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A Reality Check For Education Rhetoric

One of my favorite sites, FactCheck.org, is up for a Webby and has a new look, which reminds me that what education really needs is an education version of FactCheck.org -- a nonpartisan, trustworthy filter to help sift through the rhetoric, the reports, and all the rest.

What about the Think Tank Research Project? My sense is the project, while well intended, is problematically located at an ed school and seems to take aim exclusively at right-leaning reports rather than an even mix. We need something that's situated independently, staffed with knowledgeable individuals, and takes on bad research wherever it might show up -- at think tanks left and right, at universities, or from research firms.

Related Posts: Think Tank "Truthiness", ‘Truthiness in Education’ (Letters)


there is a group like the one you describe: the Education Consumers Clearinghouse. They’re not comprehensive, but they do serve as a Consumer Reports of sorts for education, looking at key issues and providing objective and non-partisan information.

You can see them here: http://www.education-consumers.com/.

Disclosure: they’re a client of mine, but I’d be highlighting them regardless - I was a member of their group before we ever talked about working together.

thanks for the comment and the idea, but i'm not sure these guys are quick or independent enough -- can they do quick response stuff? are they equal opportunity critics?

They're not quick-response, certainly. They try to direct people to information on the big issues (assessment, teacher training, etc.), but don't provide public responses to new research or reports - so maybe they're not what you're looking for. (On the other hand, because so much of what is new is really recycled, you could argue that they've already asked and answered the questions, at least in some cases.)

In terms of serving as equal opportunity critics, they don't operate on the political spectrum any more than Consumer Reports does - they take a dispassionate look at available evidence and then comment accordingly, approaching issues as an advocate of parents and other education consumers.

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