Top K-12 Education Policy Organizations and Media Outlets on Social Media 2015

On Wednesday, I published the results of our latest ranking of top education policy people on social media. Now let’s look at organizations and media outlets. (Last year’s list is here.)

As I said the other day, we tried to be much more inclusive this year in terms of the universe of Twitter “handles” included in our analysis, asking the edu-sphere to nominate people and organizations to examine. In the end we looked at almost 500 Twitter feeds. (The whole list is here.) But as we did with our list of top people, we wanted to limit our finalist organizations and media outlets to those that tweet primarily about K-12 education policy, and not education technology, higher education, parenting, or other related topics. More on that below.

So now, here are the top education policy organizations and media outlets on social media, as measured by Klout scores (which looks at Twitter, Facebook, and several other platforms):

Top K-12 education policy organizations and media outlets on social media, by Klout score, 2015

2015 Rank Organization/ Media Outlet Handle Klout Score Twitter Followers 2014 Rank
1 Teach for America @teachforamerica 87 129,000 1
2 Education Week @educationweek 81 443,000 2
3 Education Next @educationnext 78 96,400 3
4 U.S. Department of Education @usedgov 74 568,000 4
5 NEA @NEAToday 73 136,000 7
6 Harvard Graduate School of Education @HGSE 72 88,400 6
7 ASCD @ASCD 71 142,000 9
8 Huffington Post Education @HuffPostEdu 70 267,000 5
9 U.S. News Education @USNewsEducation 69 181,000
10 AFT @aftunion 68 24,200 10
10 Badass Teachers Association @BadassTeachersA 68 22,100 8
10 Education Post @edu_post 68 10,000
13 Education Nation @educationnation 67 160,000 12
13 The Hechinger Report @hechingerreport 67 25,100 19
15 TNTP @TNTP 66 18,800 11
16 Gates Education @gatesed 65 111,000 15
16 National Alliance for Public Charter Schools @charteralliance 65 16,700
18 NPR’s Education Team @npr_ed 64 21,700
19 AIR Education @Education_AIR 63 22,600
19 Foundation for Excellence in Education @ExcelinEd 63 13,300
21 The Education Trust @EdTrust 62 61,300 16
21 Politics K-12 @PoliticsK12 62 35,300 23
21 Thomas B. Fordham Institute @educationgadfly 62 34,700 13
21 Educators4Excellence @Ed4Excellence 62 16,900
21 Rocketship Education @RocketshipEd 62 9,624

See this list on Twitter.

What’s obvious about this list is that the organizations at the top are remarkably stable. But let’s give credit to several newcomers who place high in the rankings, especially U.S. News Education (debuting in ninth place) and Education Post (at number ten).

As with my list of top education policy people, I must mention a handful of “honorable mentions”—organizations or media outlets with high Klout scores who tweet about education—but not primarily about k-12 education policy. They include Edutopia (focused mainly on teaching, not policy); Inside Higher Ed (obviously aimed at postsecondary education); Getting Smart (dominated by education technology topics); and the Children’s Defense Fund and America’s Promise (both of which tweet about broader children’s issues, and not just education).

* * *

Now let’s run the numbers based on the number of Twitter followers.

Top K-12 education policy organizations and media outlets by Twitter followers, 2015

2015 Rank Name Twitter Handle Klout Score Followers
1 U.S. Department of Education @usedgov 74 568,000
2 Education Week @educationweek 81 443,000
3 Huffington Post Education @HuffPostEdu 70 267,000
4 U.S. News Education @USNewsEducation 69 181,000
5 Education Nation @educationnation 67 160,000
6 ASCD @ASCD 71 142,000
7 NEA @NEAToday 73 136,000
8 Teach for America @teachforamerica 87 129,000
9 Gates Education @gatesed 65 111,000
10 Education Next @educationnext 78 96,400
11 Harvard Graduate School of Education @HGSE 72 88,400
12 The Education Trust @EdTrust 62 61,300
13 StudentsFirst @StudentsFirst 61 54,000
14 EdPolicyCenter@AIR @EdPolicyAIR No Klout Score 53,300
15 Washington Post Education @PostSchools No Klout Score 37,200
16 Politics K-12 @PoliticsK12 62 35,300
17 Thomas B Fordham Institute @educationgadfly 62 34,700
18 LA Times Education @LATeducation 60 34,600
19 Center for Education Reform @edreform 55 32,900
20 AEI Education @AEIeducation 60 28,700
21 The Hechinger Report @hechingerreport 67 25,100
22 Broad Foundation @BroadFoundation 59 24,800
23 AFT @aftunion 68 24,200
24 50CAN @FiftyCAN 60 24,200
25 EWA @EdWriters No Klout Score 23,200
26 NASSP @NASSP No Klout Score 22,800


See this list on Twitter.

Looking at Twitter followers versus Klout scores doesn’t make a ton of difference for the top organizations and media entities. That makes sense, as organizational Twitter accounts struggle to do much “engaging,” and thus their Klout scores are largely driven by the size of their audiences.

But looking at followers does allow a few additional groups to make the list: Reform powerhouse StudentsFirst, the Washington Post’s and the Los Angeles Times’s education feeds*, and AIR’s education policy center, among others.

Let’s give credit to the “honorable mentions” here too: Edutopia again; the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which covers education but also broader children’s issues; and the Hewlett Foundation, which tweets about a wide range of topics, reflecting its grantmaking.

* * *

So what do both sets of lists released this week say about the current education policy debate? Mostly it’s remarkably stable, with a handful of players continuing to dominate, but with room for determined upstarts to break into the discussion as well. It also looks to my eye as well balanced between the “pro-reform” and “anti-reform” camps. On the list of top organizations sorted by Klout, for instance, about half of the finalists are truly neutral parties (media outlets mostly); about a quarter are reform-oriented (including Teach For America, Gates Education, and The Education Trust); and about a quarter are reform opponents (such as the NEA, AFT, and the Badass Teachers Association).

What patterns do you notice? And do you have suggestions for improving our process for 2016? Let us know in the comments section below. Otherwise, see you on social media.

* I originally missed LA Times Education. Thanks to Alexander Russo for pointing out the oversight.

—Mike Petrilli

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