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date: 08 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In 1954, the Supreme Court overturned the long-held legal doctrine of “separate but equal” in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, holding that separate facilities for black and white students were inherently unequal, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Brown marked the beginning of the civil rights era, an era in which the Supreme Court would no longer tolerate dual school systems separated along racial lines. However, the progress toward unitary school systems plateaued and seemed to reverse itself in the 1970s. This chapter reviews the legal and extra-legal developments that have complicated full integration. It suggests pursuing legal and political efforts at federal, state, and local levels—voluntary integration plans and inclusive policies, mediation, and litigation at the federal and state levels—to eradicate segregation and fulfill the promise of Brown in the increasingly diverse society of the twenty-first century in US public schools.

Keywords: segregation, integration, resegregation, black students, Latinx students, undocumented students, equal protection clause, right to education

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