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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Assessment

1991 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Seattle, Washington

Background

This resolution, proposed by members of NCTE's group for teacher educators, the Conference on English Education, addresses the current lack of fit between what the schools do to test student learning and what researchers know about students' language development. School practices, they urged, ought to reflect current knowledge about language and learning. Language development, they pointed out, is "a complex, ongoing, active process." They noted that unfortunately, many current assessment practices are not based on "a comprehensive understanding" of the complexities of language, and thus do not serve to improve students' literacy. Be it therefore

Resolution

Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English urge

     —educators to use NCTE's "Essentials of English" pamphlet to create curriculum;

     —educators and other policymakers to examine current research and exemplary classroom practices in assessment;

     —educators to design and/or select assessment procedures which reflect current research, defined curriculum goals, and exemplary classroom practices;

     —educators to involve students in assessment decisions;

     —educators to examine different types of assessment and choose those which reflect students' classroom learning experiences and literacy growth;

     —classroom teachers to communicate curriculum goals and assessment purposes to students, parents, and others; and

     —teacher educators to apply NCTE's Guidelines for the Preparation of Teachers of English Language Arts, so that future teachers gain experience in designing, selecting, and using assessment.

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