Dick Komer on Espinoza v. Montana & the Bigoted Legacy of Blaine Amendments

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

On this episode of “The Learning Curve,” Bob & Cara are joined by Dick Komer, Senior Attorney with the Institute for Justice. Komer led the oral argument this week before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the plaintiffs in the high-profile school choice case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. They review the details of the Montana case and the nativist history of the Blaine amendments that remain in nearly 40 states. Komer also compares Espinoza with the recent Trinity Lutheran case, shares his take on the justices’ thinking and the outlook for success, as well as the political challenges that persist even if the plaintiffs prevail.

Stories of the Week: In Tennessee, a contentious new education savings account program for students from low-performing districts is attracting nearly 60 participating private schools. Alaska is considering consolidating 54 school districts into 18 – will this erode communities, or bring about long-overdue cost savings? West Chester, Pennsylvania is using a new online learning program to win back students who left the district for charter-run cyber schools.

Newsmaker Interview:

Richard “Dick” Komer serves as a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice. He litigates school choice cases in both federal and state courts. He is IJ’s resident expert on state Blaine Amendments. Prior to his work at the Institute, Dick worked as a career civil rights lawyer for the federal government, working at the Departments of Education and Justice, as well as at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He ended his government employment as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1978 and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1974.

Commentary of the Week
Thomas B. Fordham Institute: “Espinoza and the myth of values-neutral schooling

Tweet of the Week

Next episode: The next episode will air on January 31st, with guest, Susan Wise Bauer, a homeschool mom, English instructor of writing and American literature at The College of William and Mary, and author of the best-selling book, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home.

Newslinks:

Receive Our Updates!


Related Posts

Derrell Bradford on the Future of Education Reform

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Bob Bowdon is joined by guest host Alisha Thomas Cromartie, personal growth coach, education leader, and former Georgia state legislator. They talk with Derrell Bradford, Executive Vice President of 50CAN, about the future of education reform.

Montse Alvarado on Protecting Religious Liberty in Schools & Society

/
Montse Alvarado of the Becket Fund joins The Learning Curve podcast this week to discuss Becket's work to protect religious liberty in K-12 education, the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court school choice case, and more.

Lance Izumi on How Charters Are Meeting Diverse Learning Needs

/
Happy New Year! This week on "The Learning Curve," Cara and Bob talk with Lance Izumi, Senior Director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute, about his new book, Choosing Diversity.

Will Fitzhugh on the Enduring Relevance of History Research & Writing

/
Will Fitzhugh, founder and editor of The Concord Review, an international journal that has published high school students’ history essays for 30 years, joins "The Learning Curve" this week.

Joy Pullmann on the Fallout from Common Core

Joy Pullmann, executive editor of The Federalist, talks with The Learning Curve about the mediocre NAEP and PISA results, after a decade of the Common Core national education standards and the failed experiment with federal involvement in standards, curricula, and tests. They also discuss social emotional learning, parental involvement, and the media’s coverage of K-12 education policy issues.

This Week on The Learning Curve: E.D. Hirsch, Jr. on Background Knowledge & Educational Equity

/
This week on "The Learning Curve," Professor E.D. Hirsch, Jr., founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation, professor emeritus at UVA, and acclaimed author, discusses a critical ingredient of academic achievement, the shared background knowledge needed for language proficiency and cultural literacy.

Steven Wilson on Anti-Intellectualism in K-12 Education

/
Co-host Bob Bowdon talks with Steven Wilson, Founder and former CEO of Ascend Learning, a charter school network in Brooklyn, New York. They discuss the emergence of anti-intellectualism in K-12 schooling.

Jason Bedrick on Religious Freedom & Private School Autonomy

/
Bob and Cara talk with Jason Bedrick, EdChoice’s director of policy, about New York’s controversial “substantial equivalency” proposal that would give the state Department of Education oversight of school curricula at yeshivas and other private and parochial academies.

Dr. Lindsey Burke on LBJ’s True Education Legacy

/
Dr. Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation talks with The Learning Curve co-host Bob Bowdon about her new book, The Not-So-Great-Society, co-edited with Jonathan Butcher, and why the LBJ era is an inflection point for federal intervention in local school policy.

NH Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut on State-Driven K-12 Reform

/
New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut joins "The Learning Curve" podcast this week, plus Bob & Cara break down the new NAEP results, and share education stories out of Denver and Detroit.

The Learning Curve: Andrew Campanella, President of National School Choice Week

/
This week on The Learning Curve, Bob talks with Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week and author of the new book, "The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child."

Dr. Howard Fuller on School Choice & Presidential Politics

/
Cara and Bob talk withthe the great Dr. Howard Fuller, Distinguished Professor of Education, about his passionate activism on behalf of education reform, his concerns about the lack of support among Democratic presidential candidates for charter schools & more!

The Learning Curve: "Wilfred McClay on his new book, Land of Hope"

/
Wilfred McClay, University of Oklahoma Professor, discusses his new high school textbook, "Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story," that seeks to provide an account of this nation's rich and complex story that puts it in proper perspective, and that is both honest and inspiring.

This Week on "The Learning Curve": Natalie Wexler on her new book, The Knowledge Gap

/
Bob & Cara talk with Natalie Wexler, author of "The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–And How to Fix It," about the shift in K-12 education, even in the Common Core era, from an emphasis on academic content to empty skills and strategies.

The Learning Curve: National Education Podcast

“The Learning Curve” is where you’ll find straight talk about the nation’s hottest education stories - news and opinion from the schoolyard to the 2020 campaign trail.