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I am not a data-driven person. I am driven by ideas, reflection, hopes, worries, idealism, passion, and, yes, rage at injustice, especially when the powerful crush the weak.
But I am informed by data, as we all should be. I want to know my weight, my temperature, my blood pressure, my social security number, and gazillion passwords. What I do with my data is my business, not anyone else’s.
Today, the datum that just got me excited was that this blog has had 17 million page views since its inception on April 26, 2012.
That doesn’t mean the blog has 17 million readers. It means that on that many occasions, someone read something posted on the blog.
The blog has turned into something far more time-demanding than what I originally intended. It is my chief preoccupation. But I love doing it because I learn so much every day from readers’ comments, and I love to share what I know. More than that, I have heard from many readers that the blog is their most important source of information about education. More than that, I use the posts on the blog to help build a movement against the warped policies of our day: high-stakes testing and school privatization. Both political parties have bought into the zombie notion that children must be subjected every year to hours and hours of standardized testing. Do they ever ask why? On this blog, we ask why daily. We ask why students in most private schools seldom encounter a standardized test except when they enter and when they leave. We ask why the children of Finland do very well on international tests without ever taking a standardized test in school. We ask why our state and federal leaders are ignoring the rampant fraud and corruption in the deregulated, unsupervised charter sector. We ask why politicians continue to push vouchers even though there is no evidence that voucher schools offer better education nor do they “save” children from “failing” public schools.
I will take this opportunity first, to thank readers who so graciously permit me to turn their comments into posts as well as readers who send me links to stories in their own home city or state. And second, I will restate the rules of the blog: one, do not insult the host (me), it’s my blog and I will show you the door if you insult me in my living room; two, no cuss words other than hell and damn; third, no wacky conspiracy theories about 9/11 or Sandy Hook (there are websites for those speculations, this is not one of them).