Kyle Spencer is an award-winning education journalist and frequent New York Times contributor who focuses much of her attention on the ways in which race and class are impacting life inside American classrooms. She writes often for The Hechinger Report and has written for New York magazine, Slate, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, POLITICO Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The International Herald Tribune, and many other publications. A veteran journalist with 20-plus years of experience, Spencer has written about charter proliferation, the controversy over the Common Core, Harlem parents in the age of school reform, million dollar PTA’s, stress in high-achieving school districts and the prison-to-college pipeline, among many other things.
In 2012, Spencer wrote a series of stories for The New York Times about hyper-aggressive fundraising efforts at New York City’s well-to-do public schools, which launched a citywide debate about public school inequity. The series was part of a crowdsourcing project she helped coordinate between WNYC Radio, The New York Times, and the education website SchoolBook.
In 2014, she co-produced a Frontline episode about a school district re-segregation effort in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that won the EWA Broadcast Award. The film was credited with shedding light on the issue and led to public pushback against the effort. It eventually failed. Spencer has been a scholar with The Nantucket Project and last summer, was one of the journalists chosen for the Social Science Summer Institute for Journalists with The Russell Sage Foundation. Spencer has appeared on New York 1, The Brian Lehrer Show, and The Talk of The Nation. She speaks and moderates panels for schools, education-related conferences, workshops and non-profit events.
As a Spencer Fellow, Spencer followed the Far Right’s efforts to mobilize a conservative youth movement on the nation’s campuses. Her book proposal is tentatively called Raising Them Right, and is currently being considered for publication.
Here are some samples of her work:
Life Beyond Bars: One Man’s Journey From Prison to College