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Annotated Bibliography

Aaron W. Sarra

3rd Year Law Student
The University of Dayton School of Law
Spring 1998



In this annotated bibliography you will find various case that support desegregation. You will also see the federal courts weaning themselves away from making sure that desegregation is still in place. I am a supporter of desegregation.

Many African-Americans believed that the only way their children could be educated equally was to dismantle the segregate dual public school system. They thought their wish came true when the Brown v. Board of Education I, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was handed down. The United States Supreme Court had ruled that segregated educational facilities denied African-American children equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. Then, the Supreme Court said that school authorities had to dismantle the dual system and create unitary schools, quickly. Many state governments and school authorities tried to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision. They were successful until the federal legislature implemented Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d (1964), which did not allow any program receiving financial assistance to exclude any person based on race. Unfortunately, the desegregation of schools has been predicated on a case-by-case base and racially identifiable school systems continue to exist today. And, the Judicial Branch now seems ready to declare schools unitary and eliminate the desegregation plans it had once seeked to enforce.

I think desegregation is a much need doctrine. I feel the judiciary branch should keep a watchful eye on it. This issue is of the greatest importance to African-Americans. It is only through desegregation have African-Americans been able to compete with their white counter parts. The integrated schools have exposed white to African-Americans and African-Americans to whites. It has created a messing of the two groups. It has also given African-Americans a chance to compete with whites as to employment. It will continue to do this if the court continues to see that it is implemented.

In conclusion, I find it hard to imagine that African-Americans would be in a position to argue desegregation pro's and con's with out desegregation. It has allowed African-American education to somewhat equal footing as whites.

The following articles are included in this bibliography:

Brown v. Board: Revisited

Has the Supreme Court Allowed the Cure for De Jure Segregation to Replicate the Disease?

Skepticism and School Desegregation

The Legal Rhetorical Structure for the Conversion of Desegration Lawsuits to Quality Education Lawsuits

The Supreme Court’s Latest Rendition of Equality in Education: Examining the Traditional Components of Success in Missouri v. Jenkins


Brown v. Board of Education I

Cooper v. Aaron

Freeman v. Pitts

Green v. County School Board

Griffin v. County School Board

Jenkins v. Missouri

Milliken v. Bradley

Oklahoma City Board of Education v. Dowell

Sheff v. O'Neill

U.S. v. Fordice


 20 U.S.C. § 1702 

20 U.S.C. § 1703(a) 

20 U.S.C. § 2000c(b) 

A.R.S. § 15-816.02(d) 

Cal Ed Code § 35351 

R.R.S. Neb. § 79-238(2) 

Aaron W. Sarra is a third-year law student at the University of Dayton School of Law in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated cum laude in 1994 from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, with a B.S. degree in History with an emphasis in British and German History.




Michael A. Middleton, Brown v. Board: Revisited, 20 S. Ill. U. L.J. 19 (Fall, 1995).

The author stress through the entire article that the Brown Court came to stress the wrong part of its decision. He states that commentators have concentrated on integration and busing people to help African Americans achieve the academic levels of the white students. He notes that anytime someone tries to meet the educational needs of African-Americans, it is viewed as being regressive. The author believes that the desegregation strategy that came from the Brown Court was not to integrate for the sake of integration. He believes that the Brown decision should have been seen more as a way of improving educational opportunities for African-American children. He concludes that the remedy is for schools to equally meet the needs of African-Americans and White students as measured by outcome based measures of academic achievement.

I agree that the goal should be to have African-Americans and White students achieve the same measure of academic achievement. But I also think that integration and desegregation were important facets of the achievement of African-American students so far. Additionally, it has helped with race relations because of the forced integration.

Kevin Brown, Has the Supreme Court Allowed the Cure for De Jure Segregation to Replicate the Disease?, 78 Cornell L. Rev. 1 (November 1992)

The author presents a theory that views the harm resulting from de jure segregation from the perspective of socializing the function of public schools. He also contrasts the harm of de jure segregation of public schools in order show why desegregation was required in public schools. The author speaks about decisions that have affect desegregation since and how desegregation is affecting African Americans now.

