School Closures: A New Version of Separate and Unequal

Your Take: Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, black communities are fighting a new threat that is destroying educational opportunities.

Students walk through the Loop March 25, 2013, to protest plan to close 50 Chicago elementary schools. Scott Olson/Getty Images

These policies are clearly discriminatory, treating African-American communities differently from the way white communities would be treated. School “reformers” have shown this by being more willing to subject our children to unproven education policies; less concerned with providing experienced teachers, small class sizes and well-rounded curricula to our youths; and less willing to accept that our communities know what is best for our children. Meanwhile, African-American students’ chances of equal educational opportunities are being dashed.

We hope that the Title VI complaints will help move these cities, and our nation, closer to educational justice. As the country commemorates the Brown decision’s 60th anniversary, communities of color nationwide continue to engage in the fight for an equal educational opportunity. We will never stop our work until the promise of Brown is finally real for all our nation’s children.

Jitu Brown is the national coordinator for the Journey for Justice Alliance. Debra Jones is a member of the New Orleans organization Conscious Concerned Citizens Controlling Community Changes (C-6).

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