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A Troubled Dream
The Promise and Failure of School Desegregation in Louisiana

Author(s): Carl L Bankston, Stephen J. Caldas

Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the United States still has a long way to go to attain true integration of our educational system.

Using extensive interviews and a wealth of statistical information, Bankston and Caldas examine the failed desegregation efforts in Louisiana as a case study to show how desegregation has followed the same unsuccessful pattern across the United States. Strong supporters of the dream of integration, Bankston and Caldas show that the practical difficulty with desegregation is that academic environments are created by all the students in a school from the backgrounds that all the students bring with them. Unfortunately, the disadvantages that minority children have to overcome affect schools more than schools can help remedy these disadvantages.

Biography of Author(s)

Carl L. Bankston III is an associate professor of sociology at Tulane University and co-author of the prize-winning Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States. Stephen J. Caldas has been a public school teacher and worked as the psychometrician for the Louisiana Department of Education. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles on school achievement and is currently associate professor in the department of educational foundations and leadership at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.


  • This troubling book is must reading for federal judges, lawyers and any other citizens purporting to have a serious, selfless interest in Civil Rights.
    --Louisiana History
  • Winner, Louisiana Literary Award 2003