Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Read These Writers

There are a lot of good people in the edublogosphere, and if you've made it to this blog, you probably know many of them already. But for those of you just getting into the business, here's a quick reference list of some of my favorites with a capsule over-simplified explanation. Do sample and read and share-- amplifying voices is one way to make your point in the world. [Also, I didn't think this needed to be said, but I guess it does-- I read a wide variety of people with a wide variety of viewpoints because it's the only way to get a full picture of what's going on and what people are thinking. Does that mean I endorse every single word that every single one of these people post? Of course not, and neither should you. If you are looking for someone you can follow thoughtlessly 100% of the time, you are doing this whole thing wrong.]

I could try to organize these by geography or by how fiery or how funny or how progressive or some other issues play out, but ultimately this will take me a while to type out anyway, so let's go with the alphabet.

There's no doubt I've missed some folks (there are over 200 bloggers in the Education Bloggers Network alone), and that's before we even get to people like Wendy Lecker and Alan Singer and John Thompson who all are worth reading but who don't have a "home' I can link to. If you have other suggestions, feel free to add them to the comments. In the meantime, sample. It's vacation. You've got the time. Do some reading.

A View from the Edge

Rob Miller (@edgeblogger) is an Oklahoma educator who has done all-- marine, teacher, administrator. He brings a light sense of humor to national and Oklahoma stories.


I'm a sucker for a good name, but this Florida blogging duo includes a graphic designer, so it looks good, too. The good fight in Florida is a barometer for reformy messes elsewhere, and these folks have a good eye for malarkey.

Alfie Kohn

Kohn doesn't post often, but when he does, you don't want to miss it. This is what actual education reform ideas look like.

Andrea Gabor

Gabor is a journalist and author (The Capitalist Philosophers, Einstein's Wife) who is frequently doing exceptional work looking at charter schools.

Answer Sheet

Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post is the only big media journalist doing regular, daily coverage of education. Get national news, a public ed perspective, and answers from the kind of people who will ignore bloggers like me, but answer the phone when it says "Someone from the Washington Post is calling."

Automated Teaching Machine

Adam Bessie is a cartoonist who works the education beat. For those of you who like visuals.

Badass Teachers Association

The activist group, best known through their facebook page, also has a blog featuring an assortment of voices.

Big Education Ape 

One of the best aggregators of edublogging out there. If you only have time to make a couple of stops, BEA will get you up to speed. And as a bonus, you get some fairly hilarious paste-up illustrations.

BustED Pencils

BustED Pencils is a webcast (I've been a guest and it was fun), and it is also the host to regular blogging from Morna McDermott, Peggy Robertson, and others, as well as regular features like What Would Matt Damon's Mom Say. It is unabashedly progressive and activist.

Blue Cereal Education

Another Oklahoma blogger focusing on national issues. "Everything I say is so wise even I can hardly believe it. Feel free to concur."

Bob Braun's Ledger

Long-time New Jersey reporter who has covered politics and education for decades. Regional and national stories with a hard-eyed reporter's view.

Bright Lights Small City

Sarah Lahm covers Minneapolis schools, policy and politics. As with many of the regional bloggers, her writing gives a good look at how the bigger issues play out on a smaller, specific stage.

Charter School Watchdog

Longstanding clearing house for news of charter school shenanigans.

Chicago Public Fools

Julie Vassilatos blogs in and about Chicago, but watches national stories as well.

Clemsy's Corner

For a more militant take on the education debates and national policy, read Michael Lambert, who posts mostly when he's cranked up.

Cloaking Inequality

Julian Vasquez Heilig has been a visible and vocal part of the pro-public ed movement, covering a wide range of national topics.

Dad Gone Wild

A father in Tennessee who has educated himself in the issues and done some activist work as well. Another regional blogger with national lessons for all of us to learn.

Daniel Katz

Katz is the head of the Department of Education Studies at Seton Hall and a former HS English teacher. He presents a well-researched, thoughtful take on what's going on nationally.


Generally Really Big Picture thoughts about transformation, leadership, and how it relates to organizations like schools.


I don't call her the indispensable Mercedes Schneider for nothing. Schneider blogs almost daily, generally on topics for which she has done research and digging-- she comes up with the facts about the reformsters and their organizations that nobody else had discovered.

Diane Ravitch's Blog

The chances that you read me and don't know about Ravitch are zero-to-none. But this list would look odd without her on it. This blog is like the pro-public education town square where everyone passes through at some point.


The primo source for progressive coverage of all things Michigan. And they've now got Mitchell Robinson blogging about education for them. Essential regional read if you want to understand the state that spawned DeVos.

Education in the Age of Globalization

The website of Yong Zhao, an international writer and thinker about education. The best man to put China's educational "achievements" in perspective.

Education Opportunity Network

One of the places to find the work of education writer Jeff Bryant. Always well-sourced and thorough, a grown-up voice for public education.


Educolor is a movement, a network, a hashtag, and a voice for equity in education. This is a place where you can start to get activated.


Funny and informative, the humor content here often overshadows the actual journalism, but it's the journalism that's really most impressive. Jennifer Berkshire goes places, and talks to people, and we all get to find out how things look on the ground.

Finding Common Ground

One of the family of EdWeek blogs. Peter DeWitt is a former principal and a bridge-builder who is almost always entirely reasonable and thoughtful when discussing issues of policy or managing a school.

