29 Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 469 (1995-1996)
Revisiting Brown v. Board of Education: How Tracking Has Resegregated America's Public Schools

handle is hein.journals/collsp29 and id is 479 raw text is: Revisiting Brown v. Board of
Education:
How Tracking Has Resegregated
America's Public Schools
ANGELIA DICKENS-
I. INTRODUCTION
B.J. was a 10-year-old [African-American) student who had
always done his school work diligently with average
results.... The following September, without notice to his
parents, B.J. was placed in a class for children who were
either mentally retarded or had learning disabilities. B.J.
was disappointed because he no longer went to class with
his friends and because the class was boring. After two
months in the class just wasting time, B.J. thought that the
school was trying to make him act like the retarded
children. This belief was reinforced by his friends in
regular classes who now avoided him. B.J. then quit going
to school.1
School systems have the precarious task of ensuring that all
students receive an adequate education. However, student popula-
tions within these systems are heterogenous economically, cultur-
ally, and socially. This attempt to ensure an adequate education
is fused with an effort to structure a school system that comports
with the ideals of a democratic society.2 Academic tracking is a
* Writing & Research Editor, Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 1995-96. The Author thanks
Professor Jack Greenberg of Columbia Law School. The Author also wishes to thank Jenny
Liu for her tireless efforts in the production of this article, as well as Kathy Rhew, Brian
Ledah, and Elai Katz for their painstaking work and wise suggestions.
1. Kenneth J. Meier et al., Race, Class, and Education, The Politics of Second-
Generation Discrimination 3 (1989) (citations omitted).
2. Yehezkel Dar & Nura Resh, Classroom Composition and Pupil Achievement: A Study
of the Effects of Ability-Based Classes 1 (1986).

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