Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Anya Kamenetz to talk about the state of education. Anya is a staff writer for Fast Company, a columnist for Tribune Media, and she is the author of two books: Generation Debt and DIY U.
Education, debt, and opportunity for young people will have a profound effect on the world in coming years.
1. Face unprecedented levels of debt.
Generation Debt outlines the deleterious effects of student loans and credit card spending. Young people are facing unique economic challenges and face decisions unlike other generations. The cost of education is going up, and the ability to pay debt off is going down.
2. Operate in a rapidly changing educational environment.
DIY U is a about the transformation underway in education. Everything is changing from K12 to higher education, from early testing to admittance, to the consumption of course materials.
She is currently working on her next book, The Test, which will focus on the data-driven accountability models in K12 education.
3. Mature in a different timeframe.
In Generation Debt, Anya indicates that 46% of men and 31% of women in 2000 can be considered “grown up” by the age of thirty. Forty years earlier, in 1960, those numbers were 65% of men and 77% of women.
Anya and I discuss the challenges facing young people today. Despite all of these challenges, Anya is optimistic about the next generation. She indicates that they seize control, are resilient, and have a sense of possibility. That positive view gives me great hope.