Resolution on Tracking

1991 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Seattle, Washington


Members of the NCTE Committee on Tracking and Grouping Practices in English Language Arts (K–12), who proposed this resolution, urged that classrooms should be communities of learners in which collaboration occurs among students of many abilities. They warned that when students are placed into tracked/ability-grouped classes, this language collaboration which aids learning may not occur. The committee members pointed out that placing students in tracks or ability groups, especially those based on standardized test scores, can have a negative influence on teachers’ expectations of students and students’ expectations of themselves. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English support curricula, programs, and practices that avoid tracking, a system which limits students’ intellectual, linguistic, and/or social development;

that NCTE urge educators and other policymakers to re-examine curricula, programs, and practices which require or encourage tracking of students in English language arts;

that NCTE support teachers in their efforts to retain students in or return students to heterogeneous English language arts placement; and

that NCTE expand its efforts to educate the public about the effects of tracking.


This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.