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

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...

ON WRITING, WORTH A READ.

At the Times , Stanley Fish argues that college writing courses need to focus more on grammar, syntax, and rhetoric, and less on discussing, debating, and imitating popular writing on hot-button issues. I agree, but don't think higher education can solve the problem of poor writing ability. Far and away, the most useful class I took in college was called "Seminar in the Teaching of Writing." It was a required training course for my part-time job working as a peer writing tutor. It was also the only class I ever took -- in all my years of school -- that taught me methods for effectively structuring a persuasive essay, how to properly use a comma, and the difference between "that" and "which." The movement away from teaching grammar and rhetoric and toward "whole language" has deprived a lot of students of this kind of practical education. Grammar and syntax need to be part of the K-12 curriculum; for most people who aren't obsessive professional writers, university is way too late to...

BEHIND THE STORY: CIRCUMCISION AND HIV.

One of the great things about being a magazine writer is that it allows you to develop quirky areas of expertise. And indeed, as regular readers will know, I've been covering the HIV/circumcision story on and off for over two years, since I first wrote for In These Times about Mayor Bloomberg 's attempt to encourage circumcision among gay men of color in New York. (Incidentally, that article was my first for editor Phoebe Connelly . A few months later, we both joined the Prospect .) With the Times reporting this week that the CDC is considering recommending routine circumcision of American infants, the issue is gaining wider media pick-up. My boyfriend reports that he saw talking heads debating the topic on MSNBC. And this morning, I was a guest on the BBC/ Times NPR show " The Takeaway ," alongside Dr. Roy Gulick , chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College. You can listen to the segment, which is about 10 minutes long, here . It's a good...

MICHELLE RHEE DEFINES "GOOD TEACHING."

For the past year, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has run into roadblocks in her effort to institute what would be the nation's most ambitious teacher merit pay scheme -- in part because of criticisms that D.C. simply didn't have a fair system for measuring good teaching. Now Rhee's department has responded with a document -- the " Teaching and Learning Framework " -- that lays out expectations for teachers, getting quite specific. For example, a teacher who loses three minutes or less per class period due to "poorly designed routines and procedures, poorly organized materials and space, or poorly executed transitions between activities" would score highest -- level four. A teacher who loses five minutes rates as level three, and so on and so forth. The document suggests that to maintain classroom order, teachers should "move close to a group of students who are whispering to each other," and that teachers must have "a system for passing out papers efficiently or for allowing...

Shaking Up Suburbia

The Obama administration has told affluent Westchester County it can't continue to segregate low-income and minority housing. Is it the end of the all-white suburb?

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During last year's endless Democratic presidential primary, wonks and activists who cared about integration usually preferred John Edwards to Barack Obama. Edwards' platform called for a million new housing vouchers to help poor families move to safer communities with better schools. And Edwards would have provided subsidies to suburban school districts willing to enroll low-income city kids. Obama, meanwhile, focused on "Promise Neighborhoods," an anti-poverty strategy based on the Harlem Children's Zone. Select inner-city neighborhoods would be flooded with resources meant to improve health, education, and quality of life. In New York, the strategy has yielded encouraging dividends, and the 2010 federal budget provides a modest $10 million to expand the project to other cities. But Promise Neighborhoods do not alleviate racial and socioeconomic isolation, one of the leading predictors of a child's academic achievement and ability to find a decent job after high school. Now Obama's...

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