Not surprisingly a lot of good coverage and commentary on Brown. In The New York Times Justice Stephen Breyer writes about the significance of the decision but UVA’s Michael J. Klarman says the ruling was less counter-majoritarian than it seems. On the same page Andrew Sullivan looks at the decision in light of the current debate about gay marriage and Albert Preston of DC’s Sousa Middle School reflects on Brown and his experience as a teacher.
Conversely, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle Clarence Johnson wonders “if we have spent too much time integrating classrooms and too little time figuring out how to truly guarantee our children a quality education.”
The Washington Post’s William Raspberry comes down in the middle. The Post’s Michael Dobbs examines school segregation in one community and also at how Brown impacted Secretary of Education Rod Paige’s thinking. And, NYT’s Greg Winters today looks at school finance and Brown in an article that will probably leave some readers hungry. In the Christian Science Monitor Gail Russell Chaddock examines teacher quality in relation to Brown, it’s a must-read, particularly the apparent sign of NEA movement on the issue.
Afterthought: Not to take anything away from Brown, it’s very important — and hopefully Brown II will get some attention next year too — but is it just Eduwonk or have the other education related cases (for instance higher ed cases like, Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, Spiuel v. Oklahoma, Sweatt v. Painter, and McLaurin v. Oklahoma) that paved the way for Brown been ignored during this anniversary. They’re interesting by themselves and show that this was a process, change is slow and hard…something to keep in mind today.