PublicationsIt’s hard to remember a time like this in education. From privatization to PARCC, our public schools—and the people who work in them—are dealing with an almost dizzying pace of change.

NJEA is making a big change, too. But unlike those being thrust upon public school employees, a telephone poll of your colleagues showed this is one change they strongly support.

Starting this September, NJEA’s monthly newspaper, the NJEA Reporter, and its monthly magazine, the NJEA Review, will merge into a single publication. Every NJEA member will receive this new publication every month, September through June.

Why merge?

New Jersey Educational ReviewOver the last decade, NJEA has increased the important number of ways it communicates with members. We’ve added email blasts, Facebook and Twitter posts, and text messages. And don’t forget about Instagram, our Pinterest page, YouTube videos, and Flickr. Over time it became clear that it was necessary to streamline our print communications.

But before any decisions were made, NJEA polled its members to be sure they believed a single publication would meet their needs. So, in early December 2013, the Mellman Group conducted a telephone survey of 1,000 NJEA members, including retirees. Mellman, a firm that conducts much of the Association’s outside research, called members of all experience levels from around the state and from a variety of job categories.

The results were clear: 90 percent of those polled favored merging the Review and Reporter. Those interviewed believed a single publication would make it easier for NJEA members to get information and it will save printing and mailing costs. Reducing paper consumption—thereby helping the environment—also ranked among the top reasons for NJEA to make the move.

Because NJEA members are extremely busy, “It makes sense to streamline the information they need into a single publication” notes NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer.

Of course, a merger raises the question: should the new publication be a magazine or a newspaper? Poll results showed a strong preference to a magazine format (63 percent), while 9 percent preferred a newspaper and 28 percent had no opinion.

So, what should this magazine be called? After careful consideration by NJEA staff and the NJEA Editorial Committee, a decision was made to stick with an old favorite.

The NJEA Review (or the New Jersey Educational Review, as it was first titled) has been the Association’s official publication since 1927. This proud history, coupled with the consistently favorable ratings that the Review has received in member polls conducted over the past several decades, made it the logical choice.

NJEA Reporters

A new look and feel…

The merger has created an opportunity to completely remake the magazine. The new Review will look--and even feel--different. Recent trends in magazine production include the use of paper with a matte finish. Your September Review will also feature a flat spine produced by a process called perfect binding, meaning the pages are bound using glue rather than staples. And once you open it, you’ll be drawn in by the magazine’s crisp and modern design.

…but the same great content

The new Review will have both style and substance. And if you are worried about losing all the great content found in the NJEA Reporter, don’t be.

Articles on collective bargaining and working conditions, money-saving programs offered by NJEA Member Benefits, state politics, and stories about local association activities and educational support professionals will all be in the new Review.

The magazine will continue to deliver the professional material you need as well. You’ll learn about ways to do your job better and about the resources that will make it easier. There will be information about grants, conferences and other PD opportunities. And the popular member-written features on classroom strategies or lesson planning will still be there too.

Patrick Rumaker & Lisa GalleyLook for more news on njea.org

NJEA understands that members shouldn’t have to wait a month to learn about important legislation, Department of Education initiatives and other current events. That’s why NJEA redesigned its website. Since that time, njea.org has continued to undergo modifications so that you can easily access the information you need when you need it.

Streamlining NJEA’s print communications will allow staff to get even more content to you online. And we’re excited to announce that a tablet version of the Review will be available to those of you who would rather touch a screen than turn a page.

It’s been exciting to oversee this process,” says Erin Hilferty, Gloucester Twp. EA member and chair of NJEA’s Editorial Committee. “We are confident that because of all the ways NJEA communicates with its members, both online and in print, everyone from teachers to educational support professionals and from student members to retires wil be well-informed and ready to act in the best interests of public education.”

Indeed, the merger of the Reporter and the Review is the beginning of a new era in NJEA Communications. We are confident this new publication will not only look great, but it will also serve as the professional resource that all NJEA members need and deserve. So, when the new Review arrives in your mailbox this September, be sure to give it a good and thorough read. And then give us your feedback.