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Hudson Valley News, WAMC News
Mon April 23, 2012
Legislators Eye Teacher Evaluations
New York State’s controversial new system for evaluating teachers and principals was enacted into law in 2010 to help the state win $700 million in federal Race to the Top funds. The system grades teachers, in part on how their students progress on state tests. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports the issue has turned red hot:
There are three bills that would make the so-called "teacher report cards" confidential... Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, State Senator Greg Ball and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee have each introduced legislation that would restrict access to teacher's grades.
Assemblywoman Galef believes teachers' grades should be part of personal confidential work records, and releasing them would be of no benefit to the education system.
Back in February, New York City schools released 18-thousand teacher ratings --- some turned out to be incorrect.
New York State United Teachers President Dick Ianuzzi explains that the Union is going to demand that the legislation passed puts an end to what he calls "the tabloid shaming of teachers":
Ball's and Galeff’s bills would amend state education law to protect teachers’ evaluations. Ball expects amendments to his bill would allow limited parental access. Assemblyman Tom Abinanti is co-sponsoring Galef’s bill.
Jaffee’s bill would amend civil rights law. It would allow parents or legal guardians to file a Freedom of Information request to meet with their principal and see the ratings of their child’s current teacher.
Rich Azzopardi is the Communications Director for the Independent Democratic Conference - he believes both sides of the argument have merit. School districts are gearing up to grade teachers in June on a new 100-point scale.