Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein, a former associate editor and writer at the Prospect and The Daily Beast, is a Spencer Fellow in education reporting at Columbia University. Her work on politics, women’s issues, and education has appeared in BusinessWeek, Slate, The New Republic, and The Nation.

Recent Articles

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...

Ted Kennedy, Deregulation, and the Mob.

In the days since his death, Ted Kennedy has been hailed on the left as a friend to organized labor. Here at TAP , our own Harold Meyerson wrote that Kennedy was a lifelong defender of workers "unable to join unions" and an opponent of Jimmy Carter 's agenda of "deregulating industries." But Doug Henwood , editor and publisher of Left Business Observer , remembers Kennedy differently , as a supporter of deregulation in trucking and air travel. And sure enough, the conservative Washington Times editorial page hailed Kennedy as the leading congressional ally for Carter's deregulation agenda. Last week Matt Yglesias wrote that Kennedy's history as a deregulator should be lauded, since it increased competition and brought down prices for consumers. But as Henwood demonstrates -- with charts! -- since deregulation, truckers' wages have declined and airline prices have inflated . Of course, breaking up these monopolies cut down on corruption and organized crime. The Kennedy family was no...

Kennedy's NCLB Legacy.

On Wednesday, Mark wrote of Ted Kennedy : If he had known that the administration didn't intend to fund the No Child Left Behind legislation, he might not have lent his support in 2001...It took him a while, as it did most liberals, to appreciate that there were no real opportunities in the Bush years, that steadfast opposition was the only honorable position. On education, how harshly should we judge Kennedy's cooperation on NCLB? The legislation was underfunded. It allowed states to make up their own academic standards, and dumb them down in order to avoid being labeled as "failing." It subjected American children to more frequent high-stakes math and reading testing, thus narrowing the curriculum away from creative writing, science experiments, art, and music. And it totally failed to deliver on its promise to deliver a highly-qualified teacher to every student's classroom. NCLB needs to be rethought. But what everyone agrees almost eight years later is that its passage was crucial...

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