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.

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8:27am

Thu May 14, 2015
NPR Ed

Vindication For Fidgeters: Movement May Help Students With ADHD Concentrate

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 9:46 am

Allowing kids with ADHD to move around in class may help them collect their thoughts.
LA Johnson/NPR

Are you a pen-clicker? A hair-twirler? A knee-bouncer? Did you ever get in trouble for fidgeting in class? Don't hang your head in shame. All that movement may be helping you think.

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6:43am

Wed May 13, 2015
NPR Ed

A Key Researcher Says 'Grit' Isn't Ready For High-Stakes Measures

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 7:23 am

The accuracy of self-reporting depends on your frame of reference. Excerpted from "Measurement Matters: Assessing Personal Qualities Other Than Cognitive Ability for Educational Purposes."
Courtesy of Angela L. Duckworth and David Scott Yeager

If you've followed education in the news or at the book store in the past couple of years, chances are you've heard of "grit." It's often defined as the ability to persevere when times get tough, or to delay gratification in pursuit of a goal.

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6:53am

Sun May 10, 2015
NPR Ed

Counting Poor Students Is Getting Harder

LA Johnson/NPR

Researchers, grant-makers and policymakers have long relied on enrollment numbers for the federally subsidized Free and Reduced-Price Lunch program. They use those numbers as a handy proxy for measuring how many students are struggling economically. The paperwork that families submit to show their income becomes the basis of billions in federal funds.

To be eligible for these programs, a family must earn no more than 85 percent above the poverty line. Just over half of public school students fit that description.

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6:30am

Thu May 7, 2015
Education

AltSchool Promises To Reimagine Education For the 2030s

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 1:48 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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1:02pm

Mon May 4, 2015
NPR Ed

A For-Profit School Startup Where Kids Are Beta Testers

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 4:48 pm

AltSchool's schools are a proving ground for dozens of engineers seeking to build "an operating system for education."
Courtesy of Altschool

At first glance, the warehouse in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood could be the headquarters of any well-funded startup: exposed concrete, natural light, lots of Macbooks. Then you spot the 12- and 13-year-olds doing yoga in a glass-walled conference room.

It's a tech company, but it's also a private, for-profit middle school: a unique, hybrid venture called AltSchool.

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8:03am

Wed April 29, 2015
NPR Ed

Several Florida School Districts Cut (Way) Back On Tests

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 9:04 am

LA Johnson/NPR

Did you hear that?

It's the sound of hundreds of thousands of public school students in Florida breathing sighs of relief.

The state's largest school district, Miami-Dade County, just cut the number of district-created, end-of-course exams it will require from roughly 300 to 10. And even those 10 will be field-tested only, on just a sampling of students.

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8:03am

Tue April 28, 2015
NPR Ed

Delinquent. Dropout. At-Risk. When Words Become Labels

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 5:05 pm

Sidney Poitier (right) and Glenn Ford (standing) in the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle.
The Kobal Collection

Much of our recent reporting, especially from New Orleans, has focused on young people who are neither in school nor working. There are an estimated 5 1/2 million of them, ages 16 to 24, in the United States.

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5:47pm

Mon April 27, 2015
NPR Ed

The Largest For-Profit College Shutdown In History

Corinthian operated colleges and training programs under the names Everest College, Heald, WyoTech and QuickStart Intelligence. This location is in Milwaukee.
Jeramey Jannene Flickr

The long-running story of the for-profit Corinthian Colleges has entered what looks like a final phase. As our colleagues at SCPR wrote:

"Corinthian Colleges will shut down all of its remaining 28 ground campuses, displacing about 16,000 students, less than two weeks after the U.S. Department of Education announced it was fining the for-profit institution $30 million for misrepresentation."

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8:03am

Sun April 26, 2015
NPR Ed

What If Students Could Fire Their Professors?

LA Johnson/NPR

"Welcome to Iowa State University. May I take your paper, please?"

A bill circulating in the Iowa state Senate would rate professors' performance based on student evaluations. Just student evaluations.

Low-rated professors would be automatically fired — no tenure, no appeals.

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8:03am

Thu April 23, 2015
NPR Ed

To Get More Students Through College, Give Them Fewer Choices

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:18 am

Redesigning America's Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success by Thomas R. Bailey, Shanna Smith Jaggars and Davis Jenkins
Harvard University Press

How many different flavors of jam do you need to be happy?

In 2000, a famous experiment showed that when people were presented with a supermarket sampler of 24 exotic fruit flavors, they were more attracted to the display. But, when the sample included only six flavors, they were 10 times more likely to actually buy.

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