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

Is Obama's Speech to Schoolchildren "Socialist?"

Next Tuesday, President Obama will address the nation's schoolchildren. The White House says the speech is a "welcome back to school" message that will emphasize the importance of academic achievement to the country's future -- the same theme as the education portion of Obama's February speech to Congress. The White House also provided teachers with suggested lesson plans for the speech. The original plans called for teachers and students to discuss questions including, "What is the President asking me to do?" and "Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?" Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer complained Tuesday that the speech and lessons were an attempt "to spread President Obama's socialist ideology." Other Republicans followed suit, expressing concerns. So now the administration has revised the lesson plan to emphasize a discussion of "how [students] can achieve their short‐term and long‐term education goals." The Dallas Morning News has a...

A New Public Opinion Poll on Education.

Education Next , a journal published by the Hoover Institute, has released a new public opinion poll on education issues. The reauthorization of No Child Left Behind has been delayed since 2007, and if members of Congress see this poll, they might conclude they don't want to tackle the issue until after 2010 midterm elections. NCLB's popularity is at an all-time low, as is the more general idea of a "federal accountability law." Yet the consensus in Washington is that the law is worth preserving, albeit with significant modifications. The poll was conducted March, at the height of President Obama 's popularity. So it's unsurprising that when respondents were told about Obama's support for teacher merit pay and charter schools, their own support for such policies increased. Obama's influence on respondents was stronger than the influence of "research," if they were told research suggested a policy worked: My only problem with this poll is that when it comes to merit pay and charters,...

Guns in the District of Columbia.

When the Supreme Court struck down D.C.'s handgun ban in June 2008, Mayor Adrian Fenty announced the city would continue to do everything it could, under the Constitution, to restrict access to weapons. "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence," Fenty said. Now, in a fascinating feature , Washington Post reporter Christian Davenport -- who lives in my neighborhood, Mt. Pleasant -- describes the process he went through to become one of 550 D.C. residents to obtain a handgun since the Court's ruling. As a writer, Davenport was interested in making himself a guinea pig to demonstrate D.C.'s new laws. But he was also motivated by more personal concerns; his wife's car was broken into, and he has heard gun shots from his own home. Drug dealers do business in an alley near his house. If he lived in Virginia, Davenport could have bought a gun in one afternoon, simply by showing his diver's license. But in D.C., he describes a time-consuming process...

Masculinity in the Obama Age.

In some corner of the Internet last week, Kay Hymnowitz 's year-old City Journal article , lamenting the havoc feminism has wreaked upon dating, popped up and began remaking the rounds. Hymnowitz's worldview is simple: Women's equality has left men confused about how to act. (Should I pay for dinner? Hold the door? Be okay with her making more money than me?) Therefore, many young males simply revert to a "boy-man" state of casual sex, swearing off commitment and harboring hatred and resentment toward their female peers. This, according to Hymnowitz, is rational behavior: Men are no longer being forced by social expectations to trade marriage for sex, so they don't. Her proof is that the median age at marriage, for men, rose from 26.8 in 2000 to 27.5 in 2006. If this all seems fishy to you, it's because it is. Waiting longer to find a marriage partner is not the same as rejecting commitment altogether; in fact, marrying later is an effective hedge against divorce. And Hymnowitz never...

Kennedy's True Legacy on Abortion and Disability.

In his column this morning, Ross Douthat sets up a dichotomy between Ted Kennedy and his also recently departed sister, Eunice . Ted was a Bad Kennedy and a Bad Catholic because he was pro-choice; Eunice was a Good Kennedy and a Good Catholic because the cause of her life was disability rights, and she supported anti-abortion rights organizations such as Femnists for Life, the Susan B. Anthony List, and Democrats for Life. But Kennedy's legacy on abortion and disability is actually far more complex than Douthat acknowledges. In 2005, Kennedy co-sponsored a bill -- the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act -- that expanded federal financing for support programs for expectant and new parents who receive a Down syndrome diagnosis. Research shows that doctors delivering such a diagnosis often share very little information about living with the disease, and presume that the patient would prefer to terminate her pregnancy. Indeed, about 90 percent of couples who...

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