A Scoop That Wasn’t

An announcement Sunday posted on Rate Your Students that Chronicle reporter Rachel Zino would expose the popular blog’s creator and moderator as Martin Bell, a classics professor at Arkansas Northeastern College, and force him to take down the site provoked a roar of outrage from fans.

“I can’t believe the Chronicle would do this to you,” one fan wrote. “It makes me so angry I could spit.” Many readers begged Rate Your Students not to shut down. The blog provides a forum for students and faculty members to “work out the tricky dynamics of the modern classroom.”

Rate Your Students’ moderators (three in all and all still anonymous) received more than 700 upset e-mail messages before apologizing to readers for the unexpectedly successful April Fools Day post and confessing that Martin Bell is a “completely fictional character.”

In other news, Rachel Zino has been fired.—Sierra Millman

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