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T74: 9 Brown v. Board essays: ‘The harsh lash of Jim Crow’ | ‘Regular’ people who made desegregation possible | A nation ‘chasing the wrong things’

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Good morning!

Integration. Desegregation. Separate but equal. The meaning of these phrases, fundamental to any lesson about Brown v. Board of Education, seems crystal-clear when taught in the classroom — in schools profoundly shaped, in ways great and small, by that seminal Supreme Court decision. But viewed through the lens of history, what do those phrases, and the case itself, actually mean? Today, The 74 offers essays by nine thought leaders — educators, policymakers, societal observers — on the promise and the disappointments, the triumph and the backlash of the Brown decision, and its continuing influence on America’s children, 65 years later.

But first, some news out of Los Angeles, where former assemblywoman, one-time City Council member and teachers union favorite Jackie Goldberg will be rejoining the L.A. Unified School District board after a decisive victory (https://www.the74million.org/article/jackie-goldberg-former-california-assemblywoman-and-los-angeles-city-council-member-to-rejoin-lausd-board-after-decisive-victory-in-tuesdays-special-election/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) over former mayoral aide and L.A. Unified parent Heather Repenning in Tuesday’s special election.

All this and more, today at The 74.

Higher Education
GATES TO STUDY POST-SECONDARY VALUE: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is launching a new initiative to measure the value of higher education (https://www.the74million.org/article/gates-foundation-launches-postsecondary-value-commission-in-hopes-of-influencing-the-ongoing-higher-ed-reauthorization-in-congress/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) , an effort leaders hope will influence the ongoing federal debate over reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. Commission leaders specifically hope the definition the group comes up with can guide Congress in its policymaking on Pell Grants and federal-state partnerships. Time, though, is a factor: Debate on reauthorization is in full swing, and the commission won’t complete its work until next year. “We are going to be working through our value commission in real time, as there are conversations happening on Capitol Hill. … To the extent that we can inform those conversations, we certainly will,” Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Gates Foundation and co-chair of the commission,
told reporters on a call last week. Carolyn Phenicie has the details (https://www.the74million.org/article/gates-foundation-launches-postsecondary-value-commission-in-hopes-of-influencing-the-ongoing-higher-ed-reauthorization-in-congress/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) .

Charter Schools
TRAUMA-INFORMED SCHOOL PROPOSED IN ARKANSAS: Children who have experienced trauma have special needs and challenges that may be difficult for traditional district schools to address. That’s why the staff at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter wants to open a charter school on its campus specifically to help students who have experienced trauma (https://www.the74million.org/article/a-childrens-shelter-in-northwest-arkansas-has-a-new-plan-to-help-kids-who-have-experienced-trauma-launch-a-new-school-built-just-for-them/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . The shelter already operates a small school for children who are placed there temporarily, but opening under a charter will allow the staff to apply what they know about trauma-informed care to reach more children. “I really believe that we owe it to our community, to the future of our community, to expand our services and our capabilities to a larger audience,” said the shelter’s education director, Jake Gibbs. The local superintendent supports the proposal, saying
some children need more support than the district is able to provide (https://www.the74million.org/article/a-childrens-shelter-in-northwest-arkansas-has-a-new-plan-to-help-kids-who-have-experienced-trauma-launch-a-new-school-built-just-for-them/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) .

In celebration of National Charter Schools Week, some features about charter schools across the country:
* Washington, D.C.: These 5 D.C. Charter Schools All Have the Same Mission but Couldn’t Be More Different (https://www.the74million.org/article/langhorne-these-5-d-c-charter-schools-all-have-the-same-mission-but-couldnt-be-more-different/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479)

* Texas: As It Closes In on 20 Years, IDEA Public Schools, Texas’s Homegrown Charter Network, Is Big, Bold and Sticking to the Basics (https://www.the74million.org/article/as-it-closes-in-on-20-years-idea-public-schools-texass-homegrown-charter-network-is-big-bold-and-sticking-to-the-basics/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479)

* And the Winners Are...: 2019’s Champions for Charters and Hall of Famers Show Support for Charter Schools Across the Aisle & the Country (https://www.the74million.org/article/wilkins-ziebarth-2019-champions-for-charters-and-hall-of-famers-show-support-for-charter-schools-across-the-aisle-the-country/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479)

* New Mexico: How a Coalition of Educators, Activists and Families Saved Charter Schools in the New Mexico Legislature (https://www.the74million.org/article/pahl-how-a-coalition-of-educators-activists-and-families-saved-charter-schools-in-the-new-mexico-legislature/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479)

