Updated 02/14/2012 10:36 PM
Thousands Of Teachers' Performance Scores To Be Released
The evaluations and identities of more than 12,000 city teachers are set to be released after a judge ruled Tuesday that the city can make them public following a Freedom of Information Law request by news organizations, including NY1. NY1’s Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
It seems that soon parents and anybody else will be able to look up thousands of city teachers by name and see their individual performance score, a simple number from zero to 100 that is supposed to reflect how well each teacher did in improving students' state test scores.
The teachers union has been fighting to stop those numbers from being released for more than a year, saying it's not that simple.
"We have invalid test scores going into an unreliable formula, which equals a bad result," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, back in October 2010.
The city started producing the reports in 2008 but not for the public to see. It was only after several news organizations, including NY1, filed Freedom of Information Law requests for them that the city said they'd be released.
Now that the state's highest court has turned down the union's final appeal, the city says it will release the scores in the coming weeks. Some experts are concerned.
“They're certainly not meant for public consumption by themselves. They're not to be taken out of context. They should be combined with other sources of information about what went on in that classroom,” said Sean Corcoran of New York University.
There are individual scores for more than 12,000 teachers—those who teach elementary and middle school English and Math. It will be up to the news organizations to decide whether to publish the names and scores.
This case has put New York at the center of a national controversy over how teachers are graded and how much information parents and the public should have access to.
“It's a huge deal for this movement to evaluate teachers using student test scores,” said Corcoran.
Teacher scores would be part of the new teacher evaluation system, but how much test score-based data like this should count is exactly what officials and the teachers union have been fighting over.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has given them until Thursday to agree, but whether the scores count for 20 or 40 percent of a teacher's final evaluation, it looks like city parents may be able to see each teacher's individual score very soon.