Teacher blogs, including those that are written anonymously, are becoming essential reading for anyone who wants to look beyond standardized test score reports to see what’s really going on in schools, reports U.S. News and World Report. These blogs "raise important issues and give the rest of us a peek into a world that we see and hear about very rarely or only anecdotally through the media," says Alexander Russo, a former parochial school teacher who has written about the education blogging community. Many of the readers are other teachers, elected officials, and education policy wonks. But parents and students also surf the internet for blogs written by faculty at their schools. It’s hard to say how many teachers maintain a blog. Technorati.com, a blog-tracking site, counts 6,046 blogs with teacher "tags," though that doesn’t necessarily mean a teacher is behind each one of those. If done well, blogs can shape public opinion and, in some cases, galvanize people to action. But there also are risks involved, and teachers can pay a price if they cross the line. In 2006, a Chicago public school teacher resigned after a heated controversy over blog entries some students and teachers said were racially insensitive. The blog, called Fast Times at Regnef High, described the school’s mostly black students as "criminals" who stole from teachers, smoked pot in the hallways, and had sex in the stairwells. Still, his blog started a conversation about the school’s problems that eventually led the district to make some improvements, including allocating more money to revamp the school’s curriculum…

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