Member Since 2009


Joshua Dunn is professor of political science at the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs. His research focuses on judicial policymaking and in particular the influence of the courts on education. He is the author of Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins (University of North Carolina Press 2008) and the co-editor, with Martin West, of From Schoolhouse to Courthouse: The Judiciary’s Role in American Education (Brookings 2009). He also authors a quarterly article on law and education for Education Next.

Published Articles & Media

The Ninth Circuit v. Reality

Highly qualified teachers don’t grow on trees

Educational Providence

New York courts close one door, federal money opens another

2+2=Litigation

New front opens in the math wars

No Federal Case

Court says charter school is not a state actor

Money and Good Intentions Won’t Fix Our Schools

Last week the media reported the apparently shocking news that the Kansas City, Missouri School District school board voted 5-4 to close nearly half of its schools, 26 of 61 schools in the district. But those familiar with the district were not surprised. The real question is not why the school board has decided to close so many schools but why it took them so long.

Is Arne Duncan’s new civil rights crusade unconstitutional?

On Monday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that his department will expand its efforts in civil rights enforcement. Like everything this sounds fantastic in the abstract. Who after all publicly declares that they oppose protecting civil rights? The details, though, paint a more troublesome picture.

Strange Bedfellows

Students find unexpected ally in the Christian Right

Christian Law Firms Are Leading Defenders of Free Speech in Schools

In “Strange Bedfellows,” Martha Derthick and I wrote on a case out of Texas, Palmer v. Waxahachie Independent School District, that brought two unusual groups together on the same side: supporters of John Edwards and Christian conservatives.

Supreme Modesty

From strip searches to school funding, the Court treads lightly

Legal Beat Update

The new issue of Education Next includes a “legal beat” column by Martha Derthick and myself that discusses three important rulings from the Supreme Court’s last term. “Receiving almost no attention but potentially of utmost significance,” we wrote, “was Horne v. Flores, a case about English-language learning in which the court divided narrowly along ideological lines, with Kennedy joining the five-member majority.” Anyone doubting the potential significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Horne v. Flores should consider two recent developments in Florida and Colorado.

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