One of the charms of ‘retirement’ is having the time to read and pass on commentary, articles, blogs, and research that are relevant to educators and others interested in the business and politics of K-12 education. Here are some other authors worth following. Check them out from time to time and decide who you want to follow, then add them to your RSS or other tech feeds so you get them without thinking about it. This page will be expanded (and/or contracted) in the next several weeks. Your suggestions of blogs to follow will also be appreciated in the comments section.
Bruce Baker, from Rutgers, writes School Finance 101 from the point of view of educational finance. His irreverent commentary covers the “reformy” folks (his term) with reanalysis of their use of data. If you want to better understand appropriate use and misuse of data, his illuminations on data alone are enough to make this blog a first-read for everyone.
Valerie Strauss writes The Answer Sheet for the Washington Post. If you read my blogs regularly, you will see that she inspires me and usually presents a parallel point of view to my own.
Diane Ravitch’s Blog is a worthwhile read. Coming out of the Federal Department of Education, where she promoted No Child Left Behind, she has reversed most of her support for NCLB and now is a wonderful spokesperson for effective public education.
Bridging Differences, from Deborah Meier and a second educational writer with contrasting views, is one of EdWeek’s regular blogs. The second writer changes periodically. Deborah founded the Coalition of Essential Schools with Ted Sizer, and the second writer has ranged from Pedro Noguera to Frederick Hess. The second writer appears to be selected to offer contrasting views to Deborah’s own, and they write back and forth on topics related to urban education and school reform. The reform movement is fundamentally driven by failures in urban schools, and it’s refreshing to read two urban educators who can speak from their own deep experiences in the trenches.
A Sociological Eye on Education, from Aaron Pallas, is posted by the Hechinger Report, which in turn comes out of the Hechinger Institute, an independently funded nonprofit housed at Teachers College, Columbia University. This TC professor has wonderful insights and is very readable.
Education Week: Blogs offers multiple commentary, with 14 bloggers writing in these categories: Politics & Policy; Technology, Industry, & Innovation; Research; International Perspectives; In The Classroom; and P-16 Connections. There’s something here for everyone.
CURMUDGUCATION is written by an active teacher, Peter Greene. He is a prolific blogger who has two blogs he maintains and an opinion blog entitled “View from the Cheap Seats” that appears regularly as one of the Education Week Blogs. I don’t understand how he has time for all the work he turns out, with a delightfully irreverent voice lamenting the destructive elements of the education reform movement.
If you like the reformers supporting charters and testing, you might focus on Rick Hess’ blog, Rick Hess Straight Up, another of Education Week’s Blogs. Since Rick works for a conservative think tank and leans significantly to the right, it’s an ironic title, but he writes well from a position that will usually be the opposite of my own.
Also on the Washington Post is Jay Matthews, who writes the blog Class Struggle. I am most familiar with Mr. Matthews for the ratings of schools that he does each year, but his commentary goes well beyond ratings. He feels less progressive than Valerie Strauss–you can judge for yourselves.
Susan Ohanian Speaks Out is an understatement. Susan is a very outspoken critic of testing and NCLB. She takes on the US DOE and testing companies, state politicians, and anyone else that pushes reforms she doesn’t like. Her site pulls in news articles, editorials, research reports, and a multitude of other elements in support of her assertive views. Her wide-ranging sidebar links are often back-up references and/or examples of what she calls the outrages against which she campaigns.