By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Linda Brown, an African American girl was denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas because of her skin color. While her name is not widely remembered, that incident was critical in bringing a major civil rights victory.
In May 1954, The US Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities was unconstitutional. That historic decision brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation.
Today, the nation’s most segregated schools aren’t in the deep south. The Huffington Post cites the report “New York State’s Extreme School Segregation,” reviewing 60 years of data.
Additionally, the typical black or Latino student in New York attends a school with twice as many low-income students as their white peers, bringing disadvantages that mixed-income schools often lack: health issues, mobile populations, entrenched violence.
Sadly, many schools in Philadelphia share the same problems.