10/19/2006

Grading The Gadfly

Given the Fordham Foundation's tendency to grade everything it sees, it's only fair to to grade its weekly newsletter, The Education Gadfly, too. And -- just for fun -- let's make late Thursday afternoon the report card pickup time.

The Education Gadfly is a weekly publication of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation that is published every Thursday. Some people (well mostly just Alexander) have argued that Thursday may not be a good time and that The Gadfly should be a blog not a newsletter (or at least recognize that blogs exist).

But, however stubborn and old-fashioned it may be, The Gadfly often makes up for any of those perceived flaws with its distinctive and high-quality content. The Gadfly tends to question the conventional wisdom and sometimes comes up with interesting if unrealistic ideas (national standards, anyone?). Unlike some other newsletters, pretty much everyone at Fordham from top to bottom seems involved in making sure it's not just a throwaway email.

Looking at a Gadfly from a couple of weeks ago (October 5th edition) you'll find most of the usual sections, including commentary from the desk of one of the senior contributors (in this case, a piece from Checker Finn called All aboard the charters?), news and analysis (including Liam Julian's Campus Progress 101 questioning ending early admissions, recommended reading (four articles from the past week), a link to the Education Gadfly Show podcast (this edition features a segment called Ph.D envy, short reviews of new (basically a repeat of 'recommended reading' for reports and books), and a section called from our readers (this edition features Penny Kiser).

Most of all, the Education Gadfly earns an A- by involving so many of its staff in the development process, by offering quality commentary and analysis and by having unique features such as "From Checker's Desk" and The Education Gadfly Show.

Previous Rants From Alexander: The Gad-Blast,The Gadfly Writes Himself The Gadfly Gives In - Sort of, The Gadfly Forgets His Own Adage, Why There Needs To Be A Conservative Education Blog.

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