Anya Kamenetz

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Anya Kamenetz
Born (1980-09-15) September 15, 1980 (age 38)
EducationBenjamin Franklin High School
Alma materYale College
Notable worksGeneration Debt, DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing–But You Don’t Have to Be
RelativesRodger Kamenetz, Moira Crone

Anya Kamenetz (born September 15, 1980, in Baltimore) is an American writer living in Brooklyn, New York City. She is lead education blogger at NPR,[1] a former staff writer for Fast Company magazine, a columnist for Tribune Media Services, and the author of several books about education.

During 2005, she wrote a column for The Village Voice called "Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young". Her first book, Generation Debt, was published by Riverhead Books in February 2006. Her writing has also appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, Slate, The Nation, The Forward newspaper, and more.

In 2009, Kamenetz wrote a column called "How Web-Savvy Edupunks Are Transforming American Higher Education"[2] and, in 2010, a book on the subject entitled DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education. In 2010, she was named a Game Changer in Education by the Huffington Post.[3]

As a Fellow at the New America Foundation, Kamenetz wrote a book, The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing–But You Don’t Have to Be,[4] which was released in January 2015.[5]

She was featured in the documentaries Generation Next (2006), Default: The Student Loan Documentary[6] (2011), both shown on PBS, and Ivory Tower,[7] which premiered at Sundance in 2014 and was shown on CNN.

Her book, The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life was published by PublicAffairs, and imprint of Hachette, in January 2018[8]. It argues that families should manage screen time with rules similar to Michael Pollan’s well-known “food rules”: "Enjoy Screens. Not too much. Mostly with others."[9]

She is the daughter of Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus and other books on spirituality, and Moira Crone, fiction writer and author of Dream State and A Period of Confinement. Kamenetz grew up in Baton Rouge and New Orleans and graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School and Yale College in 2002.[10]

Reviews of Generation Debt[edit]

Generation Debt argues that student loans, credit card debt, the changing job market, and fiscal irresponsibility imperil the future economic prospects of the current generation, which is the first American generation not to do better financially than their parents.[11]

Some critics of Generation Debt have held that Kamenetz is not critical enough of her own perspective. A writer at Slate wrote, "It's not that the author misdiagnose[s] ills that affect our society. It's just that [she] lack[s] the perspective to add any great insight."[12]

Reviews of The Test[edit]

In The New York Times Book Review, Dana Goldstein wrote,[13] "Although “The Test” mounts a somewhat familiar case against standardized testing, to characterize it as simply a polemic would be to overlook the sophistication of Kamenetz’s thinking."

In The Boston Globe, Richard Greenwald wrote,[14] "The value of Anya Kamenetz’s new book, “The Test,” lies in her ability to avoid the soapbox style of too many books on education reform today. Her journalistic talents coupled with her role as a mother of a student on the brink of testing humanizes this book, making it a perfect entry for parents who are too deep in the muck of testing to have the clarity of distance."


  1. ^ "Anya Kamenetz Lead Blogger, Education". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  2. ^ Anya Kamenetz (September 2009). "How Web-Savvy Edupunks Are Transforming American Higher Education" (139). Fast Company.
  3. ^ "Arianna On Game Changers Anya Kamenetz, Jill Biden, Ted Olson & David Boies". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  4. ^ "The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing–But You Don't Have to Be: Anya Kamenetz: 9781610394413". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  5. ^ ‘The Test’ by Anya Kamenetz, By DANA GOLDSTEIN, New York Times, Sunday Book Review, FEB. 4, 2015
  6. ^ "Default: the Student Loan Documentary". Default: the Student Loan Documentary. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  7. ^ "Ivory Tower". TakePart. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  8. ^ "PublicAffairs". PublicAffairs Books. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Don't panic! Here's how to make screens a positive in family life". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Anya Kamenetz, Adam Berenzweig". The New York Times. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  11. ^ "Up Against It At 25". Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  12. ^ Gross, Daniel. "Meet the it-sucks-to-be-me generation". Slate Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  13. ^ Goldstein, Dana (2015-02-04). "'The Test,' by Anya Kamenetz". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  14. ^ "A review of "The Test" by Anya Kamenetz - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2017-01-23.

External links[edit]