The Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education and the cases in the following years established that separate but equal should not be the course for our country. Yet, today our public education system is still largely segregated. Housing patterns, school districting lines, and flight of the public system, are just a few factors that often keep students in educational settings with others students of the same race.
The first of the radio series looks into a recent case where a school district accidentally desegregated. Normandy School District, the school district where Michael Brown attended, accidentally sparked a desegregation effort when the awful status of the schools in the district caused the state to classify the school district as unaccredited. A predominately white school district was forced, by state law, to assume the students from the largely African American school district.
The second of the series examines examples where students, parents, and communities, voluntarily desegregate. The episode highlights a charter school system in Hartford, Connecticut that recruits white students to not attend their local suburban schools, but to attend urban schools that have a majority students of color. This second episode also follows the choice of a latina student to attend a predominately white college.
These two one-hour podcasts highlight how little progress has actually been made to desegregate the public education system despite the over sixty years that have passed since Brown v. Board of Education.
Posted by Katie Steefel
Credit to This American Life from WBEZ