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CASEL Honors the 70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education


CHICAGO – On May 17,1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that segregation in public schools was inherently unequal and unconstitutional in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) decision. On the 70th anniversary of this landmark decision, CASEL calls for our nation to recommit to fulfilling the promise of Brown and ensure our schools reflect the diversity of our nation. We urge investment in comprehensive school integration strategies that include evidence-based approaches such as social and emotional learning (SEL) to create inclusive and welcoming learning environments for all students.

As Justice Thurgood Marshall stated in 1974, “[f]or unless our children begin to learn together, there is little hope that our people will ever learn to live together and understand each other.” Unfortunately, more than one in three public K-12 students currently attends a racially segregated school, according to a 2022 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Further, new research shows that racial and socioeconomic segregation in schools has increased over the last three decades.

Research shows the academic, cognitive, social, emotional, and civil impact of diverse learning environments. As part of a comprehensive strategy on school integration, SEL can help promote inclusive learning environments and support all students in their academic, social, and emotional development.

SEL alone will not solve long-standing and deep-seated inequities in the education system or our broader society. It does, however, have the potential to cultivate knowledge, beliefs, practices, and relationships that:

• Help individuals, groups, and institutions examine and interrupt inequitable policies and practices.
• Create opportunities for students, families, and educators to co-construct more inclusive, student-centered school environments.
• Reveal and nurture the interests, talents, and contributions of children, youth, and adults from diverse backgrounds.
• Create more fertile learning environments and improved developmental outcomes for all individuals.

As states and districts apply for the Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Grants or implement school integration strategies, we encourage state and district leaders to leverage SEL as part of their comprehensive plan to promote integration, access, and student success.

For more information on how SEL can be a lever for equity and excellence, please see CASEL’s publication from August 2022, “State Policy Bright Spots: Social and Emotional Learning and Equity.”

About CASEL
CASEL is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that founded the field of social and emotional learning. Today, we collaborate with leading experts and districts, schools, and states nationwide to drive research, guide practice, and inform policy. https://casel.org/

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