ERIC Number: EJ807350
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 5
"Brown v. Board of Education II:" A Major Enterprise of Social Reform?
Engl, Margaret; Permuth, Steven B.
International Journal of Educational Reform, v16 n2 p237-246 Spr 2007
Historically, the Supreme Court responds to the majority of cases brought before it with a decision or commentary that directs one or both of the parties on what to do--whether reparations by judgment, delivery of specific property, incarceration, or cessation of doing something. In May 1954, when the school segregation cases of "Brown" were decided, the Court could have acted as it normatively had and so issued a decree ordering the children of "Brown" (and the like students in the respective districts) to be admitted to the represented schools; the Court instead found itself in the situation, in finding segregation unconstitutional, of creating a governing principle. This principle--desegregated public education--would affect not just a few dozen petitioners and their home districts but all the states having school districts with dual systems: some 5,000 districts, 9 million White students, and 3 million Black students. The Court now had the task of mandating how to operationalize the "Brown" decision, an undertaking that, if held at the Court's level, would in effect make the Court a "super school board." In the wake of the 50th anniversary of the second "Brown" decision, this article examines the legal and social movements of both sides of the issue of desegregation in the American public school system, the cases that today still define the "Brown" decision of 1954.
Descriptors: Public Schools, School Segregation, Social Action, Boards of Education, White Students, African American Students, Public Education, Social Change, Court Litigation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education