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Desegregation, Busing, And Schools Essay

2562 words - 10 pages

       The issue of desegregation has been a very controversial issue since it was first legally introduced by the Supreme Court in 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS. Favoring or not favoring desegregation has not been the issue; almost everyone says they are for it on the surface. The controversy arises when it comes to how to implement desegregation. Immediately following the Brown decision, which advocated school assignment regardless of race, many school districts adopted a geographic school assignment policy. This plan, especially in the 1950's, did very little to do away with segregated schools even though it was a race-neutral policy for integration. From that rocky beginning to desegregation, to the current battles over how best to implement desegregation through mandatory (or voluntary) busing of minorities and whites, this issue has been in the forefront of discussions about race and education. This paper will attempt to give a brief history of desegregation in the United States, followed by a discussion of the current events which surround this issue (with balance given to the viewpoints of both sides), and then offer advice on solutions which most benefit everyone involved.



Brown v. Board of the Education in 1954 was a landmark decision in the education arena. The decision maintained that schools that separated students by the color of their skin could no longer be maintained. The court saw this as necessary, since in their mind schools for black students would always be inferior. This inferiority would not be caused by lack of resources, although that usually was a contributing factor to the poor quality of the school, physically and performance-wise. As the Supreme Court saw it, separating students by color would give black students the idea that white students did not want to share a class with them. This would, in turn, lead to feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem, and inferiority, which would damage the students' ability to not only learn, but also to function in a society in which the white culture is the dominant culture (Hacker, 1992). The Supreme Court issued a minor case the following year, 1955, in a decision commonly referred to as <>(Armor, 1988). This case was for the most part a restatement of the original Brown case. It was very broad in its mandates, including ordering school systems "to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis" (Armor, 1988). This mandate to achieve integrated schools by making nonracial decisions led many school districts to draw geographic areas for neighborhood schools. While this does not officially sanction separate schools for whites and blacks, due to the lack of integration in many of the neighborhoods, it was essentially the same separate schools as before the Brown case. Another method that many school districts used was the freedom-of-choice approach. The schools were no longer officially white or...

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