Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Charles J. Russo
In light of all of the reforms that have impacted the educational landscape in the United States, one would be hard pressed not to acknowledge the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) as the most significant legal opinion ever rendered regarding American public schools. Brown stands out because in it, the Court unanimously struck down separate but equal schooling on the basis that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Based on the extensive impact that it has had on educational reform and other areas in American society, this entry examines Brown 's background, holding, and major progeny with an eye toward appreciating its significance in helping to reshape schools in the United States. Almost 60 years prior to Brown , the pernicious concept of “separate but equal” entered the national legal consciousness in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), a case from Brown ...