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


In his big speech to Congress last February, President Obama asked every American "to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training." He swore that by 2020, "America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world." The stimulus package included billions for Pell Grants to help students pay their college tuition, increasing the average grant reward by about $500. But as a new AEI report reminds us, getting to college and paying for it are less than half the battle. Fewer than 60 percent of students who enter four-year colleges each fall graduate within six-years. They drop out with debt, having done little to improve their earning potential. Perhaps most surprisingly, there is a great variation among graduation rates at schools with similar levels of selectivity. For example, Merrimack College in Massachusetts and Chicago State University in Illinois each accept 75 to 85 percent of their applicants, from pools with an average...


We last encountered Mark Regnerus in the pages of the Washington Post , singing the praises of early marriage. Last week, while I was blissfully unawares on vacation, he took his argument to a friendlier audience with a cover story in Christianity Today . In the new piece, Regnerus casts himself as a truth-teller to evangelical America, informing them that in their emphasis on sexual purity, chastity, and virginity, the movement has forgotten to encourage healthy marriages, particularly among the young. He writes (emphasis mine): Evangelicals tend to marry slightly earlier than other Americans, but not by much. Many of them plan to marry in their mid-20s.Yet waiting for sex until then feels far too long to most of them. And I am suggesting that when people wait until their mid-to-late 20s to marry, it is unreasonable to expect them to refrain from sex. It's battling our Creator's reproductive designs. The data don't lie. Our sexual behavior patterns—the kind I documented in 2007...


In response to a man from Maine who called himself a "Republican...I'm not sure what I'm doing here," the president defended the idea that the private market can co-exist with a public health insurance option: You raise a legitimate concern. People say, how can a private company compete against the government? If the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining, it has to run on charging premiums...then I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time. UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. No, they are! It's the Post Office that's always having problems! .... There's nothing inevitable about this destroying the private marketplace. -- Dana Goldstein


So far, during President Obama 's town hall event in New Hampshire, there have been no major disruptions. He began with the idea that disagreement is "legitimate" but should be civil. "Where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not wild misrepresentations," he said. In the key argument so far, the president said, "rationing...is a legitimate concern, so i just want to address this." He went on to say: Right now insurance companies are rationing care. So why is it that people would prefer having insurance companies make those decisions rather than medical experts and doctors figuring out what are good deals for care and providing that information to you, as consumers, so you can make good decisions? More to come. -- Dana Goldstein


Many supporters of health reform believe that systemic questions, such as whether or not reform will include a public insurance option, should inform the congressional and public debates. But the truth is that Americans, unsurprisingly, seem to be most concerned about coverage specifics. After reform, what procedures will and won't be covered? Will my array of choices expand or contract? Those fears have been artfully exploited by the increasingly enthusiastic and radical conservative anti-health reform movement . In response, today the White House launched "Health Insurance Reform Reality Check" , a website modeled after " Fight the Smears ," a campaign season effort to dispel rumors about Barack Obama 's background and positions. The new site is built around a simplified, eight-point explanation of how consumers will benefit from health reform. Using this messaging, the administration plans a public relations push during the congressional recess, with a focus on drumming up...