ERIC Number: ED417405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Toward the Separation of School and State.
Those who teach in the field of English and the language arts have seen their subject and their teaching enter the discourse of politics and become the topoi for popular discussions about the crisis in public education--they find themselves caught in a rising tide of public opinion against what they stand for intellectually and professionally. What is needed is a greater separation between school and state and the emancipation of education from the arbitrariness of political pressures. Schools, like religion and the press, need the protection of something like a Constitutional amendment to keep education free of interference in matters of materials, methods, and curriculum from the winds of political change and the "passing hysterias of public opinion." To build public confidence in the profession of teaching, English and language arts educators need to exercise their professional responsibilities even more demonstrably than they demand their professional rights and protections. They should communicate with their legislators to represent their opposition to laws that would interfere with the right of educators to engage in their professional work according to standards set within their profession. Professional organizations like the National Council of Teachers of English have been strong advocates for and must continue to promote intellectually rigorous and academically relevant requirements for the certification of classroom teachers, just as they must continue to advocate strong, high-quality professional development programs to enhance the expertise of all teachers in classrooms. (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL.
Note: Revision of an inaugural address by the NCTE president presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (Detroit, MI, November 20-25, 1997).