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Anya Kamenetz

Anya Kamenetz is an education correspondent at NPR. She joined NPR in 2014, working as part of a new initiative to coordinate on-air and online coverage of learning. Since then the NPR Ed team has won a 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for Innovation, and a 2015 National Award for Education Reporting for the multimedia national collaboration, the Grad Rates project.

Kamenetz is the author of several books. Her latest is The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (PublicAffairs, 2018). Her previous books touched on student loans, innovations to address cost, quality, and access in higher education, and issues of assessment and excellence: Generation Debt; DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, and The Test.

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 and Slate, and appeared in documentaries shown on PBS and CNN.

West Virginia. Oklahoma. Arizona. Teachers are organizing for better working conditions all over the country.

There is a red light flashing in professor Albert Ponce's cubby-sized office. The light comes from an old-fashioned answering machine.

Lately, he doesn't like to listen to the messages by himself. When he presses play, it's obvious why:

"Albert Ponce, you are a piece of s*** f****** gutter slug that needs his neck snapped, OK? Call me if you need me. I'll do it for ya."

"F****** race-baiting f****** piece of trash."

"I'm 54 years old and my paycheck is $1,980 [a month]. I can't afford f****** health insurance."

There's good news and bad news in the weekly education news roundup, so read on!

Thousands of teachers have government grants converted to loans

The week before winter break, snow is piled up around St. Louis Park High School, a low-slung, rambling brick complex in suburban Minneapolis. And more snow is falling.

This is a big, diverse school with proud roots. Alumni include Joel and Ethan Coen, who shot their semiautobiographical 2009 drama, A Serious Man, in this area, once a Jewish enclave, which today has immigrants from all over the world.

Money talks and students walk in this week's edition of the education news roundup.

National student march

Our latest NPR Ed video takes on that question so many parents are asking: How much time should my kid spend looking at phones and screens and tablets and TVs and ...

In a nutshell (and inspired by food writer Michael Pollan), my advice is:

"Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly together."

Nearly three-fourths of U.S. teachers do not want to carry guns in school, and they overwhelmingly favor gun control measures over security steps meant to "harden" schools, according to a new Gallup poll.

Hello and welcome to another edition of the weekly roundup. The nation's eyes have been on students this week, so let's check in.

National student walkout

"Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?" Lesley Stahl asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a 60 Minutes interview that is drawing lots of attention.

"I'm not so sure how exactly that happened," DeVos responded in the interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS.

On Dec. 28, 2014, Leelah Alcorn died after walking into traffic on a highway near her hometown of Kings Mills, Ohio. The 17-year-old identified as transgender, and in a suicide note published online, which became national news, Alcorn wrote:

"The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was, they're treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something."

More than half of transgender teachers face harassment or discrimination in the workplace, according to an NPR Ed survey of transgender and gender-nonconforming educators.

The survey of 79 trans and gender-nonconforming teachers from the U.S. and Canada found that the harassment they face ranges widely: from 20 percent who reported verbal harassment, to 17 percent who said they'd been asked to change how the present themselves, such as their clothing, to two teachers who said they'd been fired.

After Parkland, there have been many calls to make schools a "harder target" — for example, by arming teachers. But there's a decent amount of research out there on what actually makes schools safer, and most of it doesn't point to more guns.

"There was a girl in my class who had on dirty clothes. The other kids laughed at her but I played with her during recess."

That's an everyday act of kindness toward a child who is being ostracized. It was reported by an elementary school student who took part in a new, nationally-representative survey of children ages 9 to 11. The purpose was to capture not only the bad, but also the good of how children treat each other, and even a little bit of the why.

Here are some of the key findings:

"I am breaking an agreement between adults to honor a pact and an agreement I have with the children of Miami."

That was Alberto Carvalho's surprising statement today at an hours-long emergency meeting of the Miami-Dade County school board that was broadcast live. In it, the city's highly regarded superintendent said he is no longer interested in running New York City's public schools, the nation's largest school system.

Welcome to our weekly roundup of education news. This week, students and teachers made major headlines.

Survivors protest gun laws; Lawmakers offer solutions

While Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was on lockdown, with an active shooter in the building, students were on their phones.

Could anyone have stopped this? That's one of the biggest questions for schools and educators as the nation takes in the facts of the shooting in Parkland, Fla., that has left 17 dead and 23 injured.

A free day at the aquarium! For Marcey Morse, a mother of two, it sounded pretty good.

It was the fall of 2016, and Morse had received an email offering tickets, along with a warning about her children's education.

At that time, Morse's two kids were enrolled in an online, or "virtual," school called the Georgia Cyber Academy, run by a company called K12 Inc. About 275,000 students around the country attend these online public charter schools, run by for-profit companies, at taxpayers' expense.

Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines.

One big reason is a lack of role models. Grandma doesn't have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time. This stuff is just too new.

But many experts on kids and media are also parents themselves. So when I was interviewing dozens of them for my book The Art of Screen Time, I asked them how they made screen time rules at home.

Hello and welcome to the latest, college-heavy edition of our weekly roundup of education news. First up ...

Michigan State University president, athletic director step down over sex-abuse scandal

"If something on their desk or in their pocket dings, rings or vibrates — they will lose focus."

"Students are doing so much in class, distraction and disruption isn't really something I worry about."

How should teachers — both K-12 and college — deal with the use of computers and phones by students in class?

On one hand, those sleek little supercomputers promise to connect us to all human knowledge. On the other hand, they are also scientifically designed by some of the world's top geniuses to feel as compelling as oxygen.

Hello! Welcome to our weekly roundup of all the education news you may have missed.

An online charter school is closing midyear

Hello! Money is on our minds in this mid-January edition of the Weekly Roundup.

Student loan default is a "crisis," report says

It's a new year and a new edition of our weekly education news roundup. welcome back!

DeVos plans to make it harder for defrauded students to get their money back

Reporters and researchers are just starting to comb through the huge, rushed-to-passage tax package to figure out the implications.

One of the changes, according to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, which advocates for a "fair and sustainable" tax system, allows far more wealthy donors in 10 states to turn a profit through "donations" to private school scholarships.

Before you head out to celebrate the holidays and welcome the new year, here is our last weekly roundup of 2017.

Education under the new tax bill

Graduate students can breathe easier after learning that tuition waivers will remain tax-free, according to the final version of the House-Senate tax bill that passed Thursday.

It's been quite a year for for-profit education. "Continued collapse," is how Bryan Alexander, an educational futurist, describes it.

Here's a quick look back:

The chief executives of 59 private colleges and seven public universities took home more than $1 million in total compensation in 2015, according to an analysis released this week by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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