10/26/2006

Reviewing The Ed Sector's "BiWeekly Digest"

Last week, we graded The Gadfly. This week, it's the Ed Sector's turn. The Education Sector's "Biweekly Digest" has some striking similarities to The Gadfly and other weekly newsletters, but it lags behind due to the two-week intervals between publication and lack of links to recent news.

The Education Sector Biweekly Digest comes out every other Wednesday and is shorter but similar content-wise to The Gadfly.The Digest usually contains these main pieces: A variety of "This Week", "Charts You Can Trust" and "What We Are Watching/Reading" (The September 12th issue has all three, but not all issues do), "Also From Education Sector" which contains written pieces from Ed Sector analysts or fellows, "Upcoming Events" and "In The EduBlogs" which includes links to Ed Sector's two blogs.

Some differences from The Gadlfy (and most other education publications) is the lack of links to recent news. But again we probably read news all day long so it may not necessarily be a drawback. On the upside, its presentation is a little neater. Most of these publications have links at the top of the page referring to passages just below. In the Gadfly, the whole piece is right there below (and I did mention in the last post that perhaps it was hard to follow). The Digest has shorter descriptions below the original link meaning that you need to click another link to read the entire piece, but it also allows the pieces to be longer and not distracting to the reader initially.

The Interview feature reminds me of our Hot Seat. However, the ES Interviews are usually a little softer in nature. For example, in the September 26, 2006 issue Andy interviewed E.D. Hirsch, Jr and the result was informative and interesting but...not all that much fun to read. Having said that, in the October 11, 2006 issue Thomas Toch interviewed Lawrence Patrick III with more provocative questions. Toch's questions seemed to encourage Patrick to really fight his side of the issue (in this case school choice).

The Education Sector Biweekly earns a B+ for creativity in the interviews, commentary and layout - but the jury is still out on whether or not it should include news pieces not directly related to the ES or come out weekly.

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