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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Mandated Language Arts Instruction

1986 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in San Antonio, Texas


Some mandates imposed by state legislatures and education agencies during the education reform movement of the 1980s have restricted teachers to specific instructional approaches and classroom activities. NCTE members passed this resolution out of concern for preserving balanced curriculum and for maintaining teachers' flexibility to respond to individual students' needs. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English oppose all policies that mandate or officially endorse instructional approaches, specify reading and vocabulary lists, and require reading and writing assignments that amount to accumulating numbers rather than giving students valid language experiences; and

     that NCTE advise federal and state legislators and agencies, board of education members, school officials, and administrators that mandating or officially endorsing curricular and instructional practices is not only destructive of professionalism and morale, but forces teachers to focus on the minutiae of mechanics and isolated skills development, contradicting what our profession knows about sound teaching practice and language learning.

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