The Effects of Brown vs. The Board of Education in Montgomery County


Desegregation Declared


Blair students, 1960. From a Washington Star article headlined, “Blair Makes Desegregation Successful.”

The public school system was declared desegregated in 1961, although admittedly there were still several all-white schools.  Black teachers and administrators were assigned to some of these schools, but the county’s segregated housing situation was out of the Board of Education’s hands.  School diversity has continued to be a puzzling problem ever since. 


Today’s statistics for MCPS on the whole show that there is no majority population, but taken school by school, a different picture emerges.  Our communities grow, change, and decline, and the schools reflect this constant flux in the diversity – or lack thereof – in their student body.  Each attempt at integration has its advocates and denouncers. 


Magnet schools bring in new groups and new money – but often the advantages are only enjoyed by the Magnet students, not the rest of the school.  Busing and paired schools please some and outrage others.  It’s not always a question of racism or classism; practical factors – siblings in different schools, long bus rides, too-frequent school transfers – are also an issue.  The question is, at what point does the arbitrary creation of a student body defeat its own purpose?






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