"Fifty Years After Cisneros v. CCISD: a History of Racism, Segregation, and Continued Inequality for Minority Students"
Jones, Jamie Lynn
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Throughout the history of Corpus Christi, racism has played a central role within many aspects of life including within the role of education. For many decades, students attended particular schools based upon the color of their skin, and were afforded different educational opportunities in direct correlation to their social standing within society. In Corpus Christi, three types of schools, also known as a tripartite system, emerged with one for African American students, another for Mexican American students, and another for Anglo students. This trend was challenged in 1954 with the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education, which declared the “separate but equal” clause was no longer constitutional, and ordered schools districts throughout the nation to integrate their schools. Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) began the integration process soon after, but only for African American and Mexican American students, which left Anglo schools completely intact essentially creating a dual school system. However, in 1970, another court case, Cisneros v. CCISD ruled that Mexican Americans were a minority, and as a result, CCISD was segregated and needed to form a unitary school system at once that integrated all three races. This paper presents an educational history of Corpus Christi both prior and after Cisneros in 1970, and analyzes the various desegregation methods CCISD employed, including busing and the creation of Special Emphasis Schools. I argue that CCISD is still a segregated school district despite all of the various desegregation compromises and plans adopted over the years due to the district embracing the neighborhood school plan, and several free choice programs offered at different schools that encourage transfers of certain students. This paper seeks to provide an accurate history of CCISD from 1871 to the current day that reveals the reasons why schools are still segregated today.