NCTE Statement on the Doublespeak Award and Anti-Censorship Efforts - NCTE
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NCTE Statement on the Doublespeak Award and Anti-Censorship Efforts

NCTE remains deeply committed to supporting excellent public language and is also in an important period of reflecting and considering new possibilities for expanding this work. Recent advances we have made in the space of critical media literacy encourage us to think deeply and creatively, on behalf of teachers, their students, and our entire membership.

We regret current misinformation circulating regarding some aspects of NCTE’s Public Language Awards. To be clear and for the record:

  • The Doublespeak Award has not been canceled; planning work is underway, and as the website clearly states, this is the reason for which the 2022 award nominations are paused.
  • An NCTE Executive Committee subcommittee began addressing potential refinements to the Public Language Awards in 2020. The Doublespeak Award has simultaneously been in decline, with few or no nominations each year, and concerns have been raised that connecting instances of deceptive, divisive, and polarizing language with an award of any kind may, in part, actually reward and uphold them. NCTE seeks to more forcefully and productively counter deceptive language. We are continuing this work to review how the award fits into our commitment to elevate excellence in public language now and in the future. The Doublespeak Award was not announced in 2021—a decision by the Executive Committee due to the ongoing issues and concerns.
  • NCTE’s President and the Executive Committee liaison to the Public Language Awards Committee invited all members of the Public Language Awards committee into conversations to think with us about this body of work, including the Doublespeak Award. The purpose of these conversations is to think together and plan for what the greater role of public language might be within NCTE. It’s regrettable that three members chose not to continue on the committee, and thus not to participate in these conversations; we have invited them to let us know if they change their minds and would like to collaborate.
  • NCTE will continue to function and grow as an inclusive and a humanizing organization that is a professional home to many, especially during these difficult times. NCTE often increases its efforts in the face of adversity and in accordance with exigencies. For example, NCTE increased its work fighting censorship in early 2021, as we anticipated the growing and negative impact of censorship for classroom teaching and teachers. This work continues to expand this year, including new support for teachers in development in partnership with our Standing Committee Against Censorship, as well as additional alliances and more. You can read more about actions, services, partnerships and other actions in the last year here.

We want NCTE members to know—NCTE has not remained on the sidelines in regard to intellectual freedom and censorship matters, and has no intention of doing so in the future.

If you have questions or would like further information, please feel free to email us directly at publiclangaward@ncte.org for questions related to public language or intellectualfreedom@ncte.org for information about our Intellectual Freedom Center.

Valerie Kinloch, NCTE President
María E. Fránquiz, NCTE President-Elect
Shelley Rodrigo, NCTE Vice President
Alfredo Celedón Luján, NCTE Past President