The changes in educational opportunities in the 60 years since Brown v. Board of Education was decided reflect obstacles that face too many children of color. Brown ended segregation by law but, sadly, segregated schools persist because of a complex web of factors rooted in our nation’s long history of discrimination. But segregation is only one of the issues faced by students of color today. Increasingly, those students are drawn into a phenomenon labelled the school-to-prison pipeline, used to describe the complex interaction of policies and practices that push students out of the educational system and into the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

In 1954, the problems of racial discrimination were explicit. Today they are subtle and structural. The Supreme Court in Brown may have put an end to de jure segregation, but the school-to-prison pipeline’s ruinous effects are once again teaching children of color that they are indeed separate and that they are certainly not equal.

Visit the national ACLU's special timeline, blogs and web features on the 60th anniversary.

Watch an Education Week video of former ACLU of KY Executive Director Suzy Post reflecting on the anniversary.