This entry provides a brief historical overview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka and elaborates on how the process of achieving equal access to educational opportunities for all public school students has taken shape. It also discusses the role the Brown decision has played in educational assessment, research, and practice, with a focus on the sociopolitical aspects of these practices.

The 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education set forth an historical shift in the U.S. public educational system’s responsibility to provide educational opportunities for all students, regardless of race. The case was filed on behalf of Oliver Brown, a parent of a Black child who was denied access to a segregated White school in Topeka, ...

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