Those of us who are responsible for putting together the ATA News are constantly looking to increase our level of engagement with readers, so we’ve made a number of changes throughout these pages. Most of these changes are subtle. For example, starting with the paper that’s now in your hands, you will find our contact information more prominently displayed, as well as small reminders that we want to engage with you through this paper and social media.
A more significant and noticeable change concerns letters to the editor. In the recent past we’ve occasionally published such letters in this very spot, which we call Your Views. However, we haven’t actively solicited these letters; rather, we’ve printed selected letters when readers have taken it upon themselves to write us. We have decided to be more purposeful in soliciting letters. At the bottom of this page you’ll find our new letters-to-the-editor guidelines, which have been crafted with language much like that used by commercial newspapers.
While the ATA News disseminates the organization’s stance on important issues, as well as informs members about interesting and relevant happenings in the world of education, there is definitely a place and a need within this publication for readers’ views. Traditionally, letters sections of publications contain a wide variety of commentary, such as opinions about published stories, views about issues of the day or issues that are being overlooked, anecdotes relating personal experiences … it’s really wide open. It’s no different here.
We want Association members to see themselves reflected in our pages, so we are now asking for all manner of commentary from readers, even that which differs from ATA policy, as long as this commentary has a respectful focus on ideas and issues, and doesn’t succumb to the temptation of levelling personal (or potentially libelous) attacks. While ATA policy is established by majority vote at representative assemblies, we know that teachers hold a range of opinions on a variety of educational issues. Let’s get those opinions in our paper.
I look forward to hearing from you. ❚
—Cory Hare, ATA News managing editor