Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education/Leadership in Urban Schools

First Advisor

Patricia Krueger-Henney

Second Advisor

Francine Menashy

Third Advisor

Abel Bartley


This historical case study examined inequity by design of the Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Florida, between 1954 and 1964. Duval County’s response to the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 highlighted the historical influence of White supremacy within this school system, suppressing Black education through a dual school system. Political, economic, and judicial decisions supported the system’s resistance to desegregation and perpetuated education inequity. The author sought to understand the overt and covert political, economic, and judicial influences behind the Duval County Public Schools’ inequity by design to determine if these influences are generally applicable to urban public school systems across the United States. The author conducted a qualitative study with self-identifying Black residents of Duval County who were either students, teachers, or principals during the study time period. Following the qualitative study, the author conducted a case study evaluating historical documentation, publications, oral interviews, and unpublished information documenting the education inequity by design. The findings of this study indicate that the Duval County Public Schools suppressed Black education through systemic methods, including underfunding, under-resourcing, and under-management of historically Black schools. All public schools are subject to political, economic, and judicial influences because they are locally managed and primarily funded through local property taxes. The “achievement gap” is a manipulated outcome by intentional design to justify suppressing Black education. This study focused on the systemic issues of White supremacy’s influences to bring the true problem of failing schools out into the light so the system can be dismantled and the blame for failing schools placed on the system, not the students.