public education

When Americans are taught the story of school desegregation, they learn about the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. The Board of Education. But much of the work of desegregation happened outside the courtroom. Black children, some as young as six, put their bodies on the line every time they entered a white school, and nearly all of them were girls.

Susan Colton is a retired high school principal from Florida. She says many critical areas of thought are ignored in the public school system.


Baton Rouge Magnet High School principal Nanette McCann talks about the state of public education in Louisiana. McCann has been leader of one of the nation's leading schools for the past 15 years. She has also been serving as principal of the reopened Lee High School.


This is the first in a three-part report on Philadelphia schools in crisis.

Sharron Snyder and Othella Stanback, both seniors at Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High, will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. This, their final year, was supposed to be memorable. Instead, these teenagers say they feel cheated.

"We're fed up with the budget cuts and everything. Like, this year, my school is like really overcrowded. We don't even have lockers because it's, like, too many students," Sharron says.