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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Basal Readers

1988 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri


The proposers of this resolution expressed concern about a tendency across the United States to view and promote basal reading systems as complete systems for teaching reading. With their graded texts, teachers' manuals, workbooks, skill sheets, and tests, proposers said, basal systems leave little time for other reading activities in schools that adopt them. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English encourage through its journals and other publications critical examination of basal reading systems and their underlying premises;

     that NCTE support teachers in efforts to exercise their professional judgment in developing programs for fostering literacy;

     that NCTE urge policymakers to change regulations that require or favor the use of basal reading systems;

     that NCTE encourage administrators to allow alternatives to basal readers and to provide inservice programs that will enable teachers to determine materials and means that best foster the development of literacy;

     that NCTE encourage and support the development of assessment procedures that reflect a broad, functional, and learner-centered concept of literacy; and

     that NCTE continue a concerted effort to educate the public about the nature of effective literacy instruction.

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