Brown and the Foundations of Educational Equality

Brown v Board of Education in 1954 was the starting point of educational reform that is still impacting law and policy today. The concept of desegregation, a promise in the Supreme Court ruling, is a movement still today that provides conceptual and political foundations for education law and policy reform.This article shed light that this type of reform from school finance litigation to legislation focusing on testing and charter schools is drawn from the principles of educational equality in the Supreme Court. This was a really important start in the article that allowed me to get into the right mindset for this reading as previously, I had never seen all of these events and movements as being connected. This article allows me to see the fight in so many different ways that are all related towards the progress of the same goal over the past sixty-five years. As a future teacher this reading was a critical component for me; learning and reflecting on educational equality that has tied together the other reading pieces from this class. This reading allowed for time of reflection as the timeline of events and progress to enable the readers to expand their perspective and realize the need for improvement. The reading continues to address the principles of equality from the Supreme Court such as voting rights, prisoners’ rights, and employees’ rights, showing how crucial Brown v Board of Education was to society as a whole.

The reading shows the true importance of the Brown v Board of Education case as it shapes the civil rights movement and future of the United States. The article then addresses the issue that although the Court made this ruling, that the concept of equality and how to achieve left many questions. The article portrays that the concept of desegregation in the Supreme Court ruling was an empty promise, clearly showing that the author believes in desegregation and shows the failure of fulfilling the court ruling. The reading develops by presenting the timeline of events that showcases the progress and struggles of the civil rights movement.

Chapter one starts with identifying events leading up to Brown and draws the reform efforts on educational equality to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Although I have learned about these events separately in class, I had never truly learned the correlation, causing me to realize the true power of words and change seeing the relationship between these events. The “separate but equal” decision in Plessy v. Ferguson allowed discrimmination like the Jim Crow law that plagued our country, especially the South. The development of previous courses depicted the pressure of change in society and shows how crucial Brown v. Board of Education was in the process of forming educational laws and policies. May 17, 1954 when the Supreme Court declared that racial segregation in public schools was unconsitiutional under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendement, racial segregation in public schools was required under law in seventeen states. This expanded my perspective that allowed me to see the truth and reflect on the past racism in our country.

I chose an article titled, “Fulfilling the Promise of Brown v. Board: From School and Housing Policies to the Courts,” published by the News and Features from the National Education and Association. Published May 10, 2019 the article quotes “Sixty-five years ago, the Brown v. Board of Education ruling promised integrated and equitable schools.” On May 10, 2019, housing officials collaborated with educators to integrate neighborhoods as a means to achieving school integration, displaying that progress is still being made to achieve this promise stated in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. I chose this current event to connect it to that overall theme of the reading that although society has made advancements, there is still much room for improvement. Throughout the reading it demonstrates the struggle of fulfilling Brown v. Board, and this current connection displays steps made just one year ago to still fulfill this goal ruled sixty-five years ago. The current connection article is very similar to the reading in ways of developing a background and timeline of events from Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education to the civil rights movements, and legislation including Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Fair Housing act of 1968.

One shocking element of this article was the identification of how there are more than two dozen executive and judicial nominees of the Trump administration that have declined to endorse the unanimous decision made by the Supreme Court. Reading about the fight for equality resulted in me being very upset that there are people potentially in the executive and judicial branches that do not support this basic human right. Civil rights groups from across the nation have urged the Senate to reject President Trump’s judicial nominees who refuse to voice support for the Supreme Court Ruling. The president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights was quoted saying, “Those nominees who cannot bring themselves to affirm a case as vital to the fabric of our democracy and legal order as Brown do not deserve a lifetime appointment as a federal judge.” The current connection ends with a call for community investment and education advocacy, a concept both the reading and article value as a means to integrate schools. During the break out room discussions I challenged my peers to think about their own communities and schools to see if they had demographically diverse schools. I think the most impactful part of our discussion was hearing everyone’s perspectives on President Trump’s executive and judicial nominees that did not support Brown. This allowed us all, as future teachers, to think about how we can play a role in making sure that our leaders are ones who have the best intentions of equality of education reaching every child.

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