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Updates from SLATE

SLATE is NCTE's grassroots advocacy network that

  • seeks to influence public attitudes and policy decisions affecting the teaching of English language arts at local, state, and national levels;
  • seeks to implement and publicize the policies adopted by NCTE; and
  • serves as NCTE's intellectual freedom network.

All NCTE members receive bimonthly issues of SLATE Update by email and are eligible to submit nominations for the intellectual freedom awards.

SLATE Steering Committee Members

SLATE Steering Committee Member Responsibilities


The Texas Civil Rights Project as been named the winner of the 2011 NCTE/SLATE National Intellectual Freedom Award for their report "Banned Books in the Texas Prison System," which reveals the arbitrary and unconstitutional banning of over 11,000 books from Texas prisons--books such as classics, books about prison conditions, and other popular pieces that do not legitimately threaten prison suecurity as allowed in the Texas constitution.  Read more.

NCTE/SLATE Intellectual Freedom Award – National 
Established in 1997, this award is given by a joint subcommittee of the SLATE (Support for the Learning and Teaching of English) Steering Committee and the NCTE Standing Committee Against Censorship to individuals, groups, or institutions that merit recognition for advancing the cause of intellectual freedom. Deadline May 1

NCTE/SLATE Intellectual Freedom Award State, Regional, Provincial Affiliates
Established in 1997, this award is given by state, regional, and provincial affiliates, who choose to participate, to honor individuals, groups, or institutions that merit recognition for advancing the cause of intellectual freedom; established by NCTE and SLATE—Support for the Learning and Teaching of English. Deadline May 1


The December 2011 SLATE Update outlines NCTE's recent advocacy work and announces the National Center for Literacy Education.

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What Intellectual Freedom Challenges Are You Experiencing at Your School?

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Most Recent Comments (3 Total Posts)

Posted By: Anonymous User on 10/14/2010 12:44:31 PM

Intellectual freedom is challenged when students are (by the instructor's omission or commission) herded into corrals of pre-determined thought. Standardized testing and overarching mandates resulting in severe time constraints are largely responsible. Our school counteracts these challenges by providing formal and informal forums to allow our students to express themselves in a non threatening environment. Diane McManus

Posted By: Anonymous User on 4/16/2010 2:03:56 PM

At my school, intellectual freedom conflicts with student measurement directives that come from the superintendant's office. The classroom is being inundated by masses of testing data which teachers are instructed to use to inform differentiated instruction in the classroom. maryhealy

Posted By: Anonymous User on 12/17/2009 11:16:18 AM

I think that censorship issues need to consider that teachers are mandated to harm children through incessant testing and narrow curriculum. We are trying to get ACLU into such a discussion in order to honor teacher's knowledge and intellectual freedom. Should teachers be forced to use materials and tests that they believe harm their students. This is very important at the present time since materials and tests that having been problems under the Bush administration seem to be sanctioned again in the LEARN act that NCTE is supporting and urging NCTE members to support. NCTE has resolutions related to these issues. There must be discussion within NCTE about these issues. To me SLATE is a place where such a discussion should be led and opened up to NCTE membership. Yetta Goodman Regents Professor Emerita NCTE Past President

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