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Along with mayoral control, Insideschools faded yesterday

Mayoral control is not the only city education institution that lapsed yesterday. The Web site Insideschools.org, which for years has provided independent information about schools for parents and teachers, has dramatically scaled down its operations beginning today.

The site launched in 2002 with funding that was always set to run out now. Unfortunately, in a year when advertisers, philanthropists, and foundations alike are keeping their pocketbooks close, Insideschools hasn’t been able to raise the capital to keep going. The site’s downsizing comes at a time when both critics and supporters of the Bloomberg administration say parents need more good information about their schools.

I worked at Insideschools for three years, from 2005 until I helped launch GothamSchools last year. Yesterday was the last day of work for many of my former colleagues and this morning, Helen Zelon, the site’s lead blogger, posted for the last time. Insideschools’ few remaining staff members and volunteers will continue to collect basic information about each school and monitor admissions news, a sometimes-herculean task in itself. But they won’t be able to visit and review schools or provide many of the services that their readers, tens of thousands of city parents, desperately seek.

Here at GothamSchools we eschew editorializing. But when it comes to getting school news to New Yorkers, we don’t mind saying more is better.

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