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DIYU Author Anya Kamenetz Interview with Salon.com

Featured on Salon.com is a Q&A session with Anya Kamanetz, author of DIYU: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.
SALON: You argue for a movement toward something called “DIY U.” What is it? KAMENETZ: I define it as the mentality that there’s another way to provide the benefits of higher education to the people who need it. It’s an idea that puts the learner at the center. Rather than the game being, “How do you get into the most exclusive institution possible?” the idea is that you as a learner are identifying your own goals and assembling experiences that will be the most valuable for you to achieve those goals. SALON: How did college tuition costs get so out of control? KAMENETZ: On a broad policy historical level, what we have now is an erosion from the high-water mark of the early 1970s. There was a short period of time — from the postwar era with the GI Bill to the early ’70s — [in which] there seemed to be unlimited rounds of investment from the federal government and the state into mass higher education. It was seen as good economic policy, from a national defense and security perspective, and with the Civil Rights Act, there were more and more people — women, minorities — who wanted access to opportunity. College seemed like a way to allow them to prove themselves instead of unleashing them on the job market. Then the economy turned upside down. There was a political backlash against college students, fueled in large part by the campus unrest in the ’60s, and it was no longer so popular to support students. So states started withdrawing their support, and colleges started practicing cost shifting. States came down on colleges as being fat and happy and full of liberal professors, and colleges put the cost burden on families, and families took on more student loans. As a result, you get this credit bubble effect, similar to what happened recently with mortgages: There’s so much debt available, and so much free money for colleges, that parents and families become less sensitive to price increases, and there’s no political outcry at the state level.
The full article is available at Salon.com.


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..