Favorite Education Blogs of 2008

By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 7, 2008; 6:12 AM

Early last year, as an experiment, I published a list of what I and commentator Walt Gardner considered our favorite education blogs. Neither Gardner nor I had much experience with this most modern form of expression. We are WAY older than the Web surfing generation. But the list proved popular with readers, and I promised in that column to make this an annual event.

My promise was actually more specific: "Next year, through bribery or trickery, I hope to persuade Ken Bernstein, teacher and blogger par excellence, to select his favorite blogs and then let me dump on his choices, or something like that." As I learned long ago, begging works even better than bribery or trickery, and Bernstein succumbed. Below are his choices, with some comments from me, and a few of my favorites.

They are in no particular order of quality or interest. Choosing blogs is a personal matter. Tastes differ widely and often are not in sync with personal views on how schools should be improved. I agree with all of Bernstein's choices, even though we disagree on many of the big issues.

Bernstein is a splendid classroom teacher and a fine writer, with a gift for making astute connections between ill-considered policies and what actually happens to kids in school. He is a social studies teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George's County and has been certified by the prestigious National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He is also a book reviewer and peer reviewer for professional publications and ran panels on education at YearlyKos conventions. He blogs on education, among other topics, at too many sites to list. He describes his choices here as a few blogs he thinks "are worthwhile to visit."

· Bridging Differences. blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/

Bernstein: Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch in the past have had their differences on educational issues. They both serve at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University, and this shared blog is as valuable as anything on the Web for the insights the two offer, and for the quality of their dialog.

Mathews: I have a personal bias about this blog. I know Meier and Ravitch well, consider them the best writers among education pundits today and frequently bounce ideas off them.

· Eduwonk. www.eduwonk.com/

Bernstein: I often disagree with Andrew J. Rotherham, but his has been an influential voice on education policy for some years, and even now, along with all else he does, he serves on the Virginia Board of Education.

Mathews: I often agree with Rotherham, and my editors sometimes complain that I quote him too much. But the guy is only 37 and is going to be an important influence on public school policy for the rest of my life and long after.


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