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December 2011

 Announcing the
National Center
for Literacy Education

"Schools that sustain progress in literacy learning pay attention to the little things and the big things," says NCLE Director Kent Williamson. "They create organizational conditions that promote communication about student learning across disciplines and outside of classroom walls. They expect their faculty to deepen their knowledge not only about content, but about how kids learn, and they give them the flexibility to act on their findings."



The new National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE), a project of NCTE and the Ball Foundation in alliance with more than 20 stakeholder groups representing educators and school/community leaders, "brings together the leading professional groups for educators to provide insights about how these schools and faculty work and to connect them with every school that aspires to fully prepare the next generation of readers, writers, and thinkers."


A Look at NCTE's 2011 Advocacy Work

NCTE and its members are working to get NCTE policy into schools. We're working with other literacy organizations to write legislation that advances the cause of literacy instruction. We've been successful in gaining legislative attention to the National Day on Writing. We've developed regular connections with staff in the US Department of Education, enabling us to provide them with information about NCTE's ideas and concerns. And because of our members who take part in NCTE's Literacy Education Advocacy Day (in Washington) and Month (at home), federal and state legislators around the country are hearing examples of what works for teachers, stories that inform them about life in the classroom, and NCTE's positions on an array of literacy education issues. Read more.

What Can You Do?

Help Shape the 2012 NCTE Education Policy Platform: Each winter, the government relations subcommittee of the Executive Committee confers with members and policy leaders in Washington, DC, to establish a platform to guide NCTE advocacy work for the subsequent year. To register your opinions about issues that NCTE should be sure to address in 2012, and to provide feedback about the issues we have worked on during 2011, please complete this survey.

Use NCTE's Education Policy Platform as a guide for your literacy education advocacy efforts; note the emphasis on professional development for teachers and the importance of including reading and writing in literacy education.

Review the resolutions passed during NCTE's 2011 Annual Convention, as well as other resolutions and position statements on literacy education topics. Share these documents with colleagues, administrators, and policymakers. 

Speak out about NCTE's positions and how these positions look in practice. You might speak to the media; to legislators at the national, state, and local levels; to the public at local meetings and social events; or to your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Take part in NCTE's Literacy Education Advocacy Month or Day (April 19, 2012).

Join the new Education Policy Forum in NCTE's Connected Community to discuss the latest in policy news and to share your thoughts! The Education Policy Forum is open to all NCTE members. To join the conversation, simply visit the main forum page and click on “Join Group.” 

SLATE is NCTE's grassroots network that (1) seeks to influence public attitudes and policy decisions affecting the teaching of English language arts at local, state, and national levels; (2) seeks to implement and publicize the policies adopted by the National Council of Teachers of English; and (3) serves as NCTE's intellectual freedom network, providing support for those facing censorship challenges. Every NCTE member will receive SLATE updates on a regular basis, will have an opportunity to participate in SLATE campaigns, and will occasionally be invited to support SLATE through voluntary contributions.

Contribute to SLATE:  Your donation to SLATE will help us to implement and publicize the policies adopted by NCTE, to support NCTE's anti-censorship work, and to influence public attitudes and policy decisions affecting the teaching of English language arts at local, state, and national levels. (NCTE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all donations are tax deductible. Donations received by December 31 may be deducted from your income taxes for that year.)

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