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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Accountability

1971 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada


English teachers recognize their accountability to various groups -- to students, to colleagues both within and without the discipline of English, to parents, to the local community which supports the schools, and to the wider communities beyond it. However, they reject the view that their goals and objectives can be stated only in quantifiably measurable terms, describing the behavior their students will display at the completion of instruction.

Moreover, just as important as the English teacher's accountability to his students, to his colleagues, and to the communities which have a responsible interest in his activities, is the accountability of each of these groups to him. Students are responsible for being active participants in the learning process. Parents are responsible for supplying a nurturing environment and for being valued colleagues in developing appropriate learning programs. Administrators and others who provide the school climate are responsible for fostering the teaching process. The wider communities are responsible for providing financial, cultural, and social support. It is now part of the English teacher's obligation to clarify for himself, his students, his colleagues, and his several communities how he can be accountable. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English (1) describe the diverse and appropriate ways it is possible to know that students are learning, and (2) recommend the most effective means of communicating this information as well as teachers' expectations about the responsibilities that students, parents, administrators, and the general public have to the educational program of the community.

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