Laura McKenna, Ph.D. writes about education, politics, and parenting. Her articles have appeared in the Atlantic, Edutopia,The 74, Discovery Education’s Front and Central, Pacific-Standard, Yahoo! News, Business Insider, and other publications. Since 2012, she had written about the opt-out movement, the closing of a small girl’s college, special education, and the impact of adjuncts on college education. She has discussed her work on NPR and Sirius Radio.
Her career in education began as a special education teacher in the South Bronx in the early 1990s. Later, she entered graduate school for political science. She earned her 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 in 2001. Her dissertation was on the politics of school vouchers.
While in graduate school, she worked as an education policy researcher for six years at the Howard Samuel State Management and Policy Center, where she conducted research on college retention, city administration reform, charter schools, and finance reform. As the Project Director of “Regimes and Reform: Rethinking Urban Education Reform,” she conducted a study of the politics of education in nine states through an analysis of charter school and finance reform. She led and trained a team of eight research assistants in qualitative methodology. Together, the team conducted hundreds of face-to-face and phone interviews with key participants in education reform.
Between 2001 and 2009, she taught at Hunter College, Teachers College at Columbia, and Ramapo College. Her courses included Introduction to Political Science, Introduction to American Government, State and Local Government, Public Policy, the Politics of Education, Mass Media, and Political Theory.
Her academic research, peer-reviewed journal articles, monographs, and conference presentations includes work on Republican governors and education, new media, college retention, and school vouchers.
Through her experience in social media, she honed her craft as a public intellectual. She has discussed politics, education, and parenting as a blogger since 2003. She is able to translate academic research for a mainstream audience.
Laura attends three PTA meetings and a school board meeting every month. She is the parent of two awesome kids, with one on the autistic spectrum. Every day, she advocates for the needs of her son and other children with special needs.
Twitter — @Laura11D
E-Mail – LMcKenna11 at gmail.com
Rare posts, random links, and family pictures on the former blog, Apt. 11D.