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Why Won't NCTE Publish Info About Member Activities?

by Susan Ohanian

Members of the National Council of Teachers of English are informed that "NCTE Inbox is your free, weekly e-mail wrap-up of the most important stories in English language arts education, ideas for your classroom, and news from NCTE."

On August 25, 2009, the NCTE Inbox arrived. This is the third issue since I asked that they include a small item about the establishment of www.StopNationalStandards.org--by a member in good standing. I pointed out to them that www.susanohanian.org earned their George Orwell Award. That was definitely under different management. Sadly, I don't see the people in power at NCTE now honoring resistance to the U. S. Department of Education and its corporate cronies.

I was told that NCTE Inbox is prepared by staff and that they don't ordinarily accept submissions.

In this latest NCTE Inbox the following content was deemed worthy of inclusion:

  • link to US News & World Report on best colleges

  • link to Wall Street Journal article on flagging ACT scores

  • link to e-news piece on how to raise teacher quality

  • link to Associated Press piece on Gates' pouring money into research on how to quantify teacher quality.

  • link to e-news report on $650M in New Grants Target Innovation

  • link to Sirius Radio report on school reform

  • link to New York Times report that Academy for Principals Helped Raise English Scores

  • And so on. The newsletters seems to be a megaphone for the corporate Standardisto message. There's no endorsement, but the presence of the message without comment or rebuttal is in itself an endorsement.

    I find it disheartening and unprofessional that NCTE refuses to acknowledge the existence of resistance. Yes, unprofessional. Professionals don't just parrot the Business Roundtable message--and remain silent in the face of that message. Professionals would not be afraid to let their membership knows that resistance exists.

    — Susan Ohanian




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