I do not agree with this author and his postulations. He seems to argue both sides giving you what he believes is the good and the bad. He misses what I view as the main point of desegregation, and that is allowing African-Americans to come into the same environment as the whites and to learn about them. It also has a dual affect and teaches white about African-Americans. However, I do agree with his assertion that de jure segregated schools treat African-Americans as inferior and need to change that sentiment.

Bradley W. Joondeph, Skepticism and School Desegregation, 76 Wash. U.L.Q. 161 (Spring 1998)

The author begins the article by stating how good desegregation has been for African-Americans. He postulates that desegregation has allowed African-Americans to get better educated. He argues that the test scores have had the gap tightened between African-Americans and white. He should desegregation helped improve life chances. However, he thinks that many be would have the courts release issue of desegregation and let the politics of it take. He contends that you get things done better and quicker by having it become a political question. He believes that politicians will equalize opportunity in American’s public schools.

I feel that author is mistaken or flawed with his argument. I see the judicial branch involvement in this issue as imperative to it success. I can not trust politicians who will be looking at what can get them more votes or keep them in power longer. The African-American is the one that will be hurt having to stay in non-segregated urban down trodden schools.

Kevin Brown, The Legal Rhetorical Structure for the Conversion of Desegration Lawsuits to Quality Education Lawsuits, 42 Emory L.J. 791 (Summer 1993)

The author looks at whether African-American communities are best served by separate as opposed to integrated education. The author looks at how desegregation throughout history has been debated as to integrate as opposed to separate education. The author stresses the Freeman v. Pitts decision allows African-Americans to ask the district to terminate control over student assignments and maintain control over other aspects of the school system. The author thinks that the government should eliminate the endorsing African-American inferiority by eliminating desegregation. Finally, the author postulates that the government is treating African-Americans as a group rather than individuals and this violates the individualist principle of the legal system.

I think the author brings up some very interesting points. I can see where you can argue that race based education is wrong by the legal systems own standing. I do not agree that we should eliminate desegregation. We argue for the elimination of slavery and the unfair treatment, and know we have received a treatment to co-exist side by side fairly. I think based on what I can see that we need to keep the desegregation in effect in order to compete in a merit based system.

Jordan A. Lavine, The Supreme Court’s Latest Rendition of Equality in Education: Examining the Traditional Components of Success in Missouri v. Jenkins, 40 Vill. L. Rev. 1395 (1995)

The author discusses many of the relevant decisions that the Missouri v. Jenkins, 515 U.S. 70 (1995), decision was based on. The author does not agree with the Supreme Court’s finding that the District Court should have heard the case, and the reasoning behind its decision. The author believes that the Brown v. Board of Education I, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) decision is renounced by the Supreme Court in the Jenkins decision. Also, the majorities’ argument lacks soundness because it ignores the District Court’s original desegregation plan. 

I agree with the author that this decision will set back desegregation. The court continues to show its unwillingness to see its original Brown decision through to the end. The Judicial Branch of the United States want s to drop the ball it has been carrying on desegregation. If they drop it, who is going to pick it up? I see the implementation of segregated schools rearing its head again. Segregated schools will, in my mind, hurt race relation in the United States. If you do not have to death with racism is their really racism? Yes still.


Brown v. Board of Education I, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

The Court ruled that separate educational facilities for children in public schools are inherently unequal. The Court stated that segregation violates the equal protection clause even if physical facilities and other benefits may be equal. Enforced separation of the races not only reinforces a sense of inferiority on the part of African-American school children.

I agree with the court decision, because it tried creating a remedy for what it saw as an injustice for a people that were American citizens. There is no way for a people to viewed as equal, if their education does not have the ability to compete with other who are receiving that education.


Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958)

The school authorities set up a desegregation plan, and the Governor of Arkansas sent troops to stop black students from entering Central High School. Federal troops were dispatched to protect the rights of the black students. This Court reaffirmed the Brown decision, saying it could not be nullified by the action of state officials. The Court refused to delay the integration of Little Rock schools. 

