2019-03-01 Laura McKenna

Over the past thirty-five years, I’ve been a special ed teacher in the South Bronx, a grad student, a policy research, a college professor, a blogger, a PTA officer, a disability advocate, a writer, and a mom.

My writing focuses on education, parenting, and politics. My work has appeared in the Atlantic, The 74, Edutopia, Pacific-Standard, USA Today, Hechinger Report, City Lab, Business Insider, and Yahoo! News.

From Senator Cory Booker to a principal of a public school for emotionally disturbed children in the South Bronx, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a diverse cast of people about schools.  I’ve covered a wide range of topics, including the opt-out movement, the closing of a small girl’s college, a supreme court case over special education, the impact of parents on schools, college affordability, the application process to elite college, the high cost of textbooks, the impact of vouchers on Catholic education, the move towards competency-based learning, how technology is changing education, and the impact of adjuncts on college education. I have discussed my work on NPR and Sirius Radio. My work has been cited in peer review journals, law review journals, and even a television show.

I have a MA in political science from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in political science with a specialization in education policy from the Graduate Center of New York. My dissertation examined the politics of school vouchers. While working on my doctoral studies, I worked for seven years at a policy think tank working on multi-state projects for the Ford Foundation, CUNY administration, and the City of New York. After completing my Ph.D. I taught political science at several colleges and published in peer-reviewed journals. Later, I stepped away from academia and returned to my first love — writing. 

I’m a parent of two teenage boys. One is currently studying at Rutgers University. The other is a high school student with autism. 

Short bio: I’m a New Jersey-based writer specializing in education, family, and politics. Medium bio: I’m a New Jersey-based writer with publications in The Atlantic, USA Today, HuffPost, The 74, Edutopia, Hechinger Report, Yahoo News, and more. I specialize in education, parenting, and politics.

The Apt. 11D newsletter is a continuation of the blog — some politics, some personal, a whole lotta random. Subscribe here

The Great Leap newsletter is my story of how my son with autism and I are working together to help him transition to adulthood. 

The Educated Parent newsletter will provide news and explainers for parents who want to be better advocates for their kids, and all kids.