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Do you have a voracious appetite for education policy news and views? Do you need to stay abreast of the latest school reform debates? Do you want to have access to breaking news, as soon as it's reported? Are you always looking for new ways to waste time? Then Twitter is for you!

In all seriousness, if you're reading Flypaper, you must be something of a wonk, and you would probably get a lot out of following the ed policy debate on Twitter, too. And thanks to Education Next, getting started is a breeze.

Here's the deal: In the current issue is an article by moi about Twitter's impact on the education war of ideas. Included is a list of the most influential Tweeters in education--both the media/policy types and educators themselves. Ed Next just updated these lists as of the end of August (the rankings change fast); you can go here and click a few buttons and sign up to follow all of these folks at the same time.

Let me cut the suspense and list the top-10 (well, 12), at least for the media and policy crowd:

  1. Diane Ravitch (@DianeRavitch) with a Klout score of 73
  2. Education Week (@EducationWeek); Klout = 73
  3. Leonie Haimson (@LeonieHaimson); Klout = 70
  4. U.S. Dept. of Education (@UsEdGov); Klout = 66
  5. Justin Hamilton (@EdPressSec); Klout = 66
  6. Arne Duncan (@ArneDuncan); Klout = 64
  7. Huffington Post Education (@huffpostedu); Klout = 63
  8. Randy Page (@rpagesc); Klout
  9. ...

Last year, Kansas City Superintendent John Covington made headlines when he stabilized the hemorrhaging Kansas City School District (which had lost 75 percent of its students in the past four decades) by shutting half of the district's schools, selling the central office building, and axing close to a quarter of the administrative staff. And he did all of this with the backing of the school board and community leaders. So imagine their surprise (and ire) when Covington, who has been at the helm of KC schools for about two years, abruptly resigned last week?only to take the wheel of Michigan's nascent state-run ?reform school district,? the Education Achievement System (EAS). Finger-pointing and fist-shaking aside, there are a few big takeaways to be drawn from Covington's departure?and his arrival in Motown.

First: KC should have seen this coming?and should have planned for it. The lifespan of an urban supe is akin to that of an American Newt (which, for the non-zoologists out there is about three years). And it's even shorter for those, like Covington, who are brought in as transformational leaders. Dynamic leadership can jumpstart a district's success, but it needs to be buttressed by a smart?and painstakingly articulated?transition plan. The Center for Reinventing Public Education made this point (though they were speaking specifically to charter schools) back in December in their report ?You're Leaving? Sustainability and Succession in Charter Schools.?

Second: When it comes to high-quality district leaders, the educational landscape is reasonably...