It’s August, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for our annual list of top education-policy Twitter feeds. (Click for the 2013, 2012, and 2011 versions.) Klout scores are the primary metric (with ties broken by the number of Twitter followers); a main focus on K–12 education policy is the only eligibility requirement.
This year’s list is remarkably consistent with last year’s (and the years’ before that), though a couple of newcomers might be an indication of the changing education-policy debate. The Badass Teachers Association is on the board at number 15, and its founder, Mark Naison, is at number 21. And news anchor-turned-education-reformer Campbell Brown jumps to Twitter prominence at number 24. (Keep in mind that Klout looks at all forms of social media; some of the feeds on our list are particularly strong on Facebook, for example, not just Twitter.)
Of course, the list above mixes apples and oranges—both people and organizations. In many respects, it’s easier as a person to achieve a higher Klout score, which offers big points for “engagement.” (Few organizational feeds will get into a Twitter debate.) On the other hand, many of the feeds have huge numbers of followers that are hard for real live people to replicate. So let’s deconstruct this fruit salad and look at people and organizations separately.
Here the list starts to look more interesting, with more newcomers on the charts. Chalkbeat’s Elizabeth Green is no doubt helped by timing (her new book, Building a Better Teacher, is getting buzz at just the right moment for this exercise). Vox’s Libby Nelson has built a strong following and receives high marks for engagement. And USC assistant professor Morgan Polikoff edges his way onto the list too—a source of pride for the Fordham/AEI Emerging Education Policy Scholars program.
How about organizations and media outlets?
There are more newbies on this list too, including the Network for Public Education and the education programs of two big Washington think tanks (AEI and CAP). When I look at the list I think, “Yup, those are most of the big players in the education policy debates today.” But who’s missing?
As always, I’m sure I’ve overlooked someone. Tell me at @michaelpetrilli, and I’ll update the list if appropriate. And by doing so, you’ll help to boost my Klout score!