The 74 Debuts TopSheet, a New Education News Aggregator

By Mark Walsh — May 09, 2017 2 min read
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There’s a new website for busy educators and policymakers to check every morning., an education news aggregator and daily newsletter from The 74, launched Tuesday. The site has been months in the making since The 74, itself an online education news and opinion site, lured Andrew J. Rotherham and Emmeline Zhao from Real Clear Education in late December.

TopSheet is one more new project for The 74, founded by former news anchor and education activist Campbell Brown, who has since taken an editorial job at Facebook. The 74 has also partnered with LA School Report to cover Los Angeles schools, started a book publishing venture, and a Spanish-language education news site.

On the TopSheet site, Zhao writes, “We know your time is valuable and your daily neural exertion precious, so we’re here to do the decluttering work for you to provide the cleanest, simplest, and smartest debrief of what you need to know in education.”

In December, Rotherham told me that he and Zhao had a good relationship with Real Clear Politics, a publisher of aggregation sites for various public policy topics which collaborated with Rotherham’s Bellwether Education Partners to create Real Clear Education. But he said then he felt that partnering with an education news site was a better fit for a daily aggregator and newsletter on the topic.

On Tuesday in The 74, Rotherham compared the new effort to “Hair Club for Men: We’re not only producers of this material; we’re consumers. Essentially, we’re reading a lot of content so you don’t have to if you’re in a hurry.”

(Memo to Rotherham: It’s been awhile since I’ve seen any of those 1980s-era Hair Club for Men commercials featuring the company pitchman who says, “I’m not just the president, I’m also a client.” The comparison may not resonate with the younger generation.)

Tuesday’s TopSheet links to 18 news stories, including from such sites as Business Insider, The 74, Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Politico, and the Guardian. There are also links to reports and opinion pieces. And there is a link to a report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about getting more college students to graduation. The Gates Foundation is described as a sponsor of TopSheet, which will remain a free offering.

Meanwhile, Real Clear Education has continued since Rotherham and Zhao left, still offering a daily mix of links to news and opinion articles. One noticeable change is that Real Clear Education no longer has an evening update of breaking news items from that day.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.