If you're not tired of all the "best of" lists, Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, along with retired teacher Walt Gardner, asked readers to nominate their favorite education blogs. Gardener and Mathews picked 10 blogs each out of 74 submitted.
Gardner said that "choosing the 10 best blogs out of the 74 I received was far tougher than I anticipated. I selected those that I thought were successful in achieving their stated mission. Because blogs are still in their infancy, it's impossible to know how they will evolve. If they move in the direction of persuasion, rather than pronouncement, they have the potential to advance taxpayer understanding of issues in public education. My hope is that they take advantage of the opportunity to stimulate rational debate through the use of evidence, and shun ad hominem arguments."
Here is a small sampling of Gardener and Mathews' favorite picks.
Mathews: The contributors - apparently the accepted term for people who run and write blogs - are Ken DeRosa, a lawyer, and Catherine Johnson, who does not reveal what she does for a living. I did not realize that some of these bloggers remain anonymous, particularly the teachers, who want to be frank without being fired. D-Ed Reckoning includes very wise, inside-the-classroom postings, sophisticated discussions of topics as difficult as reading instruction and dissections of pompous columnists, like me. I found one error in the blog's critique of my Dec. 19 column on KIPP teacher Lisa Suben: DeRosa said she had no prior teaching experience, but I said she did two years in an Louisiana eighth grade. That is a minor flaw. These are smart people.
Gardner: News, commentary and debate about education reform in a brew formulated to provoke debate.
Education Policy Blog
Gardner: Distinguishes itself from the pack by examining educational issues through the prism of social foundations. Stimulates reflective thinking.
Mathews: There are 13 listed contributors, including the above-mentioned Bernstein and a New Jersey educator with a doctorate named Jim Horn who derided me as a KIPP cheerleader. Unlike DeRosa, however, he seemed to like what I wrote about Lisa Suben. You have to really, really love the intricate and jargon-laden grudges of the education obsessed to like everything in this blog, but I am in that group, and waded in happily. The writing is very lively, which always wins me over, and they have a lot of talent.
Gardner: Penetrating analysis in a lively style on a wide range of issues.
Mathews: This is one of the few blogs I ever read before doing this column. Its contributor is Andy Rotherham, one of the most important education policy thinkers and politicos in the country, and my pick to be U.S. secretary of education someday. He is a former Clinton education adviser, a member of the Virginia state school board and a co-founder of the Education Sector think tank. The blog is full of very lively short items and is always on top of the news. He gets extra points for skewering my high school rating system.