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Then and Now

When you look beyond the hairstyles and hemlines in the photos provided by Richard Siegelman, the New York teacher whose career is encapsulated on the cover of this month’s issue, it’s obvious how much has changed in our schools in the past generation. The same can be said of the magazine you’re holding in your hands.  This is the 25th anniversary year of NEA Today, which was launched in October 1982.

Back then, NEA Today consisted of 24 pages, filled with all black-and-white photos and splashes of color to break up the gray. The first issue was mailed to about 1.6 million NEA members.

Now, an average issue is 64 pages, reaches nearly 3 million NEA members, and virtually everything is in full color. Its format changed three years ago from a tabloid to a more traditional magazine size. The content’s evolved too, reflecting 25 years of changes in our world, our society, and in public education.

The cover of the debut issue of NEA Today highlighted the teacher layoffs that were sweeping the country. Inside were stories about the impact of California’s infamous (and still relatively new) Proposition 13 and an interview with a member who had spent her entire career teaching seventh- and eighth-graders.

Over the years, the look’s changed, the content’s changed, and the format’s changed, but one thing hasn’t changed at all. NEA Today began and continues today as a place where your voice, and the voices of all NEA members, can be heard.

Bill Fischer
Now manager of manufacturing and production, Fischer has worked on NEA Today for its entire 25-year history and served as its editor for 15 years.

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