Peoples’ Choice (via Google): Top 20 2010 Education Stories as of RIGHT NOW!*

Mike missed this for his best and worst of the best and worst because it’s late, as usual.  And I have no idea exactly how Google works, but since it remains the world’s most popular Internet search engine and is reputed to have a “sophisticated algorithm,” I thought, What the Hay, it might be interesting to see where Google stands on some of this year’s hot education topics. (For more—and more better—year-end lists, see Mike, above, and Rick Hess’s REVISED Edu-Scholar rankings, Alison Klein’s Top Ten Politics K-12 Moments of 2010—and hurry and vote on Education Next’s two readers polls: Best and Worst of 2010 and top education books of the decade.)

Without further ado, rationalization, explanation, or caveat, here are Google’s top 20 education “stories,” admittedly based on nothing more than my reading (informed, of course, by Hoover’s Koret Task force list of Best and Worst) of what an education story is, as of noon, December 30, 2010**:

1.   Race to the Top (About 30,900,000 results (0.17 seconds))

2.   Bullying (About 13,600,000 results (0.13 seconds))

3.   Recession and public school (About 9,800,000 results (0.16 seconds))

4.   Common Core Standards (About 8,700,000 results (0.15 seconds))

5.   New York Wins Race to the Top (About 8,990,000 results (0.28 seconds))

6.   Parent Trigger (About 8,070,000 results (0.15 seconds))

7.   Waiting for Superman (About 7,900,000 results (0.19 seconds))

8.   Character Education (About 3,980,000 results (0.24 seconds))

9.   PISA results 2010 (About 1,840,000 results (0.30 seconds))

–PISA and Sputnik (About 441,000 results (0.15 seconds))

10.  Arne Duncan (About 536,000 results (0.12 seconds))

11.  Value-added teacher evaluation (About 291,000 results (0.14 seconds))

12.  New Jersey Loses Race to the Top (About 231,000 results (0.18 seconds))

13.  Los Angeles Times teacher evaluation (About 162,000 results (0.14 seconds))

14.  Jaime Escalante dies (About 117,000 results (0.32 seconds))

–Jaime Escalante (About 175,000 results (0.16 seconds))

15.  Turnaround fallacy  (About 99,300 results (0.18 seconds))***

16.  Joel Klein resigns (About 82,500 results (0.19 seconds))

–Joel Klein (About 998,000 results (0.26 seconds))

17.  Cathleen Black appointed (About 56,200 results (0.17 seconds))

–Cathleen Black (About 526,000 results (0.11 seconds))

18.  Michele Rhee resigns (About 37,300 results (0.16 seconds))

–Michele Rhee (About 70,600 results (0.24 seconds))

19.   Diane Ravitch The Death and Life of the Great American School System (About 23,600 results (0.27 seconds))

–Diane Ravitch (About 176,000 results (0.18 seconds))

20.   Doug Lemov Teach Like a Champion (About 10,000 results (0.23 seconds))

–Doug Lemov (About 13,500 results (0.14 seconds))

—Peter Meyer


*If you ask Google for the “Top Education Stories of 2010,” you get About 300,000,000 results in 0.31 seconds.

**These are the exact terms entered into Google’s search box. As we know, changing a word or two can give dramatically different results, as I have shown with some of the entries.

***An earlier version of this post had entered Thomas B. Fordham Institute here.  As good as we are, however, we weren’t quite the big news story in 2010.

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