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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Teaching Loads of English and Language Arts Teachers

1971 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada


In 1960 the National Council of Teachers of English adopted a policy stating that secondary teachers of English should instruct a maximum of 100 students per day. NCTE standards for teaching loads in elementary school were similar. However, teaching loads in elementary and secondary schools seem to be increasing. As the numbers of students increase, the assistance which a teacher can provide to an individual student necessarily must decline. The apparent surplus of teachers would immediately disappear into a shortage if school systems adhered to limits proposed by the National Education Association and NCTE. Obviously, therefore, the present condition of public school education should not be described as a surplus of teachers but as a shortage of services to individual students. Regardless of the problems which currently restrict school budgets, it is important that educators continue to support the principle that each student should receive sufficient individual attention to develop his full potential. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English reaffirm its concern about the teaching loads of English and language arts teachers to all local school boards, state school boards, the National School Boards Association, superintendents of local education agencies, elementary and secondary school principals, state English supervisors, state superintendents or commissioners, the American Association of School Administrators, national and state teacher organizations, and appropriate officials in the U.S. Office of Education.

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