NCTE Resolution on Testing

K-12 Testing

The board of directors of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) recently adopted a resolution "On Testing and Equitable Treatment of Students."


Background: The use of systematically administered standardized tests continues to escalate. In many countries, states, and provinces, the results of those tests are being increasingly used to accredit schools, affirm the ongoing certification of teachers, reward schools and school districts monetarily, and determine individual student grade promotion and retention.


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English affirm that no student be retained because of the results of standardized test scores alone;
that NCTE condemn the wholesale usurpation of the English language arts curriculum by excessive attention to test preparation;


that NCTE condemn the use of assessment instruments in English with students who are not sufficiently proficient in English;

that NCTE support ongoing teacher and student critique of test making and test taking;

that NCTE continue to support the use of alternative forms of assessment in order to ensure equitable treatment of all students; and

that NCTE support teacher-developed, contextualized, and reasonable classroom instruction regarding test-taking practices for students.


- The full text of the resolution is available on the NCTE web site at