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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Poor Quality and High Cost of Paperbacks

1972 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota


The use of paperback editions of literary works has been of increasing importance in literature and language arts classrooms in elementary and secondary schools. The price of paperbacks continues to spiral upward at a time when schools are being compelled to operate on austerity budgets and are experiencing public resistance to rising costs and to fees for materials. Regrettably, in many instances the quality of paper and binding has substantially declined, with the result that some paperbacks intended for repeated classroom use fall apart the first time they are issued. Unless these trends are checked, many schools may be compelled to cut back drastically on the overall paperback program—a development that would be damaging to the student, the curriculum, and the publishers. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English alert the major paperback companies of widespread discontent with the poor physical quality and spiraling costs of paperbacks regularly purchased for classroom use and urge that substantial efforts be made to control prices and improve physical quality and durability.

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