I agree with the decision because it prevented a state official from challenging a federal mandate. The fact that the court did not succumb to the pressure of the peoples will to disallow integration should that the federal government was entrenched in its belief that the African-Americans had the right to a fair education.

Freeman v. Pitts, 112 S. Ct. 1430 (1992)

The Court was deciding whether or not to end a desegregation plan. The Court noted it need not retain control over every aspect of school administration until school compliance is achieved. The Court allowed the Dekalb County school system to control student assignments, transportation, physical facilities, and extracurricular activities.

I do not agree with this decision, because in essence I feel the court is saying were are tired of watching after you schools and you can basically do whatever. I see this as leading us back to segregation. The white community is moving to the rural areas, and thus creating black schools in the inner city and white schools in rural area.

Green v. County School Board, 391 U.S. 430 (1968).

The Court invalidated the "Freedom of choice" plan which did nothing to integrate schools which had been segregated since Brown I. The Court held that all that need be shown is a disparate impact, in the form of a dual school system, to invoke the equal protection argument.

I agree with the court’s findings that you can not even give the appearance of creating a dual school system. This was helpful in upholding Brown.

Griffin v. County School Board, 377 U.S. 218 (1964).

In this case the county tried to close down its public schools to avoid complying with a desegregation order. The county then set up private white schools with state and local grants. The United States Supreme Court said that assisting white students to the detriment of African-American students violated the African-American students’ equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

I agree with the courts reasoning that a state can not close down its public schools to not comply with a federal decision. I also agree that a state can not use its monies to promote one-race well being over anthers. I think this decision help to make states realize that their public schools will have to face integration.

Jenkins v. Missouri, 515 U.S. 70 (1995)

In 1977, the Kansas City, Missouri School District implemented a desegregation plan to re-assign students within the school district and effectuate a 30% minority enrollment in their schools. The Supreme Court, Chief Justice Rehnquist, held that orders designed to attract non-minority students from outside the school district into the school district was beyond the scope of the District Court, also, across-the-board salary increases for teachers and staff in pursuit of desegregative attractiveness was beyond the court's authority; and whether students in district are at or below national norms is not appropriate test to determine whether previously segregated district has achieved partially unitary status.

I disagree with the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision to reverse the District Court’s finding. The problem I have is the Supreme Court’s holing contradicts the prior desegregation cases and is a step backwards in the effort to desegregate schools. The case has now been further litigated and currently will be resolved again en banc in the Eighth District. I also did not agree with Justice Thomas’ assertion that a one-race school is not by itself an indication of practicing segregation. A look at legal history says that state segregation is school is wrong and creates a disadvantage.

Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974)

This case is the leading case on the busing issue. The Court said that cross-district busing remedy could not for de jure segregation in the Detroit school system cannot be imposed on outlying districts absent a finding of constitutional violations or acts of discrimination affecting those districts. The remedy must be proportionate to the constitutional violation. If a school was found to be a co-discriminator then it may be included within a busing order.

I felt this was a somewhat fair decision. It did not preempt any of the advances that had been made in terms of equal schooling. Some may look at it as a minor set back. But, I do not think that African-Americans could expect to all they wanted at once. Today, this issue is still debated in some rural areas.

Oklahoma City Board of Education v. Dowell, 498 U.S. 237 (1991)

The Oklahoma City Board of Education had been under a court order to integrate schools, partly through a busing program. The Board wanted to adopt what was basically a neighborhood school system, but the result would have created about half one-race schools. The Court said that the desegregation decree should be dissolved if the school board has complied in good faith, and the problems of past discrimination have been eliminated.

I do not agree with the courts decision to allow Oklahoma to basically start implementing segregated schools again if they could show good faith that they have eliminated their past discrimination. This decision allows them to know create schools that have such a low amount of minorities, as long as in goo faith that they basically would not even be recognized. In my view the judicial branch is looking to get out of the education debate.

Sheff v. O'Neill, 238 Conn.1, 678 A.2d 1267 (1995)

Public school children brought an action against state officials for declaratory judgement to determine whether defendants had failed to provide them with substantial equal educational opportunity as a result of alleged segregation by race and ethnicity of students in a metropolitan area and for injunctive relief. The Connecticut Supreme Court said that, in effect, the public students had been denied and equal education opportunity and that the children had suffered from unconstitutional segregation and that the disparities in racial and ethnic composition violated their constitutional rights.

