The Assembly for Research (AR) is an organization under the auspices of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). An "assembly" is a special interest group within NCTE that can sponsor meetings at national conferences, propose institutes, and initiate other types of professional meetings and activities. A member of an assembly does not need to be a member of NCTE; however, at least 25 members (including all members of the executive board) must be NCTE members. Assemblies require a written constitution and written minority involvement policy. An assembly pays annual dues to NCTE based on its size: $10 for 25-249 members, $15 for 250-499 members, $25 for 500 or more members. An assembly is a financially independent organization, and is responsible for living within the budget generated by its dues, conference registration fees, and other sources of revenue. Membership of 250 or more entitles an assembly to sponsor three activities at an NCTE conference: (1) a SIG time for meeting or session, (2) a concurrent session or workshop, and (3) an exhibit booth.
The AR was approved by NCTE in March of 1983 and had its first meeting on Nov. 19, 1983, during the fall NCTE conference in Denver. (See the Archives for the charter documents.) Under the leadership of James Squire and others, the AR was created to provide a venue for research-oriented NCTE members to share ideas and on-going work. At that time, there were few formal channels within NCTE for the presentation and discussion of research--since then, the Standing Committee on Research has established a research strand at the fall NCTE conference to establish a presence for researchers within the council. Over time the AR developed additional goals such as the mission to support early career researchers in their development.
The AR shares similar concerns with three other groups: the NCTE Standing Committee on Research, the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy (NCRLL; formerly NCRE), and the NCTE Research Foundation. All four groups share an interest in the conduct of research in the English/Language Arts and related fields. None has any authority over the other, although the Standing Committee on Research may make a recommendation to the AR, usually filtered through the NCTE Executive Committee.