Brown v. Board of Education Digital Learning Day

May 11, 2015

Alexandria, Va.  (May 11, 2015) -The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) is pleased to announce that on May 18th, 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. EDT, as part of CUBE’s annual Digital Learning Day, three schools from across the country will participate in a webinar discussion commemorating the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

Participating schools include Baltimore City Public Schools’ Digital Harbor High School; Little Rock, Arkansas’s Central High School; and Rochester, New York’s Northeast College Preparatory Academy.

The discussion will follow CUBE’s theme for 2015, Where Do We Go From Here? Excellence, Equity, and Unity – a reference to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s fourth and final book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community. Participating students will discuss the final paragraph of King’s book which culminates in a relevant passage: “…We still have a choice today: non-violent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.”

Students from the participating schools will:

  • Examine what impact, if any, the Brown decision has had on their lives and on our nation's educational system;
  • Think critically in terms of how the law shapes their lives, the lives of others, and the institutions of government which serve us all; and
  • Identify specific solutions to problems (e.g. inequitable educational opportunities) that are yet to be solved.

Schools from across the nation are invited to listen in and submit comments and questions as the students from Baltimore, Little Rock, and Rochester discuss King’s message in the context of both historical and current events.

“I’m incredibly proud of the schools, teachers, and most importantly students for participating in this relevant discussion. As shepherds of the next generation we are obligated to both educate students on civil rights issues and, crucially, to listen to their take on ‘where do we go from here,’” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “The use of a web-based platform for this discussion will provide a great example of how technology can be used to bring closer both communities and students.”

“It is important that we create opportunities for students to both learn history outside of a textbook and learn from each other. The excerpt from Dr. King’s last book will help students connect the past to the present, and hopefully generate ample discussion for future change. The students at the Northeast College Preparatory School are very excited to be a part of this memorable experience,” said Djinga King-St.Louis, Director of African & African-American Studies for the Rochester City School District.

Each and every school is invited to participate as “viewers” and submit discussion questions via the Webex chat function.  Registration and additional information is available on CUBE’s website. Schools unable to participate are encouraged to engage in similar exercises to join and expand upon this important national discussion.

“During his time, Dr. King organized, inspired and demonstrated change in America. And while schools across the country continue to teach his achievements, the current national sentiment dictates and demands closer attention to his pertinent thoughts about the future,” said CUBE Chairman Van Henri White. “Offering students the opportunity to confront the issues of today with lessons from the past is an important teaching moment that will hopefully guide them in the affairs of their lives and their communities.”

CUBE and its members will continue the themed discussion in Savannah, Georgia at the annual Summer Issues Seminar on July 23-25, 2015.

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