This week, it’s 61 years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (May 17, 1954) that ended legal segregation in public schools. The issues raised in the case remain as relevant today as they were then, and the public dialogue continues.
Want to explore the case?
- Read four facts you might not have known about Brown v. Board of Education, from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Brown v. Board was the consolidation of five separate cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of segregation in public schools, all of them sponsored by the NAACP-LDF.
- Check out our School Desegregation page.
- Examine Federal Records Pertaining to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) at the National Archives.
- Access many of the case’s most important documents at the Brown v. Board of Education page on the National Archives website
Want to do some research on the current state of schools in the U.S.?
Dig into the extensive Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) at the U.S. Department of Education. The CRDC is a biennial (i.e., every other school year) survey required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The database includes:
- Data from every public school in the nation (approximately 16,500 school districts, 97,000 schools, and 49 million students).
- Traditional public schools (preschool through 12th grade), alternative schools, career and technical education schools, and charter schools.
- Data for every public school disaggregated by race/ethnicity, English learner status, sex, and disability.
- Data for all schools now disaggregated by seven race and ethnicity categories, including Native-Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and multiracial students.
- Measures student access to college- and career-preparatory science and math courses, AP courses and tests, SAT/ACT tests, gifted and talented programs, IB programs, preschool programs, and interscholastic athletics.
- Tracks teacher and resource equity, including teacher experience and salary levels, other personnel and non-personnel expenditures, and access to school counselors.
- Reveals school climate disparities related to student discipline, restraint and seclusion, retention, and bullying and harassment.
Want recommended titles in print? Here are two in our collection:
A Storm Over this Court : Law, Politics, and Supreme Court Decision Making in Brown v. Board of Education by Jeffrey D. Hockett CALL # KF228.B76 H63 2013
All Deliberate Speed : Reflections on the First Half Century of Brown v. Board of Education by Charles J. Ogletree CALL # KF4757 .O35 2004