In Mississippi, like other states around the country, education – from funding to curriculum – remains a much debated topic. And during the recent Senate runoff election won by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a story by the Jackson Free Press revived discussions around the state’s private schools in the 1970s.
However, Janell Ross of NBC News writes that there is a “larger and pressing truth about America today” beyond the reports of the school Hyde-Smith attended:
Nearly 65 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered all of the nation’s schools to integrate, effective segregation remains in the public schools which educate about 90 percent of the country’s students. And while private schools accurately can be described as highly diverse spaces, the public schools most students attend are shaped by policies and practices which have rolled back integration gains made after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision.
In fact, as more of the nation’s school districts have sought to overturn desegregation orders, integration levels in American public schools have declined to levels last seen in 1967, according to a 2014 analysis of the nation’s schools produced by The Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. (The center’s findings didn’t change when they updated the report again in 2016.)
Read Ross’ complete NBC article here.
Closer to home, in 2016, two Mississippi schools were ordered to desegregate. Mississippi Today followed the students and the Cleveland schools as they began that process; read their stories and listen to their voices here.