Probably not. A tweet from Cool Cat Teacher alerted me to the fact that the advanced Google search can provide results annotated by reading level (basic, intermediary, and advanced). That got me curious, so I plugged in a few websites and noticed that the U.S. Department of Educations, ed.gov, was off the charts70 percent of its pages are written at an advanced level, compared to 12 percent of Fordhams, for example. Maybe thats true of all federal agencies, I wondered, so I asked our research intern, Alicia Goldberg, to check it out. The results?
Yikes! Youre telling me that the Pentagon can post information on its website in an easy-to-read way, but the Department of Education cannot? Half of the federal agencies keep their advanced pages to less than 20 percent of their sites, but ED is at 70 percent? Come on, 400 Maryland Avenue, it looks like youd better get a jump-start on that plain-writing initiative. Either that or get a whole lot better at educating our country so our citizens can read your own website.
*UPDATE: Justin Hamilton, Arne Duncans press secretary, just tweeted to inform me that, if you take out the web pages for the National Center on Education Statistics, the ed.gov site ranks just fine. I have no idea how to replicate that featand cant help but wonder how many hours it took someone at ED to figure that out (taxpayers, my bad)but Ill take him at his word. Moral of the story? Jack Buckley, fix your website!