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
Michael Kirst's parting advice: more teacher and principal training is critical to success of local control
In an exit interview, retiring state board President Michael Kirst urges more attention to professional development for teachers and principals, discusses the need for more school funding, an expanded school database and a new agency focused on children's needs.
January 8, 2019
Place your bets: curbs on charter schools, passage of universal preschool, more money for K-12, more teacher strikes and the resignation of Betsy DeVos; an untested governor and volatile president may affect the odds.
January 1, 2019
The California Career Pathways Trust funded alliances among school districts, businesses and colleges that established hundreds of new career pathway programs, but regional commitments were hard to sustain, a study found.
December 6, 2018
Two near indicators – chronic absenteeism and college/career readiness – debut and reemphasize the need to boost attendance of younger students and better prepare high schoolers for post-graduation.
December 6, 2018
Despite steady overall progress, gaps among student ethnic and racial groups persist. The new data will indicate which low-performing school districts will receive assistance when the California School Dashboard is released next month.
November 27, 2018
Lupita Cortez Alcalá, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, will return to the state's department of education where she held key positions for a dozen years.
November 21, 2018
The Legislative Analyst's Office projects that a 3.1 percent increase would cover little more than inflation, but early education advocates see potential opportunities elsewhere in the state budget.
November 15, 2018
The Alliance for Continuous Improvement releases a "GPS" guide that calls for improving on sweeping changes already in place: new education standards, a more equitable funding system and higher expectations for student success.
November 14, 2018
Voters approved about 80 percent of 112 school facility bonds and 8 of 13 parcel but a lot of votes remain to be counted.
November 8, 2018
High-spending campaign for a job with little power but a big megaphone comes down to wire.
November 7, 2018
Whether it's clamping down on charter schools or changing teacher tenure, candidates can say a lot more than they can actually do.
November 2, 2018
Marshall Tuck has a more 2-to-1 advantage over Tony Thurmond in direct donations and $28.7 million in funding from independent committees.
October 28, 2018
The governor wants California Supreme Court to give public agencies, like school districts, the ability to change pension benefits for current workers in hard times.
October 25, 2018
Without a lot more money, the next state superintendent of public instruction must clarify the department's role under local control.
October 11, 2018
There are signs of "encouragement" and "distress" in implementing the Common Core standards after four years of Smarter Balanced testing. There is also a dilemma: 11th-grade results.