Copyright (c) 2002 Widener Law Symposium
Widener Law Symposium
NOTE: FIFTY YEARS AFTER BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION: RESEGREGATION OF AMERICA'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS
9 Wid. L. Symp. J. 183
Barri A. Orlow
It has been almost 50 years since the Supreme Court's mandate in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 1 banned racially separate educational facilities. However, America's public schools are still segregated. 2 According to researchers, 3 post-Brown I and II integration 4 within elementary and secondary schools failed, due, in part, 5 to a line of cases decided by the United States Supreme Court between 1974 and the mid 1990s. 6 As such, the Court's failure to fully uphold the mandate set forth in Brown I, along with precedence set by subsequent decisions 7 that conflict with Brown I, have resulted in the nearing end to all court-ordered desegregation. 8
This note will consider the flaws in the Supreme Court's reasoning behind several of the major desegregation decisions and the ramifications of post-Brown I and II which have seemingly led tothe resegregation of the country's public schools. The discussion will begin with an overview of the movement to desegregate public schools beginning with the seminal Brown I and Brown II cases for foundation. 9 Next will be an examination of Milliken v. Bradley, Board of Education v. Dowell, Freeman v. Pitts and Missouri v. Jenkins, 10 and how they undermined the intentions of Brown I. Third, this article will evaluate and compare federal and state desegregation measures, and the consequences of each. Finally, this note will look at the current state of desegregation and will summarize steps that could be taken in the future. ...
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