Clotfelter helps trace the history of school desegregation in the United States. He and the other contributors also reflect on possible remedies for the racial and ethnic disparities that continue in our public schools.
In 1954 the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education; ten years later, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act. These monumental changes in American law dramatically expanded educational opportunities for racial and ethnic minority children across the country. They also changed the experiences of white children, who have learned in increasingly diverse classrooms. The authors of this commemorative volume include leading scholars in law, education, and public policy, as well as important historical figures. Taken together, the chapters trace the narrative arc of school desegregation in the United States, beginning in California in the 1940s, continuing through Brown v. Board, the Civil Rights Act, and three important Supreme Court decisions about school desegregation and voluntary integration in 1974, 1995, and 2007. The authors also assess the status of racial and ethnic equality in education today and consider the viability of future legal and policy reform in pursuit of the goals of Brown v. Board.
This remarkable collection of voices in conversation with one another lays the groundwork for future discussions about the relationship between law and educational equality, and ultimately for the creation of new public policy.