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NCTE's Position Statements on Key Issues

New Statements Ready for Sharing with Educators, Administrators

March 28, 2017 -- Three resolutions proposed last fall by members of NCTE have been ratified by a vote of the entire NCTE membership. These statements were first introduced to NCTE members attending the Annual Business Meeting during the 2016 NCTE Annual Convention in Atlanta in November:

October 15 is the deadline for submitting resolutions for consideration during the 2017 Annual Convention in St. Louis.

Why do resolutions matter?
Each year NCTE members have the opportunity to take a stand on the issues that matter most to them in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts. These stands come in the form of resolutions that pass through a series of steps and ultimately require a vote by our full membership in order to become official statements of the Council.

When a resolution is ratified it signals to members and the wider education community that these issues are top concerns. Most resolutions also come with research about and suggested solutions to the problem. As such, a resolution is a tool you can use as an educator to advocate for these issues, knowing you have the backing of a national organization in your stance.

How do I submit a resolution?
A call for resolutions with submission instructions appears in our Section journals, in The Council Chronicle, in the INBOX e-newsletter, and on the NCTE website. Any member or member group (committee, affiliate, etc.) may submit a resolution to the Committee on Resolutions. A resolution sent to the chair must be accompanied by signatures of five voting NCTE members and must be received before October 15 to be considered at the Annual Convention.
When are resolutions reviewed and considered?
The Committee on Resolutions reviews and edits submissions and makes the final decisions about which resolutions will be considered by members attending the Annual Business Meeting. Criteria for those decisions include the resolution’s consistency with the NCTE Constitution and NCTE’s stated purposes and goals and the existence of previous resolutions on a topic.

The Committee hears commentary and suggestions about the resolutions drafts during the Open Hearing on Resolutions, makes final wording adjustments, and presents the drafts to those attending the Annual Business Meeting. Once discussion on each resolution has ended a vote will be taken. Resolutions approved by a majority of the members present will be sent to the entire membership for ratification.
When do members vote on the resolutions?
The vote during the Annual Convention is to determine which resolutions go forward to the entire membership. In January every NCTE member is asked to cast a vote on each resolution. Even if you voted during the Annual Convention to move the resolutions forward, you’re encouraged to vote along with the entire membership.

Resolutions approved by a majority of those voting (those voting must equal 10% of the membership) go forward to the NCTE Executive Committee for appropriate implementation. All ratified resolutions are reported to the membership in The Council Chronicle, INBOX, and on the NCTE website.

Note: While the member vote on the 2016 resolutions showed overwhelming support for each statement, the 10% of voting members needed ran short by 57 members. Although not NCTE’s standard practice, since the number of votes needed was nearly met and the response from members was clearly in support of the statements, in February 2017 the NCTE Executive Committee voted to approve the resolutions.

Learn More about NCTE's Position Statements

NCTE and its constituent groups have developed position statements on a variety of education issues vital to the teaching and learning of English language arts.

Under the NCTE Constitution, the Council's positions on education issues are established by resolutions passed at the Annual Business Meeting for the Board of Directors and Other Members of the Council during NCTE's Annual Convention each November and ratified by a vote of at least 10% of the NCTE membership. Members may also propose position statements and guidelines other than resolutions.

Help Shape NCTE
Positions by Submitting
a Resolution

Any NCTE member may submit a resolution to the NCTE Committee on Resolutions, which has the discretionary authority to edit and submit a version for passage at the Annual Business Meeting. If passed by the members attending the Annual Business Meeting, proposed resolutions are sent to the NCTE membership for ratification on a ballot (10% of the membership must vote). Resolutions so ratified by the membership shall become official NCTE positions that go to the Executive Committee for action. Resolutions must be submitted by October 15.

NCTE Position Statements on education issues are approved by the NCTE Board of Directors or NCTE Executive Committee.

NCTE Guidelines are statements found to be consistent with NCTE positions on education issues.

Additional position statements have been approved by the Executive Committees of the following Council groups:


See More on How NCTE Takes
Positions on Literacy Education Issues

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

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