On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ended legally segregated public education in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Faculty from the Washington State University College of Education are available to explain the history, implications and impact of that decision.

Paula Groves Price, assistant professor of multicultural education, 509.335.7987, pgroves@wsu.edu
Brown v. Board was instrumental in making access and race vital social issues. The decision, however, was a symbolic victory only, because it did not address the real issues of equity.  The present educational reform movement focuses on excellence, not equity.  Instead of talking about test scores, we need to return to the spirit of the Brown v. Board decision and talk about race and equity issues.

Eric Anctil, assistant professor of educational leadership, 509.335.7214 (work), 208.310.1633 (cell), ejanctil@wsu.edu
Fifty years after Brown v. Board, American public education is returning to segregation, with increasing numbers of students in nonintegrated schools.  This trend is both wrong and illogical because the benefits of racially and culturally integrated education are significant for all students, especially majority white students.

Johnny D. Jones, director of recruitment and retention, adjunct faculty in education, 509.335.4864, jdjones@wsu.edu
Brown v. Board hindered the education of African-Americans by cutting support from the African-American community without providing equal financial support.  Jones bases his assessment on research as well as his own experience in public education in Carthage and Pascagoula, Miss., and his college years at Mississippi Valley State College.

Scott Walter, educational historian, WSU library assistant director, adjunct faculty in education, 509.335.8881 (work), 208.892.8212 (home), swalter@wsu.edu

Brown v. Board included the first significant use of social science research as the basis of the court’s decision.  The decision was the grandfather of the Great Society federal policies, applying social science to contemporary problems.  The decision also was the foundation of federal control of, and responsibility for, public education, replacing strict reliance on state control.  This shift was the foundation of the present “No Child Left Behind” and other federal mandates.

Michael T. Hayes, associate professor, 509.335.2157, hayesm@mail.wsu.edu
The historical and cultural impact of the Brown v. Board decision includes the exposure of several foundations of American institutional life. One is the centrality of schooling to American public and private life. Brown v. Board was the only instance in which democratic constitutional questions were settled within the confines of our school system. The decision also exposed the centrality of race to the foundations of American institutional life. The very notion of a public school system was born out of the social concerns raised by immigration, Native Americans and freed slaves. Brown v. Board merely reflected the true origins, meanings and functions of our public schools.

Dennis Ray, associate professor of educational leadership, director of the superintendent certification program, 509.358.7941 (work), 509.979.5561 (cell), dray@wsu.edu
Following Brown v. Board, K-12 administrators have tried to focus on issues of equality but, in general, have failed.  The goal of significantly increasing the number of minority administrators, for example, has not been met despite years of effort.