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

When the Recession Ends, What Will Happen to Women Workers?

Note to The New York Times : The correct term for referring to the incorrect notion that this recession primarily affects men is "hecession," not "mancession." In any case, on the paper's Economix blog today, Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago writes that although women's labor force participation has inched up to 49.9 percent since the recession hit, it doesn't mean that women are about to surpass men in the labor force permanently. Why? Mulligan explains that men have been struggling during the recession because of the loss of construction and manufacturing jobs, but that it still takes unemployed men and women about the same time to find a new position after they've been laid off. In other words, women are not suddenly becoming more desirable workers to hire. Rather, certain gender-segregated industries have taken an especially hard hit, leaving more men than women looking for a new job. Mulligan predicts that women's labor-force participation will fall when we pull out of...

Quote of the Day: Chuck Grassley Edition.

As expected, the Senate Finance Committee just rejected the Rockefeller amendment to include a public option in its health reform bill. During the debate, Chuck Grassley said : The government is not a fair competitor. It's a predator. The argument that the public option will kill the private insurance market is bunk: The public option would have to support itself from the premiums and co-pays it brings in from customers -- just as private plans do. And in many other nations, like France, there is a robust private insurance industry that coexists with a universal health care system, in which government guarantees free basic health care. The Dutch model is similar to what some Democrats have in mind. But putting that aside, it's just really perverse to claim that government is the "predator" in this debate, when we know the havoc the insurance industry is wreaking on American lives: C-sections and domestic violence considered "pre-existing conditions"; annual and lifetime caps on...

The Final Word on Roman Polanski.

Eugene Robinson : ...there was certainly no artistic merit in the crime he acknowledged committing: During a photo shoot at the Los Angeles home of his friend and "Chinatown" star Jack Nicholson, Polanski plied a 13-year-old girl with champagne and drugs and had sex with her. That is grotesque. In general, I agree with the European view that Americans tend to be prudish and hypocritical about sex. But a grown man drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl? That's not remotely a close call. It's wrong in any moral universe -- and deserves harsher punishment than three decades of gilded exile. -- Dana Goldstein

White House to Dems: Deal With Abortion on Your Own.

Bad news for those of us who've been hoping President Obama would confront members of Congress who are using abortion to delay health reform: The Times reports that Obama called anti-choice Democrat Bart Stupak -- who has sworn to beat back any bill that includes even private plans that cover abortion -- and told him to work the issue out within the Democratic Party. The problem is, the White House has given no indication as to what "working it out" should look like. Should women who receive insurance affordability subsidies be denied access to every health plan covering abortion? (Currently, most employer-provided plans do offer some abortion coverage, so this would be a radical shift.) That's what Stupak and his allies would like to see. They aren't satisfied with provisions that would simply prevent public funds from paying for abortions, by segregating the public money from private premiums and co-pays. Stupak's logic follows that of the Hyde Amendment, which already prevents...

Who Grades Our Children's Tests?

I just caught this great Times op-ed from Sunday on standardized test scoring, by Todd Farley , who has published an exposé book on the subject. He writes: For one project our huge group spent weeks scoring ninth-grade movie reviews, each of us reading approximately 30 essays an hour (yes, one every two minutes), for eight hours a day, five days a week. At one point the woman beside me asked my opinion about the essay she was reading, a review of the X-rated movie “Debbie Does Dallas.” The woman thought it deserved a 3 (on a 6-point scale), but she settled on that only after weighing the student’s strong writing skills against the “inappropriate” subject matter. I argued the essay should be given a 6, as the comprehensive analysis of the movie was artfully written and also made me laugh my head off. All of the 100 or so scorers in the room soon became embroiled in the debate. Eventually we came to the “consensus” that the essay deserved a 6 (“genius”), or 4 (well-written but “naughty...