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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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North Carolina Association of Educators

by James I. Martin Sr., 2006

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) was formed in 1970 with the union of the white North Carolina Education Association and the black North Carolina Teachers Association. Its earliest origins can to traced to 1857, when the Education Association of North Carolina was formed by white teachers under the leadership of Calvin H. Wiley, the state's first superintendent of common schools. Only loosely organized, it sponsored Chautauquas, or adult educational events, in the summer for a number of years. By 1922 the association had grown and strengthened, with a full-time staff and headquarters in Raleigh.

During its first ten years, with the assistance of the four incumbent governors of North Carolina, the NCAE was instrumental in obtaining implementation of the Fair Employment and Dismissal Act of 1971, maternity leave, salary increases, kindergarten expansion, longevity pay, and student competency tests.

The joining of the black and white associations, involving 13,000 blacks and 50,000 whites, created some tension, since a biracial cooperative venture of this type had never been attempted in the state. The NCAE lent formidable support to the Equal Rights Amendment movement, and through its mouthpiece, North Carolina Education, opposed segregated academies, school vouchers, state tuition grants to private colleges, and the National Teachers Examination. Through its political action committee, the organization has sought to channel more state revenue toward teacher salaries and benefits and has concerned itself with issues such as school prayer, school violence, and gender discrimination. The NCAE has also taken an adamant stand against merit pay, a proposed career ladder system, and teacher dress codes, mainly on the grounds that decisions regarding these issues would be made subjectively by administrators.


Mary C. Cridlebaugh, "The North Carolina Education Association: An Interest Group Attempting to Influence State Policies in Education" (M.A. thesis, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1966).

Percy Murray, History of the North Carolina Teachers Association (1984).

Additional Resources:

What the NCAE Has Accomplished at the General Assembly:

North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE):