Tracking In The District Of Columbia Public School System And The Negative Affects It Had On African-American Students: 1956–1967
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentHistory and Geography
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SubjectsAfrican American studies
When the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision that separate but equal was unconstitutional and ordered desegregation of all public facilities, African-Americans expected that they would have access to equal education. But desegregation introduced many problems to which school districts were unprepared. The academic standing of many African-American students was one of these problems. A century of segregated and unequal education left many African-American students unprepared for the curriculum now available to them that was once denied to them. Tracking, or ability grouping, was implemented in many schools, post-desegregation, to alleviate the educational gaps that existed in the classrooms. The District of Columbia Public School System (DCPS) implemented tracking in 1956 and its results of tracking would gain local and national attention. This thesis explores the negative impact that tracking had on African-American students enrolled in DCPS from 1956 to 1967. Judge Skelly Wright outlawed tracking in DCPS in the Julius W. Hobson vs. Carl F. Hansen case in 1967.