John Fensterwald, staff writer, joined EdSource in 2012. Before that, he was editor and co-writer for The Educated Guess 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 before receiving a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 1997. His wife is a retired elementary school teacher, and his daughter is a neurology resident at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.
All articles by John Fensterwald
An unstated reason was Prop. 209, banning preferences by race; governor promises more funding somehow for state's lowest performing student group next year
September 2, 2022
Announcement at a press conference accompanies the release of a free, engaging dual-language resource for families in California.
September 1, 2022
A national push to change the teaching of reading shows contrast between other states and California's hands-off approach.
August 26, 2022
Oakland, with among lowest ratio of fully prepared, rightly assigned teachers, has a strategy to address teacher churn
The district is hoping a "grow your own" approach to recruiting teaching candidates from the community will pay dividends OUSD. But living costs are high, and nearby districts can compete with offer higher salaries.
August 4, 2022
Inflation, market volatility, war in Ukraine factor in -1.3% return; a one-year setback, following a record gain the year before, alone won't force an increase in school districts' pension contributions.
August 3, 2022
Detractors and supporters disagree on whether teaching standards through “big ideas” and creating new high school pathways will achieve more equitable outcomes for all students.
July 26, 2022
Analysis of Covid funding reveals California districts have spent little so far to address learning loss
The California School Boards Association examined districts’ spending reports; its analysis reveals a lack of clarity on how billions in funding were used.
July 15, 2022
The nonprofit Inverness Institute interviewed veteran teachers about life in the classroom during another difficult year impacted by a pandemic; two principals involved with the study sum up the findings in an interview with EdSource's John Fensterwald.
July 13, 2022
The $128 billion total for schools and community colleges gives a big boost for the funding formula and after-school programs, with a promise for an expansion of Cal Grants for college assistance.
July 1, 2022
Critics of the Carson v. Makin decision are warning that charter schools could be drawn into the next skirmish over religious expression.
June 29, 2022
Compromise includes 13% more for funding formula, extra for community schools, student transportation, school construction, literacy coaches and expansion of Cal Grants.
June 28, 2022
Study recommends no specific fix to 1978 property tax limit initiative, but the Opportunity Institute and Pivot Learning cite many reasons to consider reforms.
June 22, 2022
California to create teaching credential covering pre-K through 3rd grade that requires literacy training
State commission hopes new credential will help attract thousands of teachers for transitional kindergarten; literacy advocates press for strong literacy standards.
June 17, 2022
Thurmond so far is falling short of 50% needed to avoid a runoff election. It's too close to identify which of three opponents he will face.
June 8, 2022
A nearly $10 billion education rainy day fund and districts' own reserves would protect schools according to state analysts. At issue is how much funding Newsom and the Legislature should to commit to ongoing spending.