Monday, September 8, 2008 Launched

Today marks the official launch of offers a one stop source of education news about Anne Arundel County. It provides the following four services:

1) Get RSS feeds of articles on AACPS.

2) Search for articles by source, date, reader ranking, and unstructured text.

3) Comment on an article.

4) On a 1 to 5 start scale, recommend an article or comment to others to read.

Its primary intended audience is opinion leaders among AACPS parents. It is not intended for parents with only a casual interest in AACPS policies, practices, and politics.

I designed the website with the advice of the Advisory Board, including Paul Rudolph (Former Member and President, Anne Arundel County Board of Education), Tom Frank (Education Chair, Greater Crofton Council), Sam Georgiou (Former Chair, Countywide Citizens Advisory Committee), Steve Johnson (Former Chair, Annapolis Cluster Citizens Advisory Committee), and Pallas Snider (Former Member, Anne Arundel County Board of Education). Perhaps the closest precedent for is the national article rating service, was created with volunteer effort and will need to be maintained by volunteer effort. Over the coming months, I’ll be looking for volunteers to take on a number of responsibilities, including posting links to articles to in a timely way (it takes about 30 seconds to post each article link to and moderating comments for SPAM.

Currently, only includes major local newspaper coverage of AACPS (e.g., Capital, Baltimore Sun, and Washington Post). Eventually, I would also like it to include blog coverage of AACPS. This would allow AACPS bloggers to develop a reputation and build an audience. However, this enhancement of would depend on a number of factors, including the emergence of AACPS bloggers and volunteer commitment to maintain such an enhanced information service.

Please take a look at, subscribe to its RSS feed, read some articles and comments, post some of your own comments, and use the star rating system to recommend articles and comments to others. New information technology is creating all sorts of new opportunities to enhance democracy in general and empower Anne Arundel County parents in particular. I hope that helps to realize some of that promise.

--Jim Snider

P.S. I am on the agenda to introduce to the countywide CAC at the CAC’s Thursday, September 25 meeting. I hope those interested in volunteering to help maintain and enhance will attend that meeting and speak to me privately afterwards.

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