Sunlight had to take note of a new campaign the NJEA is pushing on its members because it once again reveals the NJEA’s vast network of allies at work. On its website, the NJEA is urging its members to sign a petition to “suspend high-stakes student testing” in the spring.
As detailed in Sunlight’s report “A Spider Web of Political Power and Influence,” the NJEA funds many of its allies, who then support the NJEA’s positions on a host of issues. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, or FairTest, is one of those. The NJEA has donated $40,000 from 2011-2017 to FairTest in support of reducing or eliminating the use of standardized tests. Ever since student test results have been used to evaluate teachers, the NJEA has been undermining standardized testing.
Also involved is NJEA-ally Save Our Schools, a so-called “grassroots” parents organization that opposes charter schools and standardized testing and otherwise supports the NJEA’s agenda. SOS has received NJEA funding and is involved in many coalitions and campaigns with the NJEA and its allies. Diane Ravitch’s Network for Public Education is also involved.
Finally, there’s a new player, The Action Network, which provides petitions and other on-line support for progressive political organizing, often for free. The Action Network has partnerships with ActBlue, the AFL-CIO and the Democratic National Committee. NJEA-ally NJ21United used The Action Network for its #OnlyWhenItsSafe campaign to keep NJ schools all-remote.
The NJEA’s network of allies is alive, well and growing.