The Joy of Competing
As far back as I can remember I loved everything about magazines, from the writing and graphics, to the look and feel, and the best gifts I could receive as a child were cast-off issues of Look, Saturday Evening Post and National Geographic that visiting aunts made sure they brought to our house. And throughout my career in public education I subscribed to the major professional magazines, and issues from a dozen subscriptions still arrive in my office each month. Little wonder that when I started writing magazine articles, I just couldn't stop, and writing and editing for District Administration is a dream come true.
Another truth is that I absolutely love to compete editorially, and get great personal satisfaction in reporting breaking stories weeks and even months ahead of the competition. And the success is even sweeter when we scoop the popular press. To illustrate, DA was one of the first to cover the K12 applications for emerging Internet technologies including blogs, instant messaging, online robots, podcasting, RSS, VoIP, Webrings, Wiki sites, and online social networks. Our staff includes former teachers, administrators and board members, and we work hard to bring those real-world perspectives to the table. Search our Web site to see examples of articles and columns on the issues that face school districts (www.districtadministration.com).
But while we compile statistics for each online article-e.g., more than twelve thousand readers recently accessed the feature "Teaching Techniques for Supervisors" and fifteen thousand read "Struggling Readers"-we commissioned an independent research study to see how District Administration measures up with seven other education periodicals: American School & University, Education Week, eSchool News, Scholastic Administr@tor, School Planning & Management, Technology & Learning, and T.H.E. Journal. We engaged Martin Akel Associates to do a "blind study" using a national list of administrators supplied by Market Data Retrieval (MDR), not associated with any magazine's subscriber list, and asked the firm to determine which magazines are received and read regularly. Administrators from more than 800 districts responded.
The results showed that District Administration ranks at the top in each category: 93 percent of the respondents receive DA magazine, ranging down to 13 percent for the least circulated among the eight magazines tested, and 67 percent of the respondents read DA magazine regularly, ranging down to six percent who read the least circulated magazine. DA was also the most received and most read magazine for each job title-superintendents, business officers, curriculum directors, technology directors and federal fund administrators-and for each district enrollment size.
We take these findings as huge votes of confidence, but pledge to make our magazine and integrated Web site even better. Improving K12 education is our mission, and we want to compete for your time and attention.