The release of teacher ratings in New York has led to discussion in the legislature there to limit general public access to the information while still allowing parents to see how their child’s teacher performed.
The debate in New York ought to closely watched here in Georgia where teaching ratings are just around the corner as part of the state’s Race to the Top reforms.
It is still unclear whether those ratings will be released in Georgia. Education policy leaders involved in Race to the Top have said in the past that they will not seek publication of teacher ratings, but the Legislature or governor may disagree.
According to The New York Times: (This is only an excerpt. Try to read full piece.)
With the Legislature preparing to go into session next week, the question of how much privacy teachers are granted could soon be resolved. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Monday that he believed in preserving the public access guaranteed by current law. The city released its teachers rankings in February after defeating a teachers’ union lawsuit to keep the reports private.
“We should have all of the data out there,” the mayor said when asked about the issue at a news conference on solar energy production. “I think the courts have ruled that way, and I think the public, when you survey them, thinks that people have a right to the data.”
State legislators and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo have been receptive to union arguments that teachers have a right to a measure of privacy. Mr. Cuomo said recently that while evaluations of other city employees like firefighters, police officers and correction officers should remain private, it was more complicated for teachers. “I believe in the case of teachers, the parents’ right to know outweighs the teachers’ right to privacy,” Mr. Cuomo said. “After that, it’s less clear to me, and that’s why I think it warrants conversation.”
Supporters and opponents of public access note several complicating factors, including the question of whether parents could be prevented from publicizing the evaluations of their children’s teachers, in a newspaper or on a blog for instance.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog