Education Letter to the Editor

Safeguard Due Process in Teacher Training

February 28, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I applaud Arthur E. Wise, the president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, for his stance regarding Scott McConnell, the teacher-candidate expelled from his college program because of his educational philosophy (“Teacher-Hopeful Runs Afoul of ‘Dispositions’,” Feb. 1, 2006).

Mr. Wise’s bottom-line assessment emphasizes the fact that a teacher-in-training’s philosophy or ideology is not pertinent unless it is exhibited as improper behavior in the classroom and becomes detrimental to students. This stance correctly safeguards fairness for pupils along with equal fairness for those aspiring to be teachers.

What disturbs me most is that Mr. McConnell’s due-process rights were violated. This cannot be tolerated in the field. In education, the purpose of due process is to secure permanence within the profession, so that personnel are not unjustly terminated (Watson v. Burnett). Educators protected by due process cannot have their rights violated by a supervising agency (Flannery v. Jenkins Township School Directors). Educational leaders in colleges and universities must recognize that, in procedural matters, notification must fully inform the person of the criteria used for selecting him or her to be excluded from a program, so that if grounds for appeal exist, the person will be alerted (Thayer v. Anacortes School District).

Mr. McConnell’s education philosophy led to his expulsion from Le Moyne College’s graduate education program. A New York state appeals court properly ordered his reinstatement. Any deviation in procedure is interpreted by the courts as a violation of due process. Courts will support procedure as stated (Linden School District No. 24 v. Porter; James v. School Township of Troy; Ashby v. School Township of Liberty). School officials at Le Moyne College apparently violated their own procedures as set forth in the college’s handbook.

Le Moyne has a long-standing positive reputation. This one incident should not reflect negatively on the institution. But the incident does reflect faulty thinking.

William A. Kritsonis

Professor of Educational Leadership

Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View, Texas

A version of this article appeared in the March 01, 2006 edition of Education Week as Safeguard Due Process in Teacher Training


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)