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New Law: Teacher Evaluations For Parents' Eyes Only

New law will ensure that parents and the public have access to information about teachers, principals and schools.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation Monday that will require the public disclosure of teacher evaluation data.

According to a release from Cuomo, the new law will ensure that parents and the public have access to information about how the teachers, principals and schools charged with educating New York's children are performing, while also respecting educators' privacy.

"School districts across New York are still hashing out details of what will go into teacher assessments," Newsday [subscription required] reports. "Cuomo has said it's unlikely that any evaluations would be completed under the new system until 2014."

"This law strikes the right balance between a teacher's right to privacy and the parents' and public's right to know," Cuomo said in a statement. "New York's children deserve a top-quality education, and the state's new teacher evaluation system will ensure that teachers and principals are held responsible for student performance.”

The new law signed Monday by the Gov. Cuomo ensures that parents and the general public can assess how schools across New York are performing. The law requires school districts and BOCES to fully disclose their evaluation results to the public and require requires the State Education Department to post and make widely available important data that will allow the public to analyze and compare how schools are performing.

School districts and BOCES will also be required to notify and fully disclose to parents and legal guardians the final specific ratings and composite evaluation scores of the teachers and principals to which their student is assigned

Ellie June 28, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Do public servants have the same rights to privacy as those in the private sector?
Chris Wendt June 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Yes but the "rights" to privacy that are spelled-out in the Constitution include the right to due process, protection against self-incrimination (the right to remain silent), freedom from warrant-less searches, freedom from arrest in your home at night without a warrant, and, not having military troops quartered in your home...oh, and voting by secret ballot. There is no "right" to have your job evaluation kept confidential. But that goes for everyone, regardless. The threat of libel torts keep most job evaluations confidential. Not that job evaluations are libelous, but any employee could claim their evaluation libeled them and then file a lawsuit. An expensive-to-defend lawsuit. Libel requires the publication of an untrue statement that defames a person, causing injury or harm to their reputation or standing or finances. Printing or posting teacher evaluations will constitute "publishing" them. Was that BAD review true, the one that cost me my raise...my promotion...my job...my NEXT job...my reputation as teacher...TRUE? Let's go to court and find out!
Lorraine DeVita June 28, 2012 at 01:29 PM
This was a panace! If all the other neighborhhods in the state of NY are anything like seaford which i am sure they are- you honestly dont think the teachers rating will spread like wilidfire? While teachers are public employees I truly feel this is a total invasion of their privacy- this information should ONLY be used as a tool to correct coach mentor and if called for dismissed. Can you imagine the rush to "change little suzies teacher when the assingments come out and a parent finds out the teacher assigned isnt the best .. CHAOS and HAVOC will rein over all districts in NY. APPR in its infancy is supposed to be used to evaulate and pinpoint deficiencies ,hopefully to insure that the individual teacher is given the proper support and correction to go forward, it is also supposed to be used to fast track the dismissal of teachers who shouldnt BE teaching ... IT shouldnt be embarrasing the individual because that serves NO purpose. While good and great teachers will probably benefit from the accolaids parents will bestow . The teacher who is struggling but has the ability& potential to BE a good teacher with coaching,mentoring and guidance will be disheartened and embarrassed. That is NOT the purpose of ANY performance evaluation for ANY employee public or private.The ones with a totaly LOUSY evaluation will more then likely sue with the support of the union.
Lorraine DeVita June 28, 2012 at 01:45 PM
If a teacher could answer this question i would appreciate it: when you graduate and receive your teaching certification on the elementary level are the designations as certified to teach 1-3 grades etc. Are these certifcations Grade specific on the lower levels? The reason i ask is this: I am looking at this purely from a managment perspective: If Admin finds a teacher is NOT effective in grade 5 and would be better suited and more effective being assigned to lower grade level or visa versa can they reassign personnel without the invasion of the union BS and/or does the certification specify a particular Grade level of competency? What roles do Certification, the Union and Administration play in placement & Assignment of the teacher?
SSteacher June 28, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Despite what non-teachers think about the teachers union, most of us do not follow or care what stand they take. They are politicians just like those in power. That is how NYSUT is largely seen. Most teachers are completely against APPR because we know the money will be taken from programs to implement testing that proves nothing.

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