Education group abandons American Legislative Exchange Council
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, according to the Center for Media and Democracy.
“Given recent events, the new NBPTS President and CEO decided to discontinue engagement with ALEC,” the organization said. “As a result, NBPTS terminated its membership as an Education Task Force Member of ALEC effective April 18, 2012, and also withdrew from participating in the upcoming ALEC conference.”
ALEC drafts model legislation for state lawmakers and describes itself as “policy making program that unites members of the public and private sectors in a dynamic partnership” based on “Jeffersonian principles.”
The little-known but influential organization has been a driving force behind voter ID laws, so-called “stand your ground” laws, business-friendly tort reforms, Arizona’s controversial immigration law, and efforts to privatize public education.
NBPTS was a members of ALEC’s Education Task Force, which has sought to support private schools and for-profit Internet colleges. The education group said the decision to be a member of ALEC was “made by previous NBPTS leadership.”
ALEC received little scrutiny until recently, when organizations like Color Of Change, Common Cause, People for the American Way, Progress Now, the Center for Media and Democracy, CREDO Action and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee began a campaign targeting the organizations’s corporate sponsors — who pay tens of thousands of dollars every year to be members.
Since then, a number of companies have publicly cut ties with ALEC, including Kaplan Higher Education, Procter & Gamble, YUM! Brands, Blue Cross Blue Shield, American Traffic Solutions, Reed Elsevier, Arizona Public Service, Mars, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Intuit, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola.
[Image via Flickr user Soozarty1, Creative Commons licensed]