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Help pick the best education blogs of 2009

I have put out a best education blogs list the last two years, but I wasn't a blogger myself then, and really didn't know what I was doing. Now that I face personally, each day, the pressures of being both interesting and true, I face this responsibility reborn, determined to make this the golly-whiz best list of the best education blogs ever. Fortunately Valerie Strauss, czarina of the Post's The Answer Sheet blog, has agreed to be my colleague in this venture. Now we need your help.

Please send us at or, or as comments to this post, the web addresses of no more than three of the best education blogs you know. Tell us in a just a few words why you like each one.

Valerie will select ten and I will select a different 10 for our 2009 list of 20 best blogs, which we hope to post by December. You will note a list of eleven blogs on the left side column of this blog. They are previous winners of this incredible honor, and so will remain posted there forever and are not eligible for the new list. I plan to add my ten selections to that left hand column, and make each annual contest a search for blogs we have not celebrated before.

What qualities will impress us? I can't speak for Valerie, but I have a weak spot for blogs that target me as the spawn of the devil and consign me to a different circle of hell every week. People with egos as inflated as mine love the idea of being heckled. In our twisted view of reality, it proves we exist. Here is a good example of what I talking about, by Kenneth Libby, writing for the Schools Matter blog run by Jim Horn, my favorite tormentor. Libby was responding to my recent request for suggestions for a warning I might post whenever I am writing on a topic about which I have strong views:

"'Class Struggle' is dedicated to sweeping all dialogue about poverty, economic injustice, and social inequity under the rug in favor of discussing test scores, the saintliness of KIPP, corporate missionaries from TFA, and a litany of other quick-fix education programs and test-happy pedagogical approaches. Show me a test and I'll pump it; heck, the newspaper I write for pulls in the majority of its profits from Kaplan (do you really think I'd bite the hand that feeds me?). Visit 'Class Struggle' any time you want a puff piece on DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee, a sanitized version of charter chaingangs, or just a little bit of reassurance about the legitimacy of the testing regime known as No Child Left Behind. Happy testing, kids!"

In my view, that is the work of an A-plus, 2400-on-the-SAT blog. See if you can find more like it, or failing that, whatever works for you.

By Jay Mathews  | November 4, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  Jay on the Web  
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Educator's News

Run by Steve Wood, a former special education teacher and big user of technology in Indiana.
He still subs at his local school.
He highlights websites and programs of use for teachers and students, as well as posts the occasion thoughts on research and "reform" ideas

Posted by: edlharris | November 4, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

This kindergarten teacher introduced blogging to 5 year old children in a very interesting way. He had students post things they made at home and there are Questions for the dinner table for parents to ask students about their day.

Posted by: sbird03 | November 4, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The Other 17 Hours

This blog takes a look at how the students at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School spend their "other 17 hours" advancing their education outside of the classroom.

Student contributions are interspersed throughout keep things interesting and give this blog a lively, authentic feel.

Posted by: Timmyp123 | November 4, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I recommend "The Other 17 Hours." It's updated frequently, includes pitures and is all about the students in a great school in a tough DC neighborhood. I hope you nominate them.

Posted by: elenawya | November 4, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

My recommendation is Guerilla Educators. It is a chaotic mess of information particularly about Project Based Learning methodologies and has dozens of short, tightly edited videos showing real students conducting real projects in and out of real classrooms. The blog is also a resource for educational facilities planners to involve students in the school design process and to connect that design directly to students, teachers, and curriculum via Project Based Learning.

Posted by: tcherjohn | November 4, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

For the record, my blog, which received Jay's blessing in 2008 for giving him hell about his "challenge" index, is just AssortedStuff, not EdTech Assorted Stuff. I gave up long ago getting the listing corrected in the Class Struggle sidebar. :-)

And I'd like to recommend Elementary, My Dear, or Far From It ( and Organized Chaos ( neither of which has written that Jay is the "spawn of the devil" but both of which offer unique, humorous, and sometimes poignant views of teaching young children.

Posted by: tstahmer | November 4, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, shameless self-promotion here. I would like to nominate my own teacher blog called The Classroom Post ( Each week I post an op-ed style essay on a current topic in K-12 education from the point of view of the classroom teacher. Topics can range from bomb threats to teacher burnout to cheating in the classroom. It is not flashy or glitzy, and I have never referred to Jay as the spawn of the devil. But I encourage everyone to check it out and feel free to leave a comment. Thanks to Jay for finally doing something besides endlessly promoting AP testing!

Posted by: magg1 | November 4, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

MSSP (More selfish self promotion)... provides education information for parents, not wonks. We focus more on child development than teacher development, and apply a simple test to determine whether something should be posted: Is it interesting to us as parents? If you're a parent, I hope you'll find it interesting too.

Posted by: leonbaranovsky | November 5, 2009 3:56 AM | Report abuse

This blog reminds me of Erma Bombeck's humor only directed at being a high school journalism teacher. I look forward to starting my day after reading her witty comments. Anyone can relate to the trials and tribulations that occur in the everyday like of a high school journalism teacher. Just try it at:

Posted by: Geneva1 | November 5, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I'll third the Other 17 hours, but it is a little unfocused.

Posted by: edlharris | November 5, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I vote for the ASCD Inservice Blog as one of the top ten. It keeps me coming back everyday with its insightful questions and updates over current trends and issues in the education world and its spotlights on new educators and authors that help to bridge the gaps in education.

Posted by: lindsaybilbrey | November 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much. Keep those nominations coming. I am getting some good emails too.

Posted by: Jay Mathews | November 5, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I would like to nominate:

1) School Gate
( for her British perspective on education, especially relevant to parents.

2) Mr teacher UK( for his realistic view on teaching in London.

Both are relevant to parents and teachers all over the world.

Posted by: artbraun | November 6, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I would like to nominate the ASCD Inservice blog
which is relevant for educators all over the world.

Posted by: alejandraquaglia | November 9, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

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