After 39 years of litigation, court supervision over the School District of Philadelphia’s efforts to achieve parity in educational opportunities for students of all racial backgrounds ended Monday when Commonwealth Court Judge Doris A. Smith-Ribner gave approval to a settlement of a court case filed in 1970 to force the school district to desegregate.

The Philadelphia desegregation case, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission v. School District of Philadelphia, was unlike the most-famous school desegregation cases, including Brown v. Board of Education, that came before the U.S. Supreme Court 50 years ago to force segregationist school districts to integrate black schoolchildren into school buildings dedicated to white children and endowed with more resources.

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