John FensterwaldFollow @jfenster Email
John Fensterwald, staff writer, joined EdSource in 2012. Before that, he was editor and co-writer for the “Thoughts on Public Education (TOP-Ed)” website, a leading source of California education policy reporting and opinion, which he founded in 2009. For 11 years before then, John wrote editorials for the Mercury News in San Jose, with a focus on education. He worked as a reporter, news editor and opinion editor for three newspapers in New Hampshire for two decades before receiving a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 1997 and heading West. His wife is a retired elementary school teacher, and his daughter attends the UC Davis School of Medicine.
All articles by John Fensterwald
The Learning Policy Institute found that fully prepared teachers mattered more than overall spending and low teacher-student ratios in raising test scores.
May 17, 2019
Critics complain some California charter schools screen out students with disabilities and academically struggling students.
May 16, 2019
Newsom proposes funding for subsidized childcare, disabled students and a loan program for special education, math and science teachers.
May 10, 2019
Gov. Newsom proposes more K-12, community college funds; loan forgiveness for new special education, math and science teachers.
May 9, 2019
First on new California state superintendent’s long agenda: getting more men of color in the classroom
Tony Thurmond is creating work groups to focus on critical education issues while building a relationship with Gavin Newsom and building confidence in a state education department that’s been understaffed and underfunded.
May 3, 2019
Advocates for more equitable state funding of school facilities see proposals for multi-billion dollar state construction bonds in 2020 and 2022 as a chance to make a case for changing the state formula for distributing money.
April 12, 2019
Kim Pattillo-Brownson, vice president for policy and strategy at First 5 Los Angeles, and Matt Navo, former superintendent of much studied Sanger Unified, will join the 11 member policy-setting board.
April 2, 2019
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association and the L.A. County Business Federation criticize the district in their ballot statement and plan a $4 million campaign to defeat Measure EE on June 4 ballot.
April 1, 2019
One bill would let school districts give the SAT or ACT to all students, at state expense; another calls on UC and CSU to consider phasing out the tests altogether.
March 29, 2019
Districts’ average payments to pension funds CalSTRS and CalPERS doubled to about $1,000 per student in 2017-18. But contributions varied among districts and will continue to rise for at least two more years.
March 21, 2019
If the Legislature agrees, voters in November 2020 will consider lowering the threshold for approval from two-thirds to 55 percent.
March 17, 2019
The task force will examine the financial impact of charter schools and report back to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
March 8, 2019
Supreme Court reaffirms pension reform law's elimination of one benefit but larger challenge to modify pensions of teachers and other public employees will await a future decision.
March 4, 2019
California's open meetings, public records and conflict-of-interest laws will soon apply to charter schools. Newsom called for the legislation.
February 28, 2019
Legislation by the chair of the Assembly Education Committee would ban appeals, cap charters at the current level and factor in charter schools’ fiscal impact on authorizing districts