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

"Destiny" and the Kennedy Women.

Coverage of Ted Kennedy 's death has been suffused with the narrative that he was a man held hostage by a sense of family destiny. In 1959, then-Senator JFK said, "Just as I went into politics because Joe died, if anything happened to me tomorrow, Bobby would run for my seat in the Senate. And if Bobby died, our young brother, Ted, would take over for him." The Kennedy sisters and daughters simply weren't subjected to -- our gifted with -- these powerful expectations. When Eunice Kennedy Shriver died earlier this month, many obituaries noted that she was a natural politician in many ways -- a fantastic organizer, networker, and spokeswoman. But because she was born female in 1921, she never seriously considered running for office. Did these expectations shift over the generations? Maybe not so much. Just last year, during the brouhaha over Caroline Kennedy 's interest in Hillary Clinton 's New York Senate seat, I often wondered if the outrage over nepotism would have been as acute if...

The New Yorker Hits Teachers' Unions -- Hard.

The New Yorker 's big political story this week is an attack on the New York City teachers' contract, by Steven Brill . By now, most people who follow education news know about the "Rubber Rooms" in big city school districts -- reassignment centers for teachers who have been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence but who continue to earn a regular paycheck and accrue pension benefits. Brill visits one such Rubber Room and highlights the cases of a few teachers inside. One is an alcoholic whom the United Federation of Teachers falsely claimed was removed from her job due to discrimination against older teachers. Another has a history of filing merit-less lawsuits. A third teacher featured in the article regularly lost control of her classroom, claimed to be unaware of basic teacher training material, read her negative performance evaluation out loud to her class, and assigned one student to be the "enforcer" over other children. These three individuals certainly shouldn't be...

Will Health Reform Mean Easier Access to Abortion?

In his recent Time piece on abortion and health reform, Mike Scherer confuses the issue. As he writes, under the current House compromise, both private and public health plans operating in the exchanges would not be able to use government subsidies or taxes to provide abortion -- abortions would have to be paid for from the pool of self-paid consumer premiums. But there is little evidence health reform would dramatically increase access to abortion in the United States, or represent a major victory for pro-choice groups. Even if the public plan does end up including abortion coverage in its minimum benefit package -- if the public plan exists at all! -- it would cover only a small number of American women, since it would be closed to anyone with an employer-provided option. Meanwhile, the majority of private insurers already offer at least some abortion coverage in their plans, but usually only in cases of rape, incest, genetic abnormalities, or risks to the pregnant woman's health...

Limbaugh's Masculinity Very Threatened.

Sadly, I'm going to have to interrupt our Very Serious coverage of torture and Ted Kennedy 's death to point out that Rush Limbaugh , referencing the CDC's consideration of circumcision as an HIV prevention method, has said : "If we need to save our penises from anybody it's from Obama ." -- Dana Goldstein

Ted Kennedy, In His Own Words.

Senator Kennedy died early this morning at the age of 77. Here, some excerpts from his 1980 speech to the Democratic Convention, in which he conceded defeat to Jimmy Carter . The speech is incredibly rich; it is about economic justice as the center of the progressive movement, and about cities as the center of the American economy and culture. (It was delivered in New York.) It touches on the history of American liberalism, and how its successes have been co-opted, in generation after generation, by the conservatives who initially opposed progress: The serious issue before us tonight is the cause for which the Democratic Party has stood in its finest hours, the cause that keeps our Party young and makes it, in the second century of its age, the largest political Party in this republic and the longest lasting political Party on this planet. Our cause has been, since the days of Thomas Jefferson , the cause of the common man and the common woman. Our commitment has been, since the days...