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


THE CHARISMA FACTOR. A little late, but I can't help weighing in on last night's debate. One of the biggest surprises of this primary thus far has got to be who's engaging and who's a disappointment on the stump. Although there's tremendous energy when Obama enters a room (I've seen him speak in person three times), he's consistently underwhelming as an orator. And Edwards is failing to live up to the optimistic, progressive morning-in-America persona he honed in 2004. His choice to come out swinging on the Iraq supplemental when he actually agreed with Obama and Clinton 's votes appeared quibbling and amateurish, and for me, at least, was uncomfortable to watch. Hillary struck me as relaxed and above the fray; she turned in a fine performance. Biden I couldn't look away from, but I also can't say I found his habit of yelling at the top of his lungs to make a point very endearing. About half way through, I decided Bill Richardson should just disappear, mostly because of the intense...


THANK GOD FOR DIVIDED GOVERNMENT. As Scott noted yesterday , the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision on pay discrimination is disastrous. Employees must file complaints within 180 days of a salary being set, which is simply outside the bounds of common sense. We all know how much secrecy surrounds pay, even in otherwise congenial workplaces. But the Court has decreed that even when there is a pattern of lower raises for women or minority groups that develops over months or years, an individual employee has no legal recourse after 180 days. The plaintiff in the suit, Lilly Ledbetter , worked for a Goodyear tire plant in Alabama, where she was the only woman out of 17 managers at her level. Although Ledbetter's starting salary was equal to that of her male colleagues, she was given smaller raises and eventually made less than even the lowest-paid man at her level, who started after her. In a characteristically withering dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg invited Congress to overturn the...


WHO DESERVES TO LEARN? Last week we heard about high school students coloring in class. Today The New York Times reports on New York City's decision to close its four "P-schools," second-rate high schools opened in the 1960s with the intention of hiding pregnant teenagers from the eyes of their peers: The decision to close the schools came after a six-month study commissioned by the Education Department essentially concluded that the girls, eager to earn high school diplomas despite their pregnancies, had been relegated to a second-class tier of schools that treat them more like mothers-to-be than curious students. The schools offer young women classes in quilt-making and breast-feeding, not in addition to academics, but instead of them. Cutting shapes for the quilt patterns is akin to lessons in "geometry," one principal told the Times . Less than half of the "p-school" students return to regular high school after the birth of their babies; the infants aren't eligible for in-school...


NO IOWA FOR HILLARY? Oh, the intrigue! The New York Times ' Adam Nagourney reports that Hillary Clinton 's number 2 campaign aide, Mike Henry , authored a memo advising Clinton to skip the Iowa caucuses entirely and focus on states she is more likely to win, such as New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida. How did Nagourney get his paws on the memo? From an unnamed "rival campaign," of course. The Clinton camp rushed to distance itself from the document, saying it reflected Henry's personal opinion and that the Senator would definitely be participating in the Iowa caucuses. Any bets on who the rival camp was? Edwards seems the more obvious beneficiary of Clinton skipping Iowa, as it would reaffirm his front-runner status there. But the Obama campaign strikes me as the one more likely to have pulled off this kind of PR stunt. --Dana Goldstein


IMMIGRATION RESET. Like Ezra , my thinking so far is that the Senate-White House compromise on immigration reform is better than nothing, especially for the 12 million undocumented people already living, working, and paying taxes in the United States who can now become legitimate, open members of society. The strengthening of border security wasn't a surprise. And it's great news that the deal encompasses the DREAM Act , which would give children brought to the U.S. illegally a path toward citizenship and access to financial aid for college. The bad news, though, is that there will still be a large population of undocumented workers in this country. The combination of amnesty for undocumented immigrants already here and the creation of a guest worker program is akin to hitting a "reset" button -- really only a temporary fix. Does anybody realistically think many of the proposed 400,000-600,000 "guests" won't stay on in the U.S. as undocumented laborers, recreating an underclass that...