Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Education, Historical Perspectives

America's response to ethnic and cultural diversity in K–12 schools is often dated from the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark ruling that declared that schools legally segregated by race were inherently unconstitutional. The legacy of 200 years of slavery and subsequent Jim Crow laws created a system of de jure segregation in the South as well as segregated residential neighborhoods in the North and West that ensured de facto school segregation for African American students. Mexican American and Asian American students also experienced segregated schooling, often justified on educational grounds because of cultural and linguistic differences. Native American children were removed from their families and placed in federal and mission schools that were designed to ...

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