Under the NCTE Constitution, the Council also establishes positions on education issues through resolutions submitted by members and passed at the Annual Business Meeting for the Board of Directors and Other Members of the Council during NCTE’s Annual Convention each November.
If passed by members attending the Annual Business Meeting, proposed resolutions are sent to the NCTE membership for ratification on a ballot. 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.
Submit your resolution by October 15.
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.
At Open Hearings Friday morning, November 17, copies of the resolutions drafts will be available for review. NCTE members may offer opinions about proposed resolutions. The Committee hears commentary and suggestions about the resolutions drafts, makes final wording adjustments, and presents the drafts to those attending the Annual Business Meeting. Final discussion and voting will take place during the Annual Business Meeting Friday afternoon, 5:00-6:30 p.m. 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. These statements become part of the Council’s position/philosophy on questions related to the teaching of English. They are often publicized to news media, legislators, school boards, and the voting public and therefore addressed to those audiences. Resolutions also assist the Council in developing action programs on issues that affect teaching and learning.
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.