* Go Deeper: Read more coverage of National Charter Schools Week and other school choice celebrations (https://www.the74million.org/series/national-charter-schools-week/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479)

Brown v. Board
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE LANDMARK SUPREME COURT DECISION?: What was it like going to school under Jim Crow in the Deep South? Is the educational landscape markedly better today than it was before May 17, 1954? How deeply does racism still permeate America’s schools? If our classrooms are segregated, must the learning still be? Below, nine essays exploring the history and the lasting ramifications of the Brown decision.
* Chris Stewart — After 65 Years, Maybe It’s Time to Stop Waiting: “We lost so much by placing our faith in the social engineering of schools that robbed us of black educational capital and infrastructure (https://www.the74million.org/article/chris-stewart-its-been-65-years-maybe-its-time-to-stop-expecting-the-promise-of-brown-v-board-to-be-fulfilled/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . … Perhaps it’s time we believe in ourselves and reclaim responsibility for educating our children. … Yes, it’s been 65 years since the Brown decision promised integrated schools and better education. That’s too long for us to have ignored that the goal is quality schools however they may be composed (https://www.the74million.org/article/chris-stewart-its-been-65-years-maybe-its-time-to-stop-expecting-the-promise-of-brown-v-board-to-be-fulfilled/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) .”

* Sharif El-Mekki — The False Cry of Integration and Black Student Achievement: “We, as a nation, are chasing the wrong things. From Boston to Birmingham, we have seen the ferocious and virulent reaction of white people to the thought of integration (https://www.the74million.org/article/el-mekki-black-folks-stop-chasing-white-integration-its-not-the-surest-path-to-black-student-achievement/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . From throwing bricks at school buses full of black kids being bused into lily-white schools to entire schools districts either being shut down or wholly seceding to maintain the racial imbalance, we have seen how integration is met. Let’s stop playing the game. All black schools aren’t damaging to kids, it’s anti-blackness that is proven to be perniciously harmful to kids. As Malcolm X said, “You can't hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree (https://www.the74million.org/article/el-mekki-black-folks-stop-chasing-white-integration-its-not-the-surest-path-to-black-student-achievement/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) .”

* Gerard Robinson — In Praise of the “Regular” People Who Made Desegregation Possible: You’ve heard of Thurgood Marshall. You’ve heard of Earl Warren. But did you know of 16-year-old Barbara Rose Johns and the 1951 Student’s Strike against the segregated Robert Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia? What about Operation Exodus, led by black families from the Dorchester and Roxbury sections of Boston in the 1960s (https://www.the74million.org/article/youve-heard-of-thurgood-marshall-earl-warren-now-its-time-to-celebrate-the-regular-people-who-made-brown-v-board-possible-65-years-ago/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) to raise money to bus students into under-enrolled white public schools? “As we commemorate Brown at 65, let us acknowledge victories won and opportunities lost. Lawyers, judges and educators remain essential stakeholders in this work. … So are families, students and a lot of regular people, too
(https://www.the74million.org/article/youve-heard-of-thurgood-marshall-earl-warren-now-its-time-to-celebrate-the-regular-people-who-made-brown-v-board-possible-65-years-ago/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) .”

* Cynthia Tucker Haynes — Grade-School Memories From the Jim Crow South: “The first of my parents’ four children, I attended segregated public schools for all of my elementary and most of my high school years. The public schools in my hometown, Monroeville, Alabama, did not fully desegregate until 1970 (https://www.the74million.org/article/tucker-haynes-resisting-school-integration-long-after-brown-v-board-my-grade-school-memories-from-the-jim-crow-south/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . So I came of age under the harsh lash of Jim Crow. It affected not only my educational opportunities but also my parents’ livelihoods: They were both educators — my father was a principal, my mother a teacher — and they were both paid less than their white peers in the same positions. That was the law of the land (https://www.the74million.org/article/tucker-haynes-resisting-school-integration-long-after-brown-v-board-my-grade-school-memories-from-the-jim-crow-south/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) , and it didn’t change just because the Supreme Court ruled that it
must.”

* Alicia Ramsey — A Teacher’s Struggles in a Desegregating School — in 1995: “Understanding the school desegregation process as a new seventh-grade social studies teacher would become an unexpected new norm. The culture in my Perry Township middle school was clouded with misunderstandings and undertones of racism (https://www.the74million.org/article/ramsey-as-a-new-teacher-i-felt-the-struggles-over-integration-first-hand-38-years-after-desegregation-became-the-law-of-the-land/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) , mixed with strict protocols to make sure the court-mandated guidelines were followed. I was greeted with stories of past racial tensions by complaining faculty members who often shared, with boldness, their unwillingness to comply with the new rules. This behavior was unexpected and unwelcome, and it did not take long before I became aware of the historical noose now attached to my career
(https://www.the74million.org/article/ramsey-as-a-new-teacher-i-felt-the-struggles-over-integration-first-hand-38-years-after-desegregation-became-the-law-of-the-land/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) .”

