MAY 17: Brown vs. Board of Education and School Desegregation Teaching Resources
Create the schools and communities our children deserve
May 17 is the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision that prohibited Southern states from segregating schools by race. The Brown decision annihilated the “separate but equal” rule, previously sanctioned by the Supreme Court in 1896, that permitted states and school districts to designate some schools “whites-only” and others “Negroes-only.” More important, by focusing the nation’s attention on subjugation of blacks, it helped fuel a wave of freedom rides, sit-ins, voter registration efforts, and other actions leading ultimately to civil rights legislation in the late 1950s and 1960s. But Brown was unsuccessful in its purported mission—to undo the school segregation that persists as a central feature of American public education today. What have we learned?
In the 60 years since the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Brown Board of Education, we still haven’t achieved equality in public education. Equity is one of the cornerstones of America’s public education system. That’s why NEA is bringing together educators, families and community leaders to ensure that all students have meaningful educational opportunity.