Educational Freedom and Urban America: Brown v. Board After Half a Century
We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s monumental decision, Brown v. Board of Education. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling struck down segregated public schooling. As the court wrote: “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” But almost five decades later, public education remains unequal. Forty-five percent of black and 47 percent of Hispanic students drop out of public high schools (compared to 24 percent of whites). Only 5 percent of black and 10 percent of Hispanic fourth-graders achieve at least at the proficient level on the math portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (compared to 33 percent of whites). Minority children suffer disproportionately from a failing education system.