The Promise of Brown v. Board of Education Remains Unfulfilled

For Immediate Release

The Promise of Brown v. Board of Education Remains Unfulfilled

WASHINGTON - On the
occasion of the 56th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of
Education
case, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law released the
statement below:

As the nation marks 56 years since the U.S. Supreme
Court's landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision declaring state laws establishing separate public schools for
black and
white students and denying black children equal educational
opportunities
unconstitutional, the achievement gap in America remains dire.

The Lawyers' Committee for
Civil
Rights Under Law is firmly committed toward eliminating
the
achievement gap between white students and students of color.  We
believe
that certain critical steps are necessary to do so, such as mandating diversity
standards
and retaining integration requirements in public school programs
- particularly in Title I and charter schools.  As President Obama
has observed, "segregated schools were and are inferior schools...50
years after Brown v. Board of Education.  And the inferior
education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive
achievement
gap between today's black and white students." 

The Supreme Court has acknowledged that promoting
diversity
and avoiding racial isolation are compelling interests that schools can
and
should pursue, and the Lawyers' Committee will continue to work on the
federal and state level to either incorporate or maintain such diversity
standards.  To that end, we will also continue to press the Department
of
Education to release guidance in accordance with the recent Supreme
Court
desegregation cases - Parents Involved in Community
Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1
, 551 U.S. 701
(2007) decided together with Meredith v. Jefferson
County Board of
Education
.  Local school districts need the federal
government to exercise leadership in this area so there is no more delay
in
ensuring that all of our students are obtaining a quality education. 

In addition to working with the Department of Education, the Lawyers'
Committee is also working with members of Congress to urge
prioritization of
diversity standards, parental involvement and better Title VI
enforcement
through the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education
Act
(ESEA).  The education of all children is indeed a civil right and must
be
treated as such.   Congress and the Administration must take
affirmative steps to address racial inequities in the American public
education
system. 

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The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law.

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