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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Teacher Misassignment and Retraining

1980 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio


The misassignment of teachers without appropriate preparation in English or without a degree in English to English classrooms is currently a problem of increasing magnitude, especially in grades 7–12. For example, in Missouri, 4,000 middle school teachers whose preparation is in social studies, physical education, or other fields have been assigned to teach English. California and other states report equally alarming statistics. Changes in tenure laws, shortages of qualified teachers, decreasing enrollments, contract negotiations, and economic pressures have contributed to the misassignments.

This problem was addressed by a resolution passed at the 1979 NCTE Convention. However, the Standing Committee on Teacher Preparation and Certification believes that the Council should take additional and stronger action. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English call upon its individual members and affiliates to discourage, through direct contacts with state departments of education and other certification agencies, the issuing of temporary certificates in English or language arts to teachers not prepared in programs of English or language arts;

     that NCTE identify programs for retraining teachers of other subjects assigned to English classrooms and disseminate information about those programs to the membership, other professional organizations, state departments of education, and other certification agencies; and

     that NCTE continue its strong support of the principle that English teachers be prepared in accordance with the goals and emphasis in the "Statement on the Preparation of Teachers of English and the Language Arts."

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