Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein, a former associate editor and writer at the Prospect, comes from a family of public school educators. She received the Spencer Fellowship in Education Journalism, a Schwarz Fellowship at the New America Foundation, and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellowship at the Nation Institute. Her journalism is regularly featured in SlateThe AtlanticThe NationThe Daily Beast, and other publications, and she is a staff writer at the Marshall Project. 

Recent Articles

The Charter Barter

On education -- and every other social policy issue -- the Obama administration must play referee among competing experts. Is it up to the task?

Students at The Promise Academy, a charter school in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
We liberals like to flatter ourselves by proclaiming our allegiance to fact. In the immortal words of Stephen Colbert, for us, mere "truthiness" will not suffice. We demand evidence, research, science -- Truth itself. But on so many of the social issues liberals care about, concrete fact is a rare commodity. Take education policy, a beat I've been covering for over two years. We know our schools aren't good enough: There is a dropout crisis among blacks and Latinos, colleges are forced to reteach algebra and basic essay writing, and classrooms are becoming more racially and socioecomically segregated. But beyond these observable trends, we can't agree on much. Liberals are in complete disagreement about how to fix American education, whether the topic is a national curriculum, standardized testing, or how to pay teachers. That's what has made this topic so maddening -- and fascinating -- to cover. Consider charter schools, for example. The White House and Education Secretary Arne...

About the Nobel.

One of the sad/ridiculous/poignant things about this is that the Peace Prize is something Obama could have aspired to in the later years of his presidency, or even afterward. Now, here he is at 48 years old, being awarded this incredibly prestigious prize for goals he has yet to accomplish. -- Dana Goldstein

Is "Constitutionalism" Replacing "Social Issues" for Grassroots Conservatives?

Conor Friedersdorf is working on an interesting project, " The GOP Speaks ." He e-mailed questionnaires about the future of the Republican Party to county party chairs across the country. So far he's received 20 responses, and while a few are thoughtful and sane , a large portion claim Barack Obama is trampling upon the U.S. Constitution and laud Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh as sages. I'm especially fascinated by this movement toward Constitutional originalism -- not just as a judicial ideology but as a rhetorical tool to claim that almost any social spending, from health care to the creation of green jobs, is un-American. A few choice responses to Conor's survey, which asks, "What is the most worrisome part of Barack Obama's presidency?" (These are the original responses, typos and all.) Anonymous county chairperson : "The concern is Mr. Obama doesn't seem to have one check or balance put up against him. I realize that the congress and the senate are controlled by the Dem.s, but come...

On Polanski, One Last Thing.

Thank you, Jay Smooth . Hat tip: Jessica Valenti -- Dana Goldstein

With Every New Program, DOE Further Ignores School Segregation.

I've been writing frequently here about the Race to the Top program, in which the Department of Education will reward a total of $4.3 billion to a few handpicked states -- those who plan to focus on a reform agenda of teacher merit pay, charter school expansion, national curriculum standards, and test-based accountability. This week, the DOE rolled out regulations for its second high-profile grant competition, " Investing in Innovation ," or i3. This $650 million fund will be awarded to local districts and nonprofits committed to the same agenda promoted by Race to the Top. For i3, though, the entities that receive the grants must also arrange for a 20 percent private sector matching contribution, typically from either a foundation or corporation. On Sept. 24, when Secretary Arne Duncan finally admitted, in a big speech , that "many" American children remain racially segregated at school, and "we must work together to change that," I hoped the DOE would consider using Race to the Top...