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 HOUSE BILL, A NEW LANDSCAPE FOR MEDICAID FAMILY PLANNING.

The House tri-committee health reform bill, released yesterday, does not overturn the Hyde Amendment, which prevents Medicaid from funding abortion for 7 million poor women. But it does contain one major victory for reproductive rights: It allows states to offer contraceptive coverage to poor women outside of Medicaid without first applying to the federal government for a waiver. The current waiver process is cumbersome and expensive. Only half of all states obtained a waiver, meaning that in the other half, poor women who do not meet Medicaid's strict eligibility requirements lack state-assistance in paying for birth control. Granted, the House bill is likely to be the most progressive of the three pieces of legislation that need to be reconciled before health reform reaches the president's desk. According to reproductive rights advocates privy to Senate Finance Committee negotiations, Democrat Max Baucus and Republican Chuck Grassley are engaged in tough debate over reproductive...

TEACHING AND THE MIRACLE IDEOLOGY.

Speaking to the American Federation of Teachers on Monday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, "Great teachers are performing miracles every single day." Later on, when asked during a press conference about what makes a good teacher, he replied, "An effective teacher? They walk on water." On the surface, Duncan's "miracle" ideology might seem like an innocent pander to teachers, akin to saying, "You guys are awesome!" But in actuality, the concept of "good" teachers as miracle workers has long been one teachers' unions have resisted. Why? Because their ideology tends to push back against the notion that given just a few hours each day with a child, it is a classroom teacher's responsibility to undo the effects of a student's background, which might include poverty, hunger, domestic violence, cramped quarters, and families that do not emphasize academic success. Just because some teachers are successful at turning around the lives of a small number of impoverished children, the...

THE NEW HOUSE HEALTH REFORM BILL AND REPRODUCTIVE CARE.

The House just released the new draft of its health reform bill . Ezra Klein and Jonathan Cohn have full wrap-ups. Here are my bullet points on what this particular proposal means for reproductive health: An expert medical commission led by the surgeon general will decide what services must be covered by the public plan and all private plans operating within the new Health Insurance Exchanges. This is a victory for reproductive rights organizations, which were worried that if such decisions were left up to the Health and Human Services secretary, access to contraceptives and abortion would be limited under future anti-choice administrations. The bill mentions "family planning" coverage both in the context of Medicaid and the public plan, but uses a definition of "family planning" that excludes abortion. So it refers explicitly to contraceptive coverage, but not to abortion coverage. Yet according to Democrats' summary of the bill, the public plan will "meet the same benefit...

WHAT IS THE GOP'S GOAL ON ABORTION AND HEALTH REFORM?

Chuck Grassley speaks at an Iowa McCain-Palin rally, 2008. Just now on MSNBC, Sen. Chuck Grassley , the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, claimed that when it comes to abortion and health reform, "What we're trying to do is maintain current policy." As I report today in a full-length piece , current policy -- which prevents federal funds from paying for abortions for poor women on Medicaid, military women, federal employees, Peace Corps volunteers, and prisoners -- is not under threat from any of the proposed House or Senate health reform bills. In fact, reproductive rights advocates have been telling me all week that as much as they'd like to overturn the Medicaid abortion ban -- known as the Hyde Amendment -- it's just not a possibility right now. They don't have the votes. So when opponents of abortion rights say they'd like to "maintain current policy," what they likely mean is that Hyde should also apply to any potential public health insurance plan, thus maintaining...

THE WHITE HOUSE PAY GAP.

An enterprising college student, Ariel Boone , has used the White House staff/salary list to do some digging on gender and pay disparities. Here's what she found: On average, a White House woman earns $9,168 less than a White House man. A woman’s median WH salary is $57,314, while a man’s median WH salary is $65,000. According to Boone's research, the gap is due to women being clustered in lower-level positions, while men are more likely to have executive jobs. This chart breaks it down: It's not surprising that the White House -- an extremely elite, competitive place to work -- follows the same patterns we see in the private sector, of women being outnumbered in top positions and over-represented among "assistants." Just a reminder that even in progressive politics, we have to stay vigilant about mentoring young women, promoting them, and offering both women and men the work-life balance that allows them to maintain careers as they get into their thirties and forties and...

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