Union and state reach agreement on teacher data
By Sarina Trangle
State lawmakers capped off the legislative session on June 21 by passing a bill requiring school districts to publicly release teacher evaluations with instructors’ names omitted.
Under the bill proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, parents will be permitted to view the names of educators who currently instruct their children. Principal and Teacher Data Reports will be publicly disclosed online, although the educators’ names will not be included. New York City and other districts that haven’t negotiated an evaluation system with their teachers unions are prohibited from releasing the reports until a new formula is finalized.
If the bill had not been passed, the Department of Education would release full data reports, including names and ratings of fourth through eighth-grade math and English teachers, as it had with respect to 18,000 teachers in February 2012. That came after a court ruled that media outlets were entitled to the evaluations under the Freedom of Information Law and the Department of Education encouraged news outlets to seek the reports.
They were released with the caveat that math teacher ratings had margin of errors as high as 35 points and English teacher ratings had margin of errors of up to 53 points.
Charles Moerdler, a Community Board 8 member who represented the teachers union last February, described the released reports as “inaccurate, incomplete, and distortive.”
At the time, UFT President Michael Mulgrew called the release “inappropriate” because “they are not an accurate reflection of the work of any teacher” but he said the recent decision “strikes an appropriate balance” between parents’ right to know and vilifying teachers.
The Press reported in February that Irving Baldeon, former Parent’s Association president at AmPark said the only teacher listed in the school’s published report was not working at AmPark during the time period for which the data were published.
KeywordsSarina Trangle, schools, school desk, Andew Cuomo, principal and teacher data reports, Charles Moerdler,