2010 marked the 55th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education, an historic case that led to the end of legalized segregation

2010 marked the 55th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education, an historic case that led to the end of legalized segregation in American schools. This case found its way to the highest U.S. court after a handful of African-American families with elementary school children sued the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas for not allowing their children to attend all-white schools. It marked the beginning of the end of the so-called “separate but equal” law. Ironically, the town of Topeka, Kansas today is a deeply divided community shaped by “voluntary segregation.” There are no longer any restrictions on where students can learn, but its neighborhoods and school systems are among the most racially separate in the country. In Kansas, for all high school students, the graduation rate is 74 percent, while the rate for spanic students is 46 percent. This statistic reflects a national problem. Despite government initiatives such as Head Start and No Child Left Behind, a substantial opportunity and achievement gap exists for today’s youth, with children of color behind in academic performance, educational resources (e.g. school technology, classroom size, extra-curricular opportunities and building quality) and college matriculation. For this week’s discussion, go to (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/etc/view.html) and view each video segment, or read the (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/etc/script.html) and answer the following questions:

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