Dual and Unitary Systems

Based on precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court, dual systems of public education were those that operated separate and distinct schools for students who were White and children who were African American or other minorities such as Mexican American. Conversely, unitary systems were those that achieved the status of being desegregated, meaning that students were no longer placed in racially separate schools. Following the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling in 1954, dual systems were declared unconstitutional. As a result of lawsuits brought by parents and students, school districts across the country were placed under the supervision of federal courts while they worked to desegregate their schools. Once federal courts decided that school boards no longer operated dual systems, they released districts ...

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