Teaching Profession

State Journal

March 14, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Guilt by Association

Some education students looking to do their student teaching in the Reading, Pa., area might find themselves viewed as personae non gratae.

Last month, the teachers’ union there announced that its members would refuse to work with any student-teacher whose college sponsors a charter school. The boycott was in protest of two local charter school proposals, including one sponsored jointly by Albright College in Reading and a campus of Pennsylvania State University in that city.

In response, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Eugene W. Hickok fired off a letter to the president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association.

“All Pennsylvanians should be outraged that some of your members are putting their opposition to charter public schools before the needs of the children they’re supposed to serve,” Mr. Hickok wrote.

Last week, the Reading school board unanimously rejected both charter applications, though their sponsors can appeal the decision. Either way, area union leaders continue to push their opposition to charter schools. The nearby PSEA local in Boyertown, Pa., approved the same kind of boycott, and supporters plan to put a similar measure to a regional union meeting later this month.

“It’s sad that at times those who are maybe on the sidelines get hit with the flak, but that’s what happens in any battle,” said Richard Ashcraft, the president of the Reading Education Association.

Exactly how the union opposition might affect teachers-in-training is unclear. Albright College officials said three of their students were turned away when they tried to volunteer at a Reading school. But district officials said no student-teachers had been refused spots.

“The school board hasn’t said, ‘No, we’re against [the union’s action]’ or ‘Yes, we support it,’ ” said Missy L. Orlando, the spokeswoman for the 15,500-student district. “But we do know where they’re coming from.”

—Jeff Archer

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2001 edition of Education Week

Events

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.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

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

Teaching Profession What Happens When Teachers Are Out of Sick Days?
We asked EdWeek's social media followers to share their school policies on COVID-related sick leave. Here’s how they responded. 
Marina Whiteleather
2 min read
Female at desk, suffering from flu symptoms like fever, headache and sore throat at her workplace
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Teaching Profession Explainer: Why Are Chicago Schools, Teachers' Union Fighting?
The issue that caused the most chaos in the roughly 350,000-student district was when and how to revert to remote learning.
3 min read
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union and supporters stage a car caravan protest outside City Hall in the Loop, Wednesday evening, Jan. 5, 2022. Chicago school leaders canceled classes in the nation’s third-largest school district for the second straight day after failing to reach an agreement with the teachers union over remote learning and other COVID-19 safety protocols. (Ashlee Rezin /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Teaching Profession Some Teachers Are Running Out of Sick Days, and Administrators Are Hesitant to Help
With a shortage of substitutes and pressure to stay open, administrators are reluctant to extend paid time off for teachers with COVID.
13 min read
Professional male social distancing or self quarantining inside a coronavirus pathogen.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Teaching Profession Opinion 18 Ways to Improve Teacher Observations
Holding pre- and post-conferences, showing more compassion and less judgment, and organizing peer observations are valuable.
19 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty