School Desegregation | Texas Public Radio

School Desegregation

Courtesy of Enrique Alemán.

Editor’s Note: Insensitive language frequently used in the mid-20th Century is included in this story.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that racial desegregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Some school districts were not swayed by Brown v. Board of Education and found ways to discriminate. 

Mexican-American students in Driscoll, Texas, were purposely held back to avoid “retarding” the white students. Students with Spanish surnames were made to take first grade for three years. It didn’t matter how fluent they were in English, or if English was their primary language. As a result, Mexican-American students were graduating from high school in their early 20s.


Laura Skelding, Courtesy The Texas Tribune

More than 1 million black and Hispanics students in Texas learn in classrooms with few to no white peers.

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared school segregation unconstitutional. The Texas Tribune's recent education series "Dis-Integration" looks into how, more than 60 years later, racial segregation in schools is still impacting students across Texas, including in San Antonio and Edgewood ISDs.

From Texas Standard.

The landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education set a historical precedent for education reform in the country. The ruling that found state laws requiring separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional is widely discussed in classrooms, but a less familiar story is the legal debate that led to the trial’s conclusion in 1954.

A teacher sits and reads with her students at Steele Montessori Academy in southeast San Antonio in March 2018.
Camille Phillips / Texas Public Radio

The San Antonio Independent School District launched a bold new enrollment policy at five specialty schools this year, weighing the lottery based on income and geography to maintain a balance of working class and middle class students.

Creating socially and economically diverse schools goes against the status quo in a city as economically segregated as San Antonio. The question now is whether families will like the idea enough to return in years to come.


Rita Daniels / KUNM Public Radio

This week on Fronteras: 

--Navajo farmers in Shiprock, New Mexico are scrambling to save their crops following the Gold King Mine spill. 

--Biologists are tracking the impact of the spill.  So far, fish and bugs are okay.

--Mine pollution is nothing new.  Mines have leaked wastewater for decades

--More than a month after Sandra Bland was found hanged in her Hempstead, Texas jail cell, concerned citizens keep a daily vigil there.

--We remember the father who fought to integrate Dallas public schools.