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Brown v. Board of Education

Among the various social development aspects, school integration deserves particular attention due to its troublesome implementation and significant possible benefits. The Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court became a starting point of the apparent attempts to ensure educational equality for all races’ representatives. Admitting that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” the judges promoted a completely new approach towards racial segregation (Pettigrew, 2004, p. 528). However, the ruling’s implementation was largely deferred, and further changes in legal trends completely reversed it, depriving thousands of students of its possible benefits. Thus, turning back to the provisions of Brown v. Board of Education is an essential step in enhancing American education and improving its population’s overall well-being.

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The Brown v. Board of Education case was decided in 1954 by the Supreme Court composed of justices promoting the ideas of equality and protection of minority rights. That ruling, which was based on profound social psychology studies, constituted the foundation for school integration. However, facing the antagonism of a significant share of the society, the Court failed to ensure proper implementation of the adopted policy by declaring an “all deliberate speed” approach (Pettigrew, 2004, p. 522). That resulted in substantial deference of the desegregation activities, which mainly depended on state and local authorities’ decisions. Besides, the changes in the Supreme Court composition led to its revised approach. Starting from the Milliken v. Bradley of 1974, the justices declared their approach against the effective implementation of the desegregation policies, refusing to accept remedial programs intended to ensure education equality. Supplemented by the idea that student segregation was a product of overall residential patterns, this approach put an end to all school integration trends.

Nowadays, the situation remains unfavorable in terms of the racial segregation of schools. Over half a century after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, most of its stipulations still require implementation. The integration itself is viewed by many as “at best an irrelevance and at worst an excuse to shift attention away from shoddy teaching” (Kirp, 2012). Moreover, a recent court ruling prohibited school districts from enhancing integration within them by using race as a deciding factor during the admission to the most popular facilities. Despite the court statement that it would encourage racial discrimination, such a policy would become an effective way to break the existing segregation.

Regardless of the treacherous implementation path, school integration has proven beneficial for both Black and White communities. Research showed that Black children attending desegregated schools earned 25 percent more than their peers without such an opportunity (Kirp, 2012). One of the reasons for this is their better academic performance due to improved educational facilities. However, the crucial factor is the enhanced integration into the traditionally all-White circles. Gaining access to the critical social and job networks, improving interracial contacts and building interpersonal ties, Black youths can increase chances of their success in mainly-White colleges and in working for major companies (Pettigrew, 2004). Besides, such integration is also essential for the White youths obtaining the appropriate interracial interaction skills.

Considering the complications of the integration process, it is necessary to remember about the existing residential segregation. In many cases, effective implementation of all-race schools would require significant busing for their students due to various communities living in separate districts. Thus, the global issue is the one of breaking the borders between mostly Black city centers and White suburbs. This mission should be accomplished simultaneously with the school integration policies as both aspects have the same goals and supplement each other.

The discussion provided above shows that the issue of school integration remains a pressing one in modern society with the latest court rulings reminding of the past racist epochs. The recent protests sweeping around the country demonstrated the acuteness of discrimination problems. In this regard, it is necessary to understand that children are the future of any nation, and they will form policies in the years ahead. Therefore, Brown v. Board of Education ruling adopted over sixty years ago finally requires its deserved recognition, interpretation, and implementation.


Pettigrew, T. F. (2004). Justice deferred a half century after Brown v. Board of Education. American Psychologist, 59(6), 521-529. Web.

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Kirp, D. L. (2012). Making schools work. The New York Times. Web.

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