then it passed right on by. Includes a photo gallery.
Alan Richard, January 21, 2004
12 min read