Watch Out For Local School District Watchdog Blogs

Watch out, lazy reporters and sketchy school boards officials - citizen watchdog blogs like the St. Louis Schools Watch are going to make your job harder (and in the case of St. Louis Public Schools there's a lot of drama to work with right now).

Like Peyton Wolcott, The Watch is focused on a particular school board, and authored by what seems to be a smart, knowledgeable, and extremely energetic individual who want to find out what's going on in the budgets and board reports and the back rooms. (His name's Peter Downs and he's very into homemade video right now.) These folks dig things up. (Correction: Antonio French provides the content to the site.)

My Chicago public schools site, District 299, is a pale and lazy version of what these guys are doing -- more coverage and commentary than original reporting (though the comments sections are heating up). The information-packed (and foundation-funded) New York City site Inside Schools blows everyone else out of the water with iits individual school reviews (and comments).

Then there's the site that covers the Winona (Minn.) public school system whose contents and comments got so incendiary that school administrators banned it from district computers and got a newspaper story for their troubles. Hard to beat that.


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