Education and Equality in the Courts

First grade class of African American and white school children seated on the floor


Students analyze primary sources related to equality in education in the United States. In Part I, students analyze two sets of primary sources that illustrate major transformations in American public education following both the Mendez v. Westminster (1947) federal case and the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Supreme Court case. In Part II, students participate in a moot court activity about expanding equality for undocumented immigrant and legal-resident or citizen students in the historic Supreme Court case of Plyler v. Doe (1982). Students then write their answers to questions about the role of equality in public education.

Related Resources


Middle School


Civics, Social Studies


80-120 minutes


14th amendment, Brown v. Board of Education, court cases, education, equal rights, equality, Mendez v. Westminster, mexican, plyler v. doe, public education, supreme court, undocumented students


Citizen U CRF

More Lessons