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
Governor goes beyond minimum required under Proposition 98 to absorb $3.1 billion in districts' pension payments and address teacher shortage.
June 14, 2019
The failure of Measure EE underscores how hard it is to capture a two-thirds majority needed for approval of a parcel tax and the challenges ahead to pass a 'split-roll' initiative to raise businesses' property taxes.
June 11, 2019
The group reached a consensus on giving school districts the power to consider the “saturation” by and the academic need for charter schools.
June 7, 2019
California districts should use insights from surveys of students' habits of mind but not rate schools by the results, a PACE research project concludes.
June 5, 2019
Legislators and advocates for students with disabilities praise the big increase that Gov. Newsom proposes for special education but reject his idea for spending it.
May 28, 2019
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.