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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Improving Conditions for English Language Arts Teaching

1985 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Background

This resolution expresses the concern of teachers of English about restrictions being placed on their teaching approaches and methods as a result of recent reports on school reform. The proposers pointed out that mandates handed down by state and local school boards and school administrators sometimes restrict teachers from using methods that would be appropriate for students with particular modes of learning. Some students, they said, are thus denied opportunities to experience the speaking, writing, listening, reading, and thinking activities they need to develop their language abilities. Many such mandates, the NCTE members said, also fail to address problems of class size and student-teacher ratios. They ignore available knowledge about the conditions necessary for effective teaching and learning of the language arts. Be it therefore

Resolution

Resolved, that in order to address the national concern for making students better readers, writers, listeners, and speakers and for effective acquisition, development, and use of language at all levels, the National Council of Teachers of English reaffirm its positions on the need to reduce class size and student-teacher ratios at all levels of instruction;

     that NCTE reaffirm its position on what constitutes necessary conditions for teaching the English language arts;

     that NCTE urge those who generate and control budgets, including federal and state departments of education and governing boards of higher education, legislatures, school boards, superintendents, and principals, to make these positions their policies and provide adequate funding to implement them;

     that NCTE urge all accrediting agencies to adopt these guidelines as criteria for accreditation; and

     that NCTE inform the widest possible audience of these positions, including parents, professional education organizations, and accrediting agencies.

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