Why The NEA Sponsored Education Nation


When I discovered that both the AFT and NEA had both sponsored Education Nation I was angry.

I asked for an explanation on twitter and was told by Sarah Robertson (Sr. Press Officer for NEA) to give her my email address (I guess the Sr. Press Officer couldn't look around for it) and she would send me an explanation. So I did. And, she sent me an explanation. The only thing about the explanation was that I was not allowed to publish it. Well, I was asked not to and won't. I could. If you were to read it you might wonder why she didn't want it published.

I responded to her response-that-I-could-not-use by asking for an explanation that I could use. This is what I got:
Here is our formal response: "NEA Communications develops both internal and external strategies to increase awareness of NEA members' efforts to increase equity and student achievement in all public schools." 

You may use my name/title/dept, if you wish.

Sara Robertson
Sr. Press Officer
NEA Center for Communications
My response:
Really? That's the official, un-embargoed answer to why you gave EN money? It's a non-response, and it seems to indicate you partnered for access only. How much did it cost?

I hope to make this a problem for you, as it is certainly a problem for public education.

Again, I won't go to press until tomorrow morning.

Sarah responded:
That is our answer.
I then responded:
How much did you pay and from what budget line?
To which Sarah responded:
If it isn't too late, we'd like to add (or replace) with the following: "NEA has a responsibility to ensure that our members voice is heard on the national stage even if that means walking into the lions den. We will fight for our members' views and voice on any stage and would not leave those who our hostile to our public schools to take a national bully pulpit alone and unanswered." Sara
I then asked:
How much did you pay?
To which Sarah answered:
No idea
So I asked:
You said in your original response that the "NEA sponsored at the lowest level."

I would like the details of that level, as it appears you do indeed have some information on the "level" of support NEA provided for access.


And Sarah said:
I was told that we sponsored at the lowest level.
I responded:
Yes, I know. How much was that?

I still do not have an answer about how much. With unions like NEA and AFT, who needs enemies?

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