As more than 50 million students go back to school, Americans of every background and political persuasion should agree on one basic bedrock goal: No matter where these young people live, no matter how much money their parents earn and no matter their race or ethnicity, they all deserve an excellent education. That is a basic promise of American life, set forth in 1954 in the historic Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, and countless federal and state laws, court orders and public policies over more than six decades.

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