Friday, December 19, 2014

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Appellate Court Rules In Favor Of Releasing Teacher Report Cards

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TWC News: Appellate Court Rules In Favor Of Releasing Teacher Report Cards
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Despite objections from the teachers union, an appellate court panel has ruled that the city should release the results of teacher report cards.

A lower court also ruled that the city can release the performance ratings for 12,000 teachers along with their names.

In Thursday's decision, the judges wrote, "Indeed, the reports concern information of a type that is of compelling interest to the public, namely, the proficiency of public employees in the performance of their job duties."

Union officials are vowing to appeal the latest ruling, saying the grades should not be publicized, in part, because the methodology is flawed.

The grades, which apply to fourth through eighth grade English and math teachers, are based on a combination of students' improvement on standardized test scores as well as their race, gender and other factors.

Last fall, NY1 and several newspapers requested the teacher scores and names through the Freedom of Information Law.

In a statement, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said, "We are in the process of appealing Thursday’s decision. Experts agree that an ‘accountability’ measure with a 58-point swing – like the DOE’s teacher data system – is worse than useless. Parents and teachers need credible, accurate assessments rather than guesswork.”

The union is asking the courts for another chance to appeal, and the Department of Education says it will not release the data until that decision is made.

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