“African American and Latino students continue to lag behind white students on achievement exams, in high school graduation rates, and college completion rates. “(Bowman, Kristi L. , vol. 1, no. 1) “Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys. “(New York Times) Segregation in schools has been around for a very long time. Recently, schools have become equal to all students, but schools still experience forms of segregation.
In schools, minority children are still falling behind white students on exams and other forms of tests. So, even though schools have changed, we still experience forms of segregation. Over the last century, American school’s racial and ethnic equality has changed significantly. Segregation in schools has been around for a very long time decades. Ever since the Massechusetts supreme court ruled that seperate schools for blacks and whites is okay under the states constitution in 1849.
Since this case till the court case Brown vs. Board everything was separate Before the Brown vs. Board case, the school buses, the school houses, even the teachers were separated. School houses for black children were dirty and they didn’t have much supplies. These children only had one school house and they didn’t feel safe to learn or even talk to the teacher. But school houses for white children were big and clean. They had a lot of supplies and they learned in a good and safe environment. School segregation led to the court case Plessy vs. Ferguson. The first piece of evidence to be presented is Plessy vs. Ferguson. This court case stated that things can be separate for black and whites, but they must be equal.
So, buses and schools could be separate but they must be the same. “Victims of racial discrimination were told to seek relief not from the Federal Government, but from the states. Unfortunately, state governments were passing legislation that codified inequality between the, races. ” (Plessy vs. Ferguson 1896) When victims of discrimination were going to the government for help they told them to go to their states, but when these people went to their states, the states counldn’t do anything because there were laws restricting it. This court case ended in a 7-1 vote.
Justice Brown conceded that the 14th Amendment intended to establish absolute equality for the races before the law. But Brown noted that “in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political equality, or a commingling of the two races unsatisfactory to either. ” In short, segregation does not in itself constitute unlawful discrimination. ” Justice Brown said this to show that segregation is not discrimination, that is why this law “Seperate but Eqaul” got passed. Who decided what was equal?
White people. So, were these things really equal? The second court case is Brown vs. Board of education. This case ended segregation in schools because the “Supreme Court declared segregation in education to be unconstitutional” (Rathbone, Mark p1-6) . The reason that this case was brought to the court is because “Brown’s seven-year-old daughter Linda had to walk through a railway marshalling yard and cross a busy main road to catch a bus to the all-black Monroe School on the other side of the city, instead of attending the whites-only Sumner School a few blocks from her home” (Rathbone, Mark p1-6).
He wanted to change this so that his daughter would be safer and fit in with the other kids, so he took it to court. Brown vs. Board of education consisted of four court cases, where the Court declared separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. This court cases stated that the racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Equal Protection Clause says that the laws of the state must treat an individual the same way as other people in the same circumstances.
For example a student can’t be rejected from entering a school just because of their race. The last piece of evidence to be presented is Cooper vs. Aaron this court case stated that the state of Arkansas could not pass laws that would undermine the rule of Brown vs. Board of education. Arkansas wanted to continue with segregated schools. They believed that black and white students should not be in the same schools learning the same things. This court case informed all states that they had to follow this law, even if they don’t didn’t like it.
Segregation became violent in 1957 when the governer if Arkansas prevented 9 black student from entering Little Rock High School. “When the school term began on 2 September 1957 the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, sent the National Guard to prevent nine black students entering the Little Rock High School” (Little Rock (1957)). The national guard was removed after three weeks, but a white mob replaced them. The mayor reached out to President Eisenhower saying that the police couldn’t keep the peace.
President Eisenhower sent US troops to make sure that the black students could enter the school. The school ended up closing but reopened as a desegregated school. “This was the first time since Reconstruction that US troops were sent to the south to protect the civil rights of blacks” (Little Rock (1957)). This was a big step in making blacks and whites equal in education. The President sent US troops to protect black students.
This made people realize that if the president was trying to protect these students then maybe black people aren’t that bad. Upper-income people in our society can choose the school their children will attend either by buying a house in an area with good public schools or by paying private school tuition” (Still Separate and Unequal). This quote is saying that upper income families can send their children to schools where they will get a great education. “… but that leaves hundreds of thousands of low-income predominantly minority children behind in terrible schools with low academic achievement and high rates of crime” (Still Separate and Unequal).
The man who wrote this article also stated that when a vote was put in place to allow black students to attend white private schools it was vetoed. This means that the vote was turned down. The reason that this article popped up is because if our educational system has really changed then why can’t black people attend white private schools, has our educational system really changed? I put this in my essay is because Segregation has changed significantly, and it has, but some people are still facing segregation today, even if there are laws preventing it.
Schools became more equal because of many reasons, some of which are because of court cases. Another part of it is because people realized that black men and woman are the same as them. One big reason that segregation changed in schools is because of the court case Brown vs. Board of education once again this case ruled that separate public schools for black and whites is unconstitutional. This made schools have to allow blacks and whites into one school and they had to be taught the same things. Even if black students weren’t treated the same they still had to be in the same school.
This case also made white people realize that black men and woman aren’t as bad as they believed. Another reason that schools became more equal is because these schools were forced to allow black children into the classroom. If the court wouldn’t have ruled that separate classrooms is wrong, then our classrooms would still be segregated. But the court did rule that separate classrooms were unconstitutional and our education is better for it. In schools, we celebrate what black people have done for our country. Back then they wouldn’t have even brought up black people or if teachers did it was only to trash talk them.
In schools, we talk about the times when blacks and whites were separate, but we talk about this time as a way to learn from our mistakes and see how bad this time really was. We learn about black people so that we celebrate them instead of hate them. We have books that talk about what black people have done for our country. One of the books that talk about the changes in our history are “From The Courtroom To The Classroom: The Shifting Landscape of School Desegregation, edited by Claire E. Smrekar and Ellen B. Goldring” (Chronicle of Higher Education, pB20-B22).
In conclusion, schools have become unsegregated, in many ways, however, it has taken a lot of strides to get to where we are today. Schools are equal for almost all children. Most schools have the right materials to learn correctly. Children are getting the right education that they deserve and almost all children are getting along. Our schools have definitely changed for the better. We may have had some bumps along the road, but without these court cases and fights our schools wouldn’t be any better than they were many years ago. Over the last century, American school’s racial and ethnic equality has changed significantly.