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Media: Education's Huffington Post

ScreenHunter_21 Jan. 19 10.42 Much to the consternation of the centrist reformers who simply can't believe that they don't own every media outlet out there, Valerie Strauss has turned her Washington Post blog into an education version of the Huffington Post, filled with mostly progressive voices poking holes in the centrist belief system.  Sure, the Huffington Post has an education page, too, but the emphasis there seems to be on feel-good stories and quantity.  Once in a while, she posts things from me, too, as in this repost of my argument against reauthorization.  But there are lots of other folks there, too -- and if Strauss included centrist and even right-wing voices The Answer Sheet could become less predictable and even more compelling. 

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Strauss' own voice sets the tone for her blog, while the Huffington Post of course has no voice of its own.

A key factor is that Strauss is extremely well informed, and (unlike her Post colleague Jay Mathews) accrues no personal benefit from the image of the reforms she covers. (Yes, I do mean that: If Jay starts taking a hard look at KIPP attrition and selectivity and tarnishes some of its luster, will his next book about KIPP sell?)

By the way, moderators at the Huffington Post fail to approve a number of comments from critics of education reform -- including those who I know to be sane and erudite -- but to be fair, maybe they fail to approve comments from reformistas too. As far as I know, the Huffington Post has always approved my comments, but others voice distress about theirs being blocked.

really? wow. i'd love to hear / seee more -- comments that have been blocked, or a description of types of things that don't make it. or is there a brave huffpo moderator who's willing to tell us more?

it's been reported that HP blocks comments about boss arianna's airplane incident, btw
http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlla/exclusive-huffington-post-bloggers-told-to-censor-comments-regarding-ariannas-airplane-incident_b20641

Back when Davis Guggenheim had a blip of an impulse to hear from teachers, I left a comment in response on Huffington Post, and it was blocked. Nothing that would violate anyones terms and conditions, and in fact, moderate in tone compared to some that were posted. I chalk it up to incompetence more than a specific agenda, as they posted my next, nearly identical comment, and many others that were similar.

My comments on the "Superman" blog were blocked, too. I posted three times, and the third time, my comments went up. At that point, the comments were running about 80-to-1 against WFS and Mr. Guggenheim himself. Soon thereafter, the post stopped accepting comments, possibly leading Mr. Guggenheim to suggest (in a subsequent article in On the Red Carpet) that *unions* were directing teachers to post unpleasant comments. As if we wouldn't post unless Big Union Brother told us to.

CarolineSF,

How do you know that Ms. Strauss is informed? I have yet to see her engage in a debate or respond to criticism on her musings. Seems if she was informed she would not hide or hide behind the writings of others that she posts on her blog.

Give Mr. Mathews credit for responding to critics who comment on his articles and he engages directly in the debate. It certainly makes him more credible than his counterpart.

And to enhance Mr. Russo's point, engaging in the debate would make The Answer Sheet much more compelling.

"...progressive voices poking holes in the centrist belief system."

At least you called it what it is, a belief system. It is hard to have a debate with people who can't seem to muster any compelling facts or arguments to support their positions. Ideology is not enough.

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