In the Shadows of Hobson: Race, Education and Franchise in the District of Columbia
Stacy Tweedy

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Washington University

Primary Discipline

In Hobson v. Hansen (1967), civil rights leader Julius Hobson challenged the District of Columbia Public Schools’ compliance with Bolling v. Sharpe, the DC companion case to Brown v. Board of Education (1954). He alleged that the District discriminated against black and poor students through such practices as academic tracking, maintaining optional attendance zones for white students residing in racially integrated neighborhoods, and inequitable resource allocation. The court ordered landmark remedies in Hobson, and in the sequel school finance equalization suit, Hobson II in 1971. However, the District still struggled to produce satisfactory educational outcomes for its predominantly black, poor and working-class student population. This research project employs the insights and methods of social history, educational research, and legal theory to analyze the interplay of the legal, social, and political conflicts at work in the litigation and in the city’s remedial measures. It treats the Hobson case and the associated efforts at educational reform that followed as issues of franchise broadly construed. The project examines how the Hobson cases, Congressional oversight of the city’s affairs, and the District’s local political culture have shaped the history and outcomes of educational reform in the city.
About Stacy Tweedy

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