Last year we interviewed Mark Santow, one of the plaintiffs suing the State of Rhode Island under the 14th Amendment for failing to provide some students civics curricula and other components of an adequate education. After we revisit our interview, Dr. Santow updates us on the suit and reflects on the lawsuit’s particular relevance at a time of pandemic and the Mobilization for Black Lives.


00:00-00:43 Update intro

00:43-02:03 Intros

02:03-06:50 Cook v Raimondo lawsuit background

06:59-08:31 A constitutional right to an education

08:32-10:11 Why Rhode Island and why now

10:12-11:55 Lack of civics and unequal funding

11:56-15:06 A vision of a civics curriculum

15:07-17:44 Role of ethics/ethical decision-making in a civics course

17:45-20:08 Federal courts’ resistance to accepting adequate education as a constitutional right

20:09-21:51 Relationship to slavery/race

21:52-24:47 Can education system compensate for economic inequality

24:48-26:51 Civics as center of entire curriculum could be transformative

26:52-29:29 Public organizing and the lawsuit

29:32-33:17 State of the litigation

33:18-37:05 Relationship to Movement for Black Lives

37:06-38:05 Outro


Click here to see the full transcript of this episode. 



Photo by Koshu-Kunii/Unsplash

Soundtrack by Podington Bear