Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


John A. Powell


It is widely recognized that the purpose of education is not merely to develop in students a narrow set of skills. Rather, education should prepare all students to assume roles in actively shaping our democracy. Racial segregation and economic isolation in schools prevent the attainment of full and meaningful citizenship rights for students of color and low-income students in that they deny fair access to educational opportunities and other structures crucial to democratic participation. These forces also undermine our striving for a truly inclusive and participatory society. Many currently popular school reform measures promise benefits in terms of student outcomes and accountability, but only when these reforms are combined with and advance racial and economic integration can the promise of full citizenship embodied in Brown v. Board of Education begin to be realized.