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Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise Image Strip of Linda Brown walking to school, girl taking test at desk, Nettie Hunt and daughter with newspaper headline on steps of Supreme Court, present day children raising hands, children at computers
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LESSON PLANS

The following are lesson plans relating Brown to contemporary issues in education.
NOTE: In order to access and print the Downloaded Lesson Plans and Student Activity Sheets for each lesson, you will need Adobe Acrobat. If you do not already have this tool, you may download Adobe Acrobat free of charge at the Adobe Web site.

Calculating the Cost of a "Sound Basic Education"
Background: As school districts throughout the U.S. struggle with funding issues, more and more people with the financial means to send their children to private schools are choosing this option, particularly in major urban school districts where the property tax base does not offer sufficient revenue to fund the needs of the district adequately. This is causing many schools to become segregated based on their financial status. When looking at what urban neighborhoods who have a low socio-economic status can offer students and comparing it to what suburban school districts have in terms of resources, it is evident that the educational opportunities provided by the schools are not equal. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity is a group of concerned citizens who have organized, filed lawsuits, and worked to equalize the educational opportunities provided to students in New York City and across the state. Changes in the way schools are funded have resulted in the argument that all students should be provided a "sound basic education". While many districts across the country have similar problems, by calling attention to the New York City public schools and what people have done to make changes in the way education is funded, students can see the cost of public schools, understand the struggles schools face to provide "sound basic education", and gain understanding and appreciation for what the educational system in the U.S. is responsible for providing to students.
Subject Areas: Math, Social Studies, Civics, Language Arts

View the Lesson Plan online here
Download the full Lesson Plan here (PDF)

Funding "Great" Schools For All in America
Background: Statistically speaking, American schools have not provided equal educational opportunities to all students. In many schools nationwide, disproportionate numbers of minority students attend schools with inadequate funding, facilities, and materials. In addition, the high school dropout rate for minorities is significantly higher than it is for white students. Consequently, fewer minority students attend college and achieve have the education necessary to achieve a higher standard of living. The gap in funding between high and low poverty schools is increasing, despite some reforms in the way school funding dollars are allocated. Wealthy school districts continue to provide superior facilities, programs, and technology, while impoverished schools continue to struggle to provide the most basic materials and instruction. Statistics show that while this gap continues to expand, most Americans are in favor of providing equal funding for schools, even if this means that wealthier school districts distribute some of their funds to poor school districts. It seems that overall, Americans believe the equal educational opportunities are important for all students, not just those fortunate enough to live in school districts that can afford to provide students with a quality educational experience.
Subject Areas: Social Studies, Current Events, Civics, Language Arts, Debate, and Journalism

View the Lesson Plan online here
Download the full Lesson Plan here (PDF)

For additional lesson plans, see Lesson Plans for Upper Level Students



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