Professor Nancy Winship
Figure 1: Tallahassee Democrat headline for segregation ban - Tallahassee, Florida
Brown v. Board of Education
In 1954, the parents of eight year old Linda Brown and nineteen other students from Topeka, Kansas were forced to file a class action lawsuit against the Board of Education because the separation between blacks and whites in the schools had been declared unconstitutional. While the Board of Education claimed that their school district was “separate but equal”, the truth was that the black schools had little funding, less than adequate supplies, unsanitary facilities, and a lower quality of education that was afforded the students in the white schools. In its unanimous decision, the Supreme Court determined that: black students are not inferior to white students; it was unconstitutional to separate black and white students; it was detrimental to the psychological well being of black students to have separate facilities; and black students had the right to the same educational advantages as the white students. The outcome of the lawsuit affected American education significantly as it paved the way for the repeal of the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessey v. Ferguson. This event was an extremely important milestone in history marking the beginning of the end segregation in America’s the public school systems. Schools had to higher their teaching, learning, and facility standards and be held accountable for the success of all their students. Black students were finally starting to be integrated and were able to use the same materials, have the same teachers, and receive the same education as the white students.
Figure 3: National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education.
The Elementary and Second Education Act of 1965
The Elementary and Second Education Act of 1965 is said to be one of the most important legislative acts to form education in America today. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the federal government refused to assume responsibility in the overseeing or funding of education. After World War II, the government enacted this act providing local districts with the responsibilities of finances for students who were economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, or for finical aid for higher education. The federal government still does not have much to do with the operation of the education systems, but it still has a large influence on how they are run. Their national presence and influence is still a big part of the American education system today. This legislation act provided the federal government with the ability to become involved in the American education system. This was a significant event because this was the point in time where they assumed financial responsibility for America’s Public Education systems, which helped children receive better education due to the fact they were finally given the fiancés to get the resources necessary. This was a great time in history for education because in the past, students with disabilities were discriminated against. They were often locked away in mental institutions, and instead of given the assistance necessary to succeed, they were already set out to be failures. After this act was put in place, many corporations helped out these students by forming programs to give disadvantaged students jobs. Applebee’s for example, formed a program to give students with disabilities a small income for their services. Many programs like these were formed due to the involvement of the government. The entire nations started to take a different view on those with disabilities. Instead of pushing them to the side as useless, the general public was now learning that people with disabilities were just as capable to achieve great things. They were integrated into society and were taught an occupation that would allow them to gain their independence and show the world…