Lists of most-read stories or blog posts are popular on the Internet, but I doubt they tell us all that much about what really matters to readers.

The fact that more people read a story about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt than about the U.S. debt ceiling doesn’t make the former more important than the latter — not even to the people who are reading, or, not reading, individual stories.

That a particular story gets widely linked on a particular day or captures the collective imagination at a particular moment (say, for example, the second we all learned Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries were no longer blissfully married) doesn’t necessarily tell us it is imbued with meaning.

So I will list some of the best-read posts on The Answer Sheet in 2011 that tell us about education today (and one or two that are just fun). Here they are, in no special order, except the first one, which was the best read of the year:

When an adult took a standardized test forced on kids

Public education’s problem gets worse

How to fix the mess we call middle school

Obama girls miss two days of school; when is is okay to keep a kid out of school?

The complete list of problems with high-stakes standardized tests

Why Oscar snubbed ‘Superman’ — and deservedly so

Best college essay ever?

Ravitch: Why Finland’s schools are doing great (by doing what we don’t)

Matt Damon’s speech to teachers rally and How badly did Arne Duncan want to talk to Matt Damon?

Why standardized tests for 2nd graders are nonsense

Cheating on standardized tests and roaches

Jon Stewart’s hysterical defense of teachers

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