Equality of Educational Opportunity

Chapter 5

Constitutional Issue: Article I, Section 8: Naturalization

The Congress shall have power to...establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.

Why did the Founders give Congress the authority to establish laws related to becoming a citizen? What advantages come with citizenship?



After reading this chapter, think about how social constructions of subgroups can harm them, particularly when such constructions are supported by law.



Should only citizens be allowed to attend public schools? Explain.

Constitutional Issue: Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause

No state shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

What does it mean to provide "equal protection" to any person? Equal protection of what?


The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868 in an attempt to grant equal rights to emancipated slaves. However, a segregationist Supreme Court circumvented the intent of this amendment in its Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896. How did the Court do this?

Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education

This 1899 Georgia case was the first of its kind, which applied the Supreme Court's decision in Plessy v. Ferguson to public schools. After researching this case, explain the Court's decision.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

Explain how Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 helped the federal government enforce school desegregation following the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.

From De Jure to De Facto Segregation

Think about how segregation was maintained after the Brown decision. What were the contributing institutional factors that perpetuated segregation after Brown?

Title IX and the IDEA

The Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. was a highly educative moment in American history. Explain how women and persons with disabilities learned to effectively advocate for equality with the ultimate passage of Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Act and the 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.


What were the results of these two federal statutes?