I agree with the court’s decision. The State of Connecticut stresses education yet treats urban schools unfairly. The students were denied an equal education as compared to rural schools in the state. Also, districts were set up to the majority of minorities in certain schools.

U.S. v. Fordice, 112 S.Ct. 2727 (1992)

The Court dealt with the question of whether Mississippi had taken appropriate steps to dismantle a public university system in which some schools were almost exclusively white and some exclusively black. The court held that the state has to dismantle this system and see to it that policies are put into effect that will eliminate this problem.

I agree with the courts reasoning. I do think the court should be a little more forward with the policy of eliminating such policies. I thought the court should have made them report to them as to their progress.


20 U.S.C. § 1702 (1998)

The Congress finds that the maintenance of dual school systems solely on the basis of race denies to those students the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. It also speaks to children being bused until the sixth grade in order to eliminate the dual school system. 

I agree that the dual system based sole on race denied equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. The busing issue is still a hot topic, but the benefits of the integration on our society as a whole.

20 U.S.C. § 1703(a) (1998)

"No State shall deny equal educational opportunity to an individual on account of his or her race… 

(a) the deliberate segregation by an educational agency of students on the basis of race, color, or national origin among or within schools"

I agree with this statute, because it keeps the states from having the ability to keep African-Americans from being forced in to single race education. The past was indicative of this statutes’ significance with the southern states trying to force race based schools.

20 U.S.C. § 2000c(b) (1998)

"Desegregation" means the assignment of students to public schools and within such schools without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin, but "desegregation" shall not mean the assignment of students to public schools in order to overcome racial imbalance."

I agree with the right to be able to attend schools that seem to have an even hand with other schools. This also allows the many groups here in America to learn about each other earlier, therefore, helping the melting pot.

A.R.S. § 15-816.02(d) (1998)

"A school shall admit pupils who reside in the attendance area of a school that is under a court order of desegregation or that is a party to an agreement with the United States department of education office for civil rights directed toward remediating alleged or proven racial discrimination unless notice is received from the resident school that the admission would violate the court order or agreement. If a school admits a pupil after notice is received that the admission would constitute such a violation, the school's district is not allowed to include in its student count the pupils wrongfully admitted. A school shall not be required to admit nonresident or resident transfer pupils if the admission would violate the provisions of the court order or agreement."

The formation of this statute hinders schools from reaching out into various other districts and selecting students. Therefore, this statute eliminates the possibility of picking students based primarily on their race. This also lets the school know that the state will be looking for violations of their desegregation policies.

Cal Ed Code § 35351 (1997)

"No public school student shall, because of his race, creed, or color, be assigned to or be required to attend a particular school."

This statute is very simple and to the point. It assist desegregation because it does not allow for the state or local government to require that African-American student have to attend a particular school, thus, eliminating the potential of race based schools

R.R.S. Neb. § 79-238(2) (1998)

"A school district that has a desegregation plan adopted by the school board or the board of education or ordered by the federal court may adopt standards for acceptance and rejection of applications for transfer into or out of such district which are designed to make desegregation easier to maintain or improve. Desegregation is made easier to maintain or improve by standards which, considering all requests for transfer into or out of the school district received prior to the school district's application deadline established in conformity with section 79-237 or 79-240, prohibit transfers which if granted would increase the racial percentage in the school district's total enrollment of the minority group for whom the desegregation plan was ordered or adopted. Any such standards may apply to students residing within the school district who seek to transfer to a school in another school district and to students who reside in another district who seek to transfer into a school district which has a desegregation plan."

I see this statute trying to lead to equality in schools by not allowing increases in racial percentages. However fundamentally, I do not agree with this statute because it can be interpreted to help keep schools segregated. If you have a school that is basically all of one race this state would prohibit the transfer or busing in of the other race to offset it, because it does not want to increase the total enrollment of minorities in that desegregation plan.


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