Resurrecting the Promise of Brown: Understanding and Remedying How the Supreme Court Reconstitutionalized Segregated Schools

BY Kimberly Jenkins Robinson

The Supreme Court’s decision on Brown v. Board of Education, held that separate educational facilities were “inherently unequal.” After tolerating substantial delay and evasion of the requirements of Brown, the Court eventually required school districts to dismantle the dual systems by eliminating all traces of separate schools and creating integrated schools. In contrast to numerous scholars that have contended that many of the Court’s later school desegregation decisions withdrew from or grew weary of school desegregation, this Article argues that the effect of many of the Court’s leading school desegregation decisions was to reconstitutionalize segregated schools. Furthermore, the Court’s recent decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, will exacerbate this effect by making it substantially more difficult for school districts to remedy such schools. This Article concludes with a proposal for how the President and U.S. Department of Education could implement a comprehensive plan to resurrect Brown’s promise to end separate and unequal schools.

DOWNLOAD PDF | 88 N.C. L. Rev. 787 (2010)

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