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.

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.

January 21, 2004 – Education Week

The move to desegregate precollegiate education got its start in Summerton, S.C. But then it passed right on by. Includes a photo gallery.
January 21, 2004 – Education Week

Three decades ago, a legal division involving Charlotte, N.C., paved the way for mandatory busing nationwide. Now, integration depends on where you live.
February 18, 2004 – Education Week

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.
March 10, 2004 – Education Week

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.
April 14, 2004 – Education Week

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?
May 19, 2004 – Education Week

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.
May 19, 2004 – Education Week

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.
May 19, 2004 – Education Week

Political leaders have eliminated or underfunded most federal legislative and judicial affairs aimed at decreasing segregation, says professor Jacqueline Jordan Irvine.
May 19, 2004 – Education Week

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.
May 19, 2004 – Education Week

Author Richard Rothstein suggests that a greater understanding of socio-economic factors affecting poor, minority students will help narrow the achievement gap in schools.
May 19, 2004 – Education Week

"We have failed to live up to Brown," says author and educator Sheryll Cashin. In fact, she adds, public schools have become more segregated.
May 19, 2004 – Education Week

Some recently published resources on the Brown decision and related themes.
May 19, 2004 – Education Week

May 18, 2004 – Education Week (Web)

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