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Brown v. Board Legacy, Astrodome Revisited, and Lyricist Tim Rice: Houston Matters for Friday, May 16, 2014

Exactly 60 years ago tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in the landmark civil rights case Brown vs. Board of Education. The High Court ruled the concept of “separate, but equal” public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional. The ruling led to desegregation nationwide. While the spirit of the Brown […]

Exactly 60 years ago tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in the landmark civil rights case Brown vs. Board of Education. The High Court ruled the concept of “separate, but equal” public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional. The ruling led to desegregation nationwide.

While the spirit of the Brown decision remains across the country, that hardly means there isn’t still some measure — perhaps unintended — of segregation in schools, if not by race then by economics. Some school districts are flush with resources and revenue thanks to strong local taxpayer support, while others struggle to provide students with a quality educational experience.

On the 60th anniversary of Brown, we consider whether there are ways to close the gaps between rich and poor school districts in and around Greater Houston, and whether some minority populations in Houston may still receive a sub-par educational experience despite equality under the law. We’ll talk with University of Houston Law Professor Dr. Michael Olivas, and Dr. Wayne Pierce, Executive Director of the Austin-based Equity Center.

Also this hour: From a delay – again – in the vote over the proposed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, to a meeting of the minds – again – over the future of the Astrodome, to more non-recurring events like flat home sales and a James Beard Foundation award granted to a Houston chef, we take the week’s Houston news and turn it over to our rotating panel of “non-experts” to contemplate “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of it all. On this week’s panel: The Houston Chronicle’s “Native Texan” Joe Holley, Aurora Losada from La Voz de Houston, and Texas Originals producer Paul Pendergraft.

Plus: Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse talks with famed lyricist Sir Tim Rice, known for musicals on stage and screen ranging from The Lion King and Evita, to Aida, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Evita’s being performed here in Houston through this weekend; two other shows featuring Tim Rice lyrics will be performed here over the next year.

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