Kavitha Cardoza is a freelance journalist and has covered education and poverty for almost 20 years.

She is a frequent contributor to NPR and previously worked at Education Week/PBS Newshour, WAMU, (the NPR affiliate in Washington, D.C.) and Illinois Public Radio (the NPR affiliate in Springfield, Illinois). She’s worked on podcasts, written print articles and has published academic papers.

She has received multiple national awards for her work, including Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) first place award in 2015 for her documentary, Breaking Ground: Lower Income, Higher Ed, and a 2013 Education Writers Association award for investigative Reporting on Adult Education. Her documentary series ‘Breaking Ground’ aired on more than 150 public radio stations.

Kavitha has previously taught journalism courses at Berkeley, American University and the University of Illinois at Springfield. She has a master’s degrees in broadcast journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication in India.

With a Spencer Fellowship, Kavitha plans to look at the growing inequality among children living in Washington, D.C. looking into how much further behind is the pandemic, coupled with remote learning, leaving behind poor and minority children in D.C.? And whether the federal infusion of money will directly and substantially address educational challenges like teacher quality and test scores.  Can schools even address these challenges and if not, what else will it take?

Kavitha lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and puppy. Her stepsons, who are away at college, cannot understand why she’s so excited about being a student again.