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


NO IOWA FOR HILLARY? Oh, the intrigue! The New York Times ' Adam Nagourney reports that Hillary Clinton 's number 2 campaign aide, Mike Henry , authored a memo advising Clinton to skip the Iowa caucuses entirely and focus on states she is more likely to win, such as New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida. How did Nagourney get his paws on the memo? From an unnamed "rival campaign," of course. The Clinton camp rushed to distance itself from the document, saying it reflected Henry's personal opinion and that the Senator would definitely be participating in the Iowa caucuses. Any bets on who the rival camp was? Edwards seems the more obvious beneficiary of Clinton skipping Iowa, as it would reaffirm his front-runner status there. But the Obama campaign strikes me as the one more likely to have pulled off this kind of PR stunt. --Dana Goldstein


IMMIGRATION RESET. Like Ezra , my thinking so far is that the Senate-White House compromise on immigration reform is better than nothing, especially for the 12 million undocumented people already living, working, and paying taxes in the United States who can now become legitimate, open members of society. The strengthening of border security wasn't a surprise. And it's great news that the deal encompasses the DREAM Act , which would give children brought to the U.S. illegally a path toward citizenship and access to financial aid for college. The bad news, though, is that there will still be a large population of undocumented workers in this country. The combination of amnesty for undocumented immigrants already here and the creation of a guest worker program is akin to hitting a "reset" button -- really only a temporary fix. Does anybody realistically think many of the proposed 400,000-600,000 "guests" won't stay on in the U.S. as undocumented laborers, recreating an underclass that...


WHO'S PREPARED FOR COLLEGE? J. asks a good question about my comparison between French and American high schools. Do the French prepare fewer kids for college, and is that why their bac exam is more challenging and predictive of educational success? Here's the answer: About half of French high school students , or 600,000 people, sit for the bac annually, and 70 percent earn a passing grade. In the American high school class of 2005 , 1.2 million students took the ACT and 1.5 million took the SAT of about 2.7 million total high school graduates. So virtually every high school graduate endures one of these exams at least once. And 68 percent of American students complete at least the suggested four years of English and three each of social studies, science, and math to prepare for college. What this all boils down to is that yes, a larger percentage of American students are "preparing for college." But that preparation is much less stringent and leaves only 25 percent of us fully...


COLOR ME UNPREPARED. The poor state of our nation's high schools in the era of No Child Left Behind is almost overwhelming. A new report from ACT, the college-prep testing service that administers the popular alternative to the SAT, finds that even when students take the federally recommended college preparatory curriculum of four years of English and three years each of social studies, science, and math, only 25 percent of them are truly prepared for the higher order reading, writing, quantitative, and critical thinking skills needed to succeed in college. As The New York Times reports in an article on the study: Kati Haycock, director of the Education Trust, another Washington-based group that advocates standard-setting, said that as she traveled around the country, she found many schools not offering challenging work. "When you look at the assignments these kids get, it is just appalling," she said. "A course may be labeled college-preparatory English. But if the kids get more than...


BLOGGING LIKE GRAFFITI? Apropos of discussions about old-style journalists' "delicacy" when faced with criticisms from the blogosphere, comes this curious analogy in Lauren Collins ' riveting New Yorker article on Banksy , the elusive (and rather progressive !) British graffiti artist: The graffitist's impulse is akin to a blogger's: write some stuff, quickly, which people may or may not read. Both mediums demand wit and nimbleness. They arouse many of the same fears about the lowering of the public discourse and the taking of undeserved liberties. This accurately reflects the fears I've heard again and again from print journalists. But notwithstanding the alacrity both mediums require, the characterization doesn't seem quite right. I'm as nonplussed by graffiti as the next kid born in the 1980s, but it remains the case that according to the letter of the law, graffiti artists are vandalizing public and private property. Bloggers, on the other hand, don't take up any space intended...