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Honoring Brown

MARCH 2014

Seeking Counsel

How should public school districts celebrate the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education? Certainly, we should remind our students of the nation’s history of racial injustice and the great step forward represented by the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision outlawing legally mandated school segregation.

We should celebrate the progress in education and public life that has been achieved by the long civil rights struggle in which the Brown decision played an important legal and symbolic role.

But, our commemoration of Brown would be incomplete if we did not acknowledge the persistence of what is de facto segregation. This racial isolation is not legally mandated -- instead, it reflects residential patterns, private choices, and public policy decisions.

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