Why we should worry more about school equity than desegregation

Richard Milner:

In the landmark 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court declared state laws establishing separate schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.

However, many schools remained largely segregated even after the ruling.

When some schools eventually became racially desegregated, systems of inequity proliferated, ensuring that students from different races would still remain separate in schools and that black students in particular would be negatively affected.

Segregation by a different name

One example of an inequitable practice that was rooted in school’s deliberate attempt to maintain segregation was tracking. Many black students were, and still are, tracked into remedial, special education and regular tracked courses while many white students were tracked in accelerated and gifted programs.