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


It's quite complicated to understand how, exactly, abortion opponents are using the health reform process to attempt to limit access to family planning. In this RealityCast podcast , the wonderful Amanda Marcotte and I discuss the topic, and Amanda has a helpful clarification: One reason anti-choicers are up in arms over reform is because the federal government will be providing insurance subsidies to people within 300 or 400 percent of poverty. This means that if you're a single woman who earns $38,000 annually, government will help you pay for your private insurance coverage. Thus, if you then access abortion through your private plan, it could be considered "taxpayer-subsidized." Now, I happen to think the hand-wringing over this is absurd, even if you are genuinely horrified by abortion. After all, because 89 percent of private health plans already offer some abortion coverage, abortion opponents are already paying for other people's access to the procedure, through premiums and...


Steven Teles has a very astute analysis of L'Affaire Gates as primarily about "honor:" This whole thing would have been a big nothing if either man were willing to swallow his pride. The cop could have defused it by letting Gates call him a racist and have it roll off his back. He couldn't because, I think, he has a self-conception as precisely not a racist cop (given that he does racial profiling seminars). To back down would have been to accept what Gates was accusing him of--to be dishonored. Gates couldn't back down and say "yes, officer, whatever you ask, officer" because he believed he was being treated in a way that was inappropriate to his status as a Harvard professor and because he thought he was being hassled because he was black. To back down would have been untrue to his idea of himself--as a race man and a part of America's elite. Again, he would have accepted being dishonored. So they both stood their ground, and the guy with the gun won. Yep. I'd only add that "honor"...


The complicated dance between Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the national teachers' unions continued today. On a conference call to officially roll-out the $4.35 billion " Race to the Top " education reform competition, Duncan said states are "ineligible" for the grants if they have laws on the books prohibiting student performance from affecting teacher assessment. New York and Wisconsin are two such states, and teachers' unions have long lobbied for such laws. In an attempt to encourage states to overturn these prohibitions, the Department of Education will be handing out Race to the Top grants in two phases over the next two years, allowing state legislatures time to revisit issues of teacher compensation. But Duncan was clear that he wants teachers' union to be "partners" in the administration's education reform efforts. That dovetails with the message President Obama sent in an interview with The Washington Post yesterday, in which he said it was "cynical" to view unions...


In the middle of the overheated health-care battle, President Obama took some time out yesterday to highlight education reform in an interview with The Washington Post . The occasion is the official roll-out of the " Race to the Top " program, in which states will compete for $4.35 billion in federal grants intended to spur education "innovation." Passed as part of the stimulus, Race to the Top has garnered an inordinate amount of attention from the administration , considering it accounts for just a tiny drop in the bucket of Education Department spending. Only eight to 12 states are expected to win grants. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has indicated that the development of teacher performance-pay models will be one focus of the program. He has promised not to judge teachers' solely on their students' test scores but has otherwise been vague about what a good performance-pay model would look like. In the Post interview, the president provided some more specificity, saying he...


To everyone who is up in arms about the increasingly remote possibility of "taxpayer subsidized" abortion in the public plan, think about this: Eighty-seven percent of existing private health insurance plans offer some abortion coverage. That means you're already subsidizing other people's abortions, through your employee contribution and co-pays. That's how insurance works -- we pool our money to socialize risk. -- Dana Goldstein