Monday, May 17, 2004

Beyond Black, White and Brown: from The Nation

Tons of articles out there covering the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education. Certainly the decision overturning de jure segregation is absolutely an event worth celebrating. But looking at the state of the art 50 years later leaves much to be desired.

The wide-ranging set of opinions collected by The Nation rang closest to my sensibilities.
    Thanks to the civil rights revolution, de jure segregation is dead. But vast social, economic and educational inequalities continue to plague American society. Moreover, while the black-white paradigm has never fully described American race relations, we are far more aware today than in the past of the multiracial nature of our society. With this in mind, we asked a range of scholars, writers and activists to reflect on the legacy of Brown and the prospects for future change. Should education be the primary focus of social activism? What strategies will most effectively promote educational betterment in black and other communities? Can we expect the courts to play a role at the forefront of change, as they did for much of the 1950s and '60s, and if not, what other institutions are positioned to adopt that role? Is the goal of educational desegregation irrelevant today?
The people who insist the NCLB will help solve achievement at low-income schools need to get out of the clouds and into the muck and mire.