Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Mayor Stands By Released Teacher Rankings As Charter School Data Is Published

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TWC News: Mayor Stands By Released Teacher Rankings As Charter School Data Is Published
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg again defended the release of teacher data reports Tuesday as the Department of Education released the same information for charter schools and District 75.

Charter school teachers make up a majority of the 334 reports.


Their participation was optional but District 75, which serves children with special needs, had to take part for two of the three school years represented.

A DOE spokesperson says the reports for the charter and District 75 schools are not comparable to those for city schools.

The New York City Charter School Center says publishing this data serves little purpose for the schools and teachers who are constantly held accountable.

School officials also added special-needs students have different requirements and exams from most public schools.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew argues the data are essentially meaningless, with an average margin of error for English teachers of 53 percentage points.

“What I think parents actually have a right to is good information,” said Mulgrew.

Bloomberg blasted those who opposed the release, saying the information belongs to the parents so they can make decisions about which schools are best for their children.

Without mentioning names, the mayor took aim at the teachers' union.

"The arrogance of some people to say that the parents don't have the ability to look at numbers and to put them in context and to make decisions is just astounding to me," Bloomberg said. "To say that the parents shouldn’t get whatever information is available is just an outrage."

As to the idea the public has a right to information, the teachers union said that’s a position the Bloomberg administration only takes when it is convenient.

“Maybe the mayor will start telling the public where he is at all times, if everybody has a right to all the information,” said Mulgrew. “If he believes the public has a right to information at all times, then order every one of his agencies to respond to every FOIL request. Because what his agencies do is, they take years and clog them up in court.”

As to the idea of state legislation blocking any future release of teacher data, Bloomberg said he is opposed to any law restricting parents’ right to know.

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