Remember Scott McConnell, the master of education student who, without any warning, got booted out of Le Moyne College for his beliefs? You can review his story in The New York Times today. When reading the Times report, keep in mind that McConnell had already completed practicum work last fall as a requirement for Le Moyne’s teaching program. FIRE’s February 3, 2005, letter to Le Moyne highlights this:
Furthermore, McConnell has already completed over 64 hours of practicum work with a host teacher at Franklin Elementary School. The teacher rated McConnell as “excellent” in all of the evaluation criteria and wrote on his evaluation that “Scott has been a joy to have within a classroom. He has gone above and beyond the requirements and has established himself as a member of our classroom.”
So was McConnell a “threat” to Le Moyne’s accreditation by doing excellent practicum work in an actual classroom—work that went “above and beyond” what he was required to do? Perhaps Le Moyne needs to review what it considers to be “evidence” of the ability of its students to “be effective and law-abiding teachers who will foster a healthy classroom environment.” Is it one paper—or 64 hours of excellent practicum and high grades in a student’s coursework? And if the college is so concerned with the law, why doesn’t it offer its students some due process, too?