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A Note From the Editor

To our readers:

Effective June 11, 2019, the Education Week/National Network of State Teachers of the Year partnership for producing this blog was terminated. The blog will no longer be updated.

Over the course of 18 months starting in January 2018, this blog featured entries on five occasions in which the authors wrote about their use of the software platform Empatico in blog posts about developing empathy in school children. Empatico is a private, nonprofit company whose platform allows classrooms to connect with one another globally. The blog entries did not disclose that NNSTOY has a relationship with Empatico that includes a fellowship program for NNSTOY members and payments from Empatico to NNSTOY for project management. The failure to disclose this relationship is a violation of Education Week's journalistic standards and the agreement under which NNSTOY provided content on this blog. The blog entries that mentioned Empatico now have an editor's note at the top, disclosing the relationship.

At Education Week, we consider our role as an independent news source to be a sacred trust. The news and information we provide, either directly or through our partners, must be free of unseen influences. That's our commitment to you. We know that many outside contributors who provide content for us have other relationships with companies or organizations in the education world. We're pleased by that. But when outside contributors mention in their work for us organizations with which they have relationships, we require that they disclose it in the published work. This level of transparency is essential to giving readers the information they need to evaluate the content we and our partners are providing.  

In this instance, NNSTOY didn't meet that standard, and we failed to provide an appropriate level of due diligence in our oversight. We apologize for our lack of rigor. The leadership at NNSTOY declined our offer to provide a written statement for this note. But in our discussions, they maintained that the blog posts weren't endorsements of the Empatico platform and therefore the relationship between the organizations didn't need to be disclosed. We disagree.

We recently instituted new editing controls on all blogs, which is how this matter was uncovered. We will continue striving to do better.

—Scott Montgomery, Editor-in-Chief/Chief Content Officer

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