Anya Kamenetz

Anya Kamenetz is NPR's lead education blogger. She joined NPR in 2014, working as part of a new initiative to coordinate on-air and online coverage of learning.

Kamenetz is the author of several books about the future of education. Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006), dealt with youth economics and politics; DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (Chelsea Green, 2010), investigated innovations to address the crises in cost, access, and quality in higher education. Her forthcoming book, The Test (PublicAffairs, 2015), is about the past, present and future of testing in American schools.

Learning, Freedom and the Web (http://learningfreedomandtheweb.org/), The Edupunks' Guide (edupunksguide.org), and the Edupunks' Atlas (atlas.edupunksguide.org) are her free web projects about self-directed, web-enabled learning.

Previously, Kamenetz covered technology, innovation, sustainability and social entrepreneurship for five years as a staff writer for Fast Company magazine. She's contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Slate, and O, the Oprah Magazine.

Kamenetz was named a 2010 Game Changer in Education by the Huffington Post, received 2009 and 2010 National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, and was submitted for a Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing by the Village Voice in 2005, where she had a column called Generation Debt.

She appears in the documentaries Generation Next (2006), Default: A Student Loan Documentary (2011), both shown on PBS, and Ivory Tower, which premiered at Sundance in 2014 and will be shown on CNN.

Kamenetz grew up in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, in a family of writers and mystics, and graduated from Yale University in 2002. She lives in New York City.

Part of our ongoing series exploring how the U.S. can educate the nearly 5 million students who are learning English. Brains, brains, brains. One thing we've learned at NPR Ed is that people are fascinated by brain research. And yet it can be hard to point to places where our education system is really making use of the latest neuroscience findings. But there is one happy nexus where research is meeting practice: bilingual education. "In the last 20 years or so, there's been a virtual...

Whenever you surf the web, sophisticated algorithms are tracking where you go, comparing you with millions of other people. They're trying to predict what you'll do next: Apply for a credit card? Book a family vacation? At least 40 percent of universities report that they're trying some version of the same technology on their students, according to several recent surveys. It's known as predictive analytics, and it can be used to either help or hurt students, says a new report from the New...

On Thursday, Hillary Clinton packaged a major new school policy proposal as an attack on her rival, Donald Trump. "Donald Trump has made no apologies to the growing list of people that he has attempted to bully since the launch of his hate-filled campaign," read the press release from the Clinton campaign about a new $500 million initiative called " Better than Bullying ." In order to get the money, states would have to pass comprehensive anti-bullying laws and form plans to use school-based...

In a working-class city in southeast Michigan there's a barbershop where kids get a $2 discount for reading a book aloud to their barber. "Any help these kids can get with reading and ... comprehension is a big thing," said Ryan Griffin, the veteran barber who instituted the program. "You know, maybe someday some kid will grow up and be a journalist, be a writer, and he'll say, 'You know what, when I was young, my barber used to make me read.' " We published a story about Griffin and the shop...

William Bowen, a scholar and former president of Princeton University, died last week. He is associated with one of the key explanations for just why a college degree keeps getting more and more and more expensive. Bowen, who was President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation , and before that, led Princeton from 1972 to 1988, died Oct. 20 at the age of 83. An economist by training and a decorated scholar of higher education, Bowen worked to make Princeton more inclusive and wrote two important...

If there's one rule that most parents cling to in the confusing, fast-changing world of kids and media, it's this one: No screens before age 2. As of today , that rule is out the window. The American Academy of Pediatrics, which first issued that recommendation back in 1999, has extensively updated and revised its guidelines for children and adolescents to reflect new research and new habits. The new guidelines, especially for very young children, shift the focus from WHAT is on the screen to...

Cameron Smith was a fifth-grader with straight A's when her school, Fickett Elementary, was caught up in a national cheating scandal . The story started in 2001, when scores on statewide tests across Atlanta began improving greatly. The superintendent, Beverly Hall, was hailed as a highly effective reformer, winning National Superintendent of the Year in 2009. Then it all came crashing down. A report ordered by Georgia's governor found , based on score anomalies, that some form of cheating...

Rain beats against the windows of a downtown New York City building on a soporific Friday morning. A high school teacher is reading out loud from a sample recommendation letter when she notices a few students fidgeting and texting. "I'm not seeing all eyes ..." she says, her voice trailing off. Naama Wrightman, who is coaching the teacher, jumps in. "All right, pause. It's the right correction. How can you frame it positively? ... Take out the 'not.' " "All eyes on me?" "Exactly, give that...

The high school graduation rate in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 83 percent in the 2014-2015 school year, President Obama announced today, marking the fifth straight record-setting year. Achievement gaps have narrowed even as all boats have risen. Graduation rates range from 90 percent for students who identify as Asian/Pacific Islanders to 64 percent for students with disabilities. In remarks at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C., the president used the good...

Should schools of education be held accountable for producing teachers who can raise their students' achievement? This week the U.S. Education Department said, emphatically, yes. The new guidelines for teacher-prep programs are arguably the strictest federal accountability rules in all of higher ed. They have teeth: Low-performing programs will be in danger of losing access to federal TEACH grants , which pay for teachers to enter fields of high need in high-poverty schools. And they are...

With her infant son in a sling, Monique Black strolls through a weekend open house in the gentrified Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There are lots of factors to consider when looking for a home — in this one, Monique notices, the tiny window in the second bedroom doesn't let in enough light. But for parents like Black and her husband, Jonny, there's a more important question: How good are the nearby schools? It's well known in the real estate industry that highly rated schools...

"Do you speak English?" When Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng walked into his summer school classroom for the first time as a brand-new teacher, a student greeted him with this question. Nothing in his training had prepared him to address race and identity. But he was game, answering the student lightly, "Yes, I do, but this is a math class, so you don't have to worry about it." "Oh my gosh, was that racist?" he says the girl asked, and quickly checked her own assumption: "'That's exactly like when I...

What does it mean to declare that #blacklivesmatter in education? Last month the Movement for Black Lives, representing elements of the Black Lives Matter movement and related groups, issued a detailed policy platform denouncing what it called "corporate-backed," "market driven" "privatization" in school reform, and helped set off a furor over this question. Under the section labeled "community control," M4BL called for an end to state and mayoral takeovers of school systems in favor of local...

For nearly as long as she's been in the public eye, Hillary Clinton has counted the well-being of children among her defining causes — from the bestselling 1996 book (and enduring cliche) It Takes A Village to her advocacy for the State Child Health Insurance Program. This presidential campaign has been no exception, except if anything, she's been working even harder to draw connections between investments in education and economic growth. Here's a rundown of her positions from cradle to...

45 CFR Chapter XIII RIN 0970-AC63. That's the official name of the newly-revised government standards for running a Head Start program. If the name doesn't grab you, this should: The Department of Health and Human Services says it's the first "comprehensive" revision of Head Start rules since they first published them in 1975. And the changes are, in a word, big . Or two words: "incredibly impressive." That's according to NYU's Pamela Morris, who's been lead researcher on a number of...

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