The Better Learning Podcast is about improving education at all levels - Schools (public, charter, private, independent), Higher Education, & Corporate/Adult Learning. The major theme is to break down the silos and learn from others doing innovative things in education. We highlight innovative programs & initiatives, lessons learned, improvements to educational space, and real-world tactics while getting a deeper understanding of the people behind the innovation. Our guests include Heads of Schools, Superintendents, Principals, Entrepreneurs, Non-profit leaders and other innovators. Hosted by Kevin Stoller, CEO of & author of Creating Better Learning Environments.



November 2, 2022

In years past, you could look at the mission statement of any school district in the country and break it down into two categories - trying to get kids into college or trying to get kids into a better college. That's it. And even though high schools across the country usually promote a four-year college degree as the main option, that path is not right for every student — and not everyone is prepared for it.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen a national shift where some school districts are pushing away from this because of factors like COVID and the national student debt. But what if the workforce deemphasized the importance of college for skills you can teach yourself?

Anya Kamenetz is the author of several books: Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006); DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (Chelsea Green, 2010); The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed With Standardized Testing, But You Don’t Have To Be (Public Affairs, 2016); The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (Public Affairs, 2018); and finally her latest book The Stolen Year: How Covid Changed Children’s Lives, And Where We Go Now (Public Affairs, 2022).

In this episode, we dive into different conversations that overlap Kamenetz's several acclaimed books on learning and the future.

Kamenetz was named a 2010 Game Changer in Education by the Huffington Post, received 2009, 2010, and 2015 National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, won an Edward R. Murrow Award for innovation in 2017 along with the rest of the NPR Ed team, and the 2022 AERA Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research Award. She’s been a New America fellow, a staff writer for Fast Company Magazine and a columnist for the Village Voice. She’s contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine and Slate, and been featured in documentaries shown on PBS, CNN, HBO and Vice. She frequently speaks on topics related to children, learning and technology, to audiences including at Google, Apple, and Sesame, SXSW and TEDx.

Kamenetz grew up in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, in a family of writers and mystics, and graduated from Yale University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

Season 6, Episode 23

Kevin Stoller is the host of the Better Learning Podcast and Co-Founder of Kay-Twelve, a national leader for educational furniture. Learn more about creating better learning environments at


If you are interested in being on the show or know someone who would be a great guest, please connect with Kevin Stoller.