Fourth Generation Teacher

Claudia Swisher is yet another Oklahoma blogger and advocate who provides a good look at what advocacy looks like on the ground out west.

Fred Klonsky

Progressive union-loving activist with a clear direct tell-it-like-it-is style, writing in Chicago.

Gadfly on the Wall

Steven Singer blogs about national issues from a fiery progressive perspective.

Gary Rubinstein

Former TFA-er who keeps the pressure on that organization as well as other reformsters in New York.

Gene Glass

A senior researcher at the National Education Policy Center and co-author of 50 Myths & Lies that Threaten America's Public Schools. Smart man with a wide grasp of the actual research behind policy debates.

Jersey Jazzman

There's no better place for plain-language explanations of the wonky data behind policy debates. I've learned a ton reading this blog.

Keystone State Education Coalition

A great roundup of links to news and commentary regarding Pennsylvania education.

Living in Dialogue

Anthony Cody, a co-founder of the Network for Public Education, has long been one of the steady progressive blogging voices in education. This site continues his own blogging work along with contributions from other strong voices for public education.

Marie Corfield

The teacher who got yelled at by Chris Christie in that video. Now she's a strong voice for public ed activism in New Jersey.

Mitchell Robinson

Heads music education for Michigan State University, as well as being a long-time policy wonk. Great lively writing about national issues.

Momma Bears

If you're going to talk about public education activism in Tennessee, you have to talk about the Momma Bears, digging deep and laying bare the tools of the reformsters.

Mother Crusader

New Jersey mom who became a powerhouse public education advocate.

Mr. Anderson Reads and Writes

Reading, writing and policy, digging deep for details, from a classroom teacher.

My Two Cents

Mary J. Holden was an English who left the classroom and became an education activist. Located in Nashville, she's busy in one of the flagship states of reforminess, so there's lots for us to learn from her.

Nancy Bailey's Education Website

Former special ed teacher with a Ph.D. in educational leadership, Bailey tackles national issues with both fists.

NYC Public School Parents 

Leonie Haimson and Class Size Matters are among the heroes in the defense of public education. They thwarted a big data incursion into NY, and they continue to have a sharp eye on what threatens public education in this country.

Politics K-12

Alyson Klein and Andrew Ujifusa cover the political side of education at EdWeek and are a reliable source of what's happening in the halls of power.

The Progressive-- Public School Shakedown

The Progressive magazine is about the only news magazine with an actual commitment to public education, and that is shown through this ongoing project featuring eleven outstanding national writers (plus me).

Russ on Reading

Russ Walsh focuses on reading instruction, but sees the connections to larger education issues. Incidentally, Walsh has published the definitive layperson's guide to what's going on in ed reform.

Save Maine Schools

Emily Talmage is based in Maine, but she has been one of the voices out front in spotting and opposing the personalized competency based computerized learning trend.

School Finance 101

Bruce Baker manages to make sense out of the twisted labyrinth that is school financing. More interesting and important than you may imagine.

Schooling in the Ownership Society

A blog focusing on the moves to privatize public education with corporate reform.

Schools Matter

A roster of writers that includes Doug Martin, who wrote the book on Indiana Ed Corruption, and Jim Horn, who takes no prisoners and makes no compromises, but he knows his stuff. An aggressively anti-reform site.

Seattle Education

Another regional blog with a national take on ed reform, filtered through the unique perspective that comes from living in the shadow of Bill Gates' money.

Susan Ohanian

Ohanian had started to figure out what the hell was going wrong long before some of us had even started to wake up. Do not be put off by the design of her site, which can be... well, challenging. Trust me that it's worth it to dig in.

Teacher in a Strange Land

If you are unpaid viewer at EdWeek with only so many views per month, make Nancy Flanagan's blog your first priority. She's not as obviously combative, sparkly or full of fireworks as some blogs on this list, but she is smart and funny and honest and always worth the read.

Teacher Tom

Tom teaches at a pre-school co-op in Seattle, and his perspective (and that of his students) is always a welcome breath of cool air.

The Becoming Radical

Paul Thomas is a college professor comfortable blending references to ed research, race issues, poetry and comic books. A good pair of eyes for seeing beneath the surface of many issues in the ed realm.

The Jose Vilson

A consistently decent, human, humane, and personal perspective on teaching and race. Pretty sure this is one of the major teaching voices of a generation.

The Merrow Report

John Merrow was a top reporter for decades. He's retired, but he hasn't stopped finding and commenting on some of the important stories in education.

Troy LaRaviere's Blog

LaRaviere was a principal in Chicago, and refused to buckle even when the school system and Rahm Emanuel came after him. He's still paying close attention.


Thomas Tultican keeps an eye on national stories and the bloggers who cover them.

Wait What?

Connecticut blogger Jon Pelto has been fighting corporate control in politics and education.

What Is Common Core

These ladies in Utah are from the conservative wing of The Resistance; they pay close attention and do their homework, and they've been doing it for over four years, making them oldsters in this game.


  1. A couple that I've found valuable for Indiana are:

    School Matters (not to be confused with Schools Matter)

    Live Long and Prosper

  2. Did I miss Peggy Robertson? This list seems kind of heavy with men too.Seems strange in a profession that is primarily women.

    1. Peggy is now blogging at BustED Pencils, along with Morna McDermott (see above). I hadn't really checked genders on the list (in some cases I don't actually know what gender is writing) but you're right-- I probably should.

  3. Thank you so much for this list. I am now a follower of many of them. You are definitely providing a service.