Social media are the tools of grassroots democracy. It is through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other modes of communication that citizens have the ability to make their voices heard in an age when the mainstream media are owned by large corporate interests.

Few bloggers have been as effective as Jersey Jazzman in writing about the travails and triumphs of education today. Earlier this year, Jersey Jazzman took off his mask and revealed himself as Mark Weber. Mark teaches music, and he is earning a doctorate, which explains his mastery of statistics and research methodology.

Mark, or JJ, writes lucidly and brilliantly. He has written searing exposes, like his story about the Academica charter empire in Florida last year. JJ is a fearless defender of public education and teachers against those who assail them. For anyone who cares about the fate and future of education, the work of Jersey Jazzman is an indispensable resource.

For his intellect, his courage, and his integrity, I am happy to add him to the honor roll as a champion and hero of American education.