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
Requirements proposed by UC ethnic studies faculty revive teachings on race that the State Board of Education largely dismissed as biased and divisive.
April 12, 2022
Led by continued hemorrhaging of student enrollment in Los Angeles County and parts of the Bay Area, total public school enrollment in California dropped by 110,000 this year, the second year of big losses.
April 11, 2022
The California School Choice Initiative needed 1 million voters' signatures to be placed on the election ballot; the campaign collected only 200,000.
April 10, 2022
The pandemic compounded the challenge of teaching math at grade level when many California students may be three or four years behind.
April 5, 2022
Drafters of revision tempered language, reiterated local control of 8th grade Algebra and reemphasized high-level math options are for all students.
March 18, 2022
For now, most California districts are flush with money. But those that aren't face a March 15 deadline to initiate layoffs they hope won't happen.
March 9, 2022
California school districts have thousands of properties on which to build apartments for teachers struggling to pay rent, a new report details.
February 23, 2022
Students can earn a Seal of Civic Engagement if they learn how to research issues and effect change by getting involved in community issues.
February 8, 2022
Former state Sen. Gary Hart, who died last week at 78, authored bills allowing charter schools in California, creating a statewide student assessment and a minimum school year.
February 1, 2022
Districts can soon apply for funding to transform schools by expanding services for the "whole child" and extensively involving parents.
January 31, 2022
Newsom projects $24 billion in new spending on K-12 education; he'd speed up plans for a longer day for low-income kids and add nearly $1 billion for arts and music.
January 10, 2022
Among the 24% of students who took the Smarter Balanced assessments in 2020-21, achievement gaps widened, and the youngest students struggled.
January 7, 2022
Test scores will fall, chronic absences will rise, school funding will soar, with arguments over how to spend it. Bet your Fensters on that.
January 7, 2022
No frozen pizza on the menu at Pacific Elementary in tiny coastal Davenport. The fifth and sixth grade chefs cook from scratch, luring families to enroll in their school.