As more and more Latinos succeed in school, it’s important to recognize the long road it took for them to get there. Graduation rates and test scores for Latinos are the highest they’ve ever been, and more Latinos are entering college. And while there are outdated systems that keep many of our children from having the tools to succeed, we’ve come a long way since 1954, when the Supreme Court decided that segregating schools is un-American. Still, 63 years later, schools are experiencing the effects of those systems.
On this day in 1954, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, ordering the desegregation of our nation’s public schools. While segregation in schools doesn’t exist in the same context as it did then, it continues to be an issue. Last year, a Government Accountability Office report showed a sharp increase over the last decade in what they classify as isolated schools, where more than three-quarters of the student population is of the same race/ethnicity. Interestingly, this isolation is happening most in some of our country’s most diverse states and cities. In states like California, Texas, and New York, more than half of their Latino students attend schools that are more than 90% Latino.