* Phyllis Lockett — We Can Do So Much Better: “Our post-Brown fixation on the integration of schools ... has obscured the inequities that are present even when students of different races learn in the same classrooms, from the same teachers (https://www.the74million.org/article/lockett-65-years-after-brown-v-board-our-fixation-on-integration-is-hiding-gross-inequities-in-our-schools-we-must-focus-not-just-on-whom-we-teach-but-on-how-we-teach/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . Equal access is only the first step to equitable opportunity. To move past the access paradigm we have been striving for over the past 65 years, we have to focus on more than just whom we teach; we have to look at how we teach (https://www.the74million.org/article/lockett-65-years-after-brown-v-board-our-fixation-on-integration-is-hiding-gross-inequities-in-our-schools-we-must-focus-not-just-on-whom-we-teach-but-on-how-we-teach/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) .”

* Shavar Jeffries — The Durability of Racism: “The educational inequities that continue to exist for black children are, plainly, symptoms of that underlying white supremacy that made Brown necessary in the first place (https://www.the74million.org/article/jeffries-white-supremacy-made-brown-v-board-necessary-and-its-still-the-force-denying-too-many-black-brown-students-an-equal-education-today/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . Until we engage in the hard, deep, painful and long-term work of fully healing our racial wounds, educational opportunity in our country will remain racially distributed. In the meantime, those of us committed to educational equity should be pragmatists and support (or oppose) policies based on their capacity to bring about educational equity for black children (https://www.the74million.org/article/jeffries-white-supremacy-made-brown-v-board-necessary-and-its-still-the-force-denying-too-many-black-brown-students-an-equal-education-today/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . Everything else is and should be secondary.”

* Earl Martin Phalen — A Call to Action to Transform Our Schools: “Many believe that the historic Brown v. Board of Education case was only about integration. It wasn’t. It was truly a courageous effort to leverage the legal system to help ensure that through education and hard work, all children can fulfill their tremendous innate potential (https://www.the74million.org/article/phalen-modest-reforms-are-not-enough-to-give-millions-of-kids-a-high-quality-education-we-need-bold-action-to-transform-our-schools/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . … While many initiatives and billions of dollars have been invested into reforming our schools over the last few decades, those efforts have produced only modest improvements. … Millions of American children are attending schools that are chaotic and unsafe; where little teaching and learning is taking place; and where students are being pulled further and further from who they are meant to be
(https://www.the74million.org/article/phalen-modest-reforms-are-not-enough-to-give-millions-of-kids-a-high-quality-education-we-need-bold-action-to-transform-our-schools/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . I truly hope that those who can and those who care use every ounce of their power to give these and all our children the education and the futures they truly deserve."

* Nataki Gregory — Desegregating Learning in Segregated Classrooms: "Brown v. Board laid the foundation for creating the types of schools that would drive our nation in the direction of success. Andour work now requires even more from us than that case did (https://www.the74million.org/article/gregory-4-ways-teachers-in-segregated-classrooms-can-desegregate-their-students-learning/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-&utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren handed down the unanimous decision of the court, this is what he said — in 1954: 'Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. … In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on
equal terms.' These words remain true today, 65 years later (https://www.the74million.org/article/gregory-4-ways-teachers-in-segregated-classrooms-can-desegregate-their-students-learning/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-&utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) ."

ICYMI
YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD IS GETTING MORE DIVERSE. WHY ISN’T YOUR SCHOOL?: Sixty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education, the United States is more integrated than at any time in its history. With urban cores rapidly gentrifying and the Latino population surging, American communities have become much less homogenous in recent decades. But for over a generation, black and white students have seen less and less of each other at school (https://www.the74million.org/article/brown-v-board-at-65-will-schools-ever-be-integrated/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e1ee0439e4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_14_09_38&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-e1ee0439e4-&utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) . With demographers pointing to a minority-majority future in just a few decades, educators are asking how to make schools look more like America. Some believe the answer lies in changing patterns of residential segregation, but others say the political will to bring together students of all races simply doesn’t exist
(https://www.the74million.org/article/brown-v-board-at-65-will-schools-ever-be-integrated/?utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e1ee0439e4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_14_09_38&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-e1ee0439e4-&utm_source=The+74+Million+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a057139dd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_15_09_39&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_077b986842-4a057139dd-176387479) .

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