Addressing Racial Inequities in Education 65 Years After Brown v. Board

This year will mark the 65th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board decision, which ruled that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. To discuss the state of racial segregation in schools post-Brown v. Board, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) hosted the event “Separate and Still Unequal: Race in America’s Schools 65 Years After Brown v. Board of Education.”

During the event, a panel of education leaders from postsecondary institutions, secondary institutions and nonprofit organizations discussed the racial inequities that still persist in U.S. schools post-Brown v. Board. Notably, the panel recognized that schools are becoming more segregated, as the percentage of U.S. black and Latinx students who attend a school with 75 percent or more minority enrollment is increasing. The panel noted the importance of having open conversations about institutional racism and advocating for systemic change to address the resegregation of schools. The panel emphasized how this resegregation of schools hurts all learners, as it prevents learners from learning how to work with diverse populations- a skill that is necessary given the shifting demographics of the US workforce.

High-quality CTE programs should equip learners with such real-world skills. However, if CTE programs lack racial diversity because of resegregation or historically marginalized communities do not have access to the same programs as their peers, learners may not develop the skills they need to succeed in the workforce. The panelists noted that resegregation can take many different forms. A school as a whole may not be segregated, but specific classes or programs may be. CTE leaders must examine their CTE programs for racial equity gaps in participation and completion and take the necessary steps to close those gaps. State leaders can learn about promising solutions to close racial equity gaps in CTE in Advance CTE’s Making Good on the Promise series.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

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