Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Matt Chayt


In 1974, a suit filed by the parents of San Francisco children argued that the operation of a selective public school, Lowell High School, inherently violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. While the suit successfully changed Lowell's admissions policy with regard to gender, the plaintiffs' broader arguments were largely ignored.

This Note re-examines this suit, which challenged the educational practice known as "ability grouping." Integrating current Supreme Court jurisprudence about equal opportunity in education and other relevant case law, the Note argues for a new conversation, one expressly aimed at racial and economic justice, about contemporary ability grouping in America's elementary and high schools.