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Counteracting Racism and Racial Bias to Support Teaching and Learning

NCTE stands in solidarity with the 30,000 members of the NCTE community in saying that racism, bias, and prejudice should be eradicated from spaces of learning.

The Council is committed to working toward the eradication of racism and discrimination in the profession, in the preparation of teachers, and in the administrative decisions made in schools, especially in the teaching and learning of English and language arts at all levels. Our work involves making research-based recommendations to counteract racism and racial bias in materials, methods, and programs for the teaching and learning of English and the language arts.


NCTE Statement Affirming #BlackLivesMatter, September 2015 

This statement, invited by the NCTE presidential team and authored by the NCTE/CCCC Black Caucus, calls on all English, English language arts, and literacy teachers "to transform our world and raise awareness of the crisis of racial injustice." It affirms that "as an organization, we are committed to providing English educators with the tools, training, and support needed to build a more equitable system better able to serve the unique needs to all youth."


The Statement about the Role of Early Childhood Education and Racism, from the Early Childhood Education Assembly of NCTE, asks

So, what can early childhood educators do? The Affirmative Action Committee of the ECEA strongly believes that it is through our teaching of young children that we can affect the most change. We believe this because research points out that when we do not explicitly teach anti-racism early, it becomes too easy for a racist consciousness to form in our silence, the same consciousness that tolerates racist acts we see today.


NCTE's Statement on Anti-Racism to Support Teaching and Learning recommends that all English language arts educators

Actively identify and challenge individual or systemic acts of racism, bias, and prejudice in educational institutions and within our profession, exposing such acts through external communication and publications.


Support the enforcement of laws and policies that provide sanctions against racial and ethnic discrimination in public education.


NCTE & CCCC Speak Out against Professor's Treatment by ASU Police

If there is any institution we should be able to count on to advance the ideal that all people are equal, that all people should feel safe in the pursuit of learning, it is the university. 

Arizona State Professor Pleads Guilty to Resisting Arrest  (Inside Higher Ed, July 11, 2014)  

NCTE supports Professor Ore's right to actively identify and challenge individual or systemic acts of racism, bias, and prejudice in her educational institution, exposing such acts through external communication and publications: Letter to Arizona State University President Crow and Provost Page  (July 4, 2014)

The event that precipitated the letter: Arizona Professor's Jaywalking Arrest Quickly Gets Out of Hand  (CNN, June 30, 2014)

The Diversity section of NCTE's Core Values says that "the English/Language Arts classroom can and should be a unique place to develop voice as well as to respect and to hear all voices." It continues:

"It is the place where many students learn they have a right to their own language, where multiple forms of literacy are explored, where censorship is abhorred, and where difference is valued in pursuit of an education befitting a democracy. Members benefit from

  • opportunities to work with and hear from colleagues with varying backgrounds and experience;
  • to study, question, and critique dominant and often assumed societal stances;
  • to learn how to create classrooms where students develop voices that make them effective participants in academic and public discourses; and,
  • to learn how to make their classrooms more relevant, more inclusive, and more critical to the lives of the learners they teach and the society in which they teach.

See also NCTE's Bedrock Beliefs and these other statements on diversity in teaching and learning.



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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts