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

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...

Jon Kyl and Insurance Company Discrimination Against Women.

I've been wanting to say a little more about the touching "your mom" moment shared by Senators Debbie Stabenow and John Kyl last week. To refresh our memories: As a number of people have noted, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and EMILY's List are using this video as a fundraising tool. And Kyl's ignorant comments sure do get at the cold heart of anti-health reform ideology: A refusal to accept shared responsibility for basic health care, and a misunderstanding of what insurance is supposed to do -- pool risk, so that the fortunate subsidize the care of the unfortunate. That's how the private insurance market already works. By expanding the system and regulating it, the goal is to get the market to work more efficiently, cheaply, and humanely. But there's something deeper going on here. Stabenow and Kyl's exchange occurred as the Senate Finance Committee debated a Kyl amendment to the Baucus bill that would have prevented the federal government from defining a minimum health...

On Yom Kippur, Thoughts on Gaza and the Goldstone Report.

Even at a J Street event I attended in Washington two weeks ago, there was some condemnation of the United Nations' Goldstone Report on last winter's Gaza war. The report found that both the Israeli army and Hamas were guilty of war crimes -- Israel of using excessive force to deliberately target civilians (such as bombing a Mosque during a service), and Hamas of launching rockets into Israel and using its own civilians as human shields. Richard Goldstone , the report's lead author, is a South African judge and internationally respected human-rights lawyer; he prosecuted war crimes in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. To compile the report, he worked alongside mainstream human-rights groups, including the Israeli organization B'Tselem . And the report is perfectly in line with journalism that came out of Israel and the Occupied Territories during the war, in which 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed . So on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, it's appropriate to look honestly at the...

Why Obama is Winning on Education.

I wrote yesterday about the Obama administration's ambitious, yet somehow narrow definition of school reform. Today in the Washington Post , Randi Weingarten , the nation's most influential teachers' union leader, speaks in rather harsh terms about the administration: "It looks like the only strategies they have are charter schools and measurement. ... That's Bush III." Weingarten, who praises Obama for massive federal aid to help schools through the recession, said her 1.4 million-member union is engaged in "a constructive but tart dialogue" with the administration about reform. When I profiled Weingarten for the Prospect earlier this year, she was much warmer toward the White House. She even made a point of returning a call to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan during our interview, emphasizing their good relationship. But this was back during the stimulus fight, in which local school districts won big, preventing teacher and support staff layoffs. And it was before the depth of the...

Earth to Jon Kyl: Everyone Gets Born.

On the floor of the Senate, Debbie Stabenow vs. Jon Kyl : -- Dana Goldstein