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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on the Development and Dissemination of Alternative Forms of Assessment

1990 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia


NCTE members proposing this resolution stressed the importance of integrating teaching, learning, and evaluation and cited NCTE's long history of concern about the use of certain forms of testing. They restated NCTE's commitment to empower teachers to be confident evaluators and constructive critics of assessment strategies, and to work to develop alternative models of testing and assessment. Research, they said, now substantiates the view that some nationally normed standardized tests are a barrier to student opportunity, to the professional development of school staff, and to sound curriculum. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English affirm that testing assessments should reflect recent advances in the teaching and learning of language arts;

     that NCTE urge the development of appropriate publications (for example, an update of Common Sense in Testing) that will provide students, parents, classroom teachers, school administrators, government officials, and the general public with test literacy for all school levels, K through college; and

     that NCTE strongly recommend alternative forms of assessment, such as portfolio assessment and holistic reading of [student] writing, for teachers in all academic disciplines.

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