Updated 02/27/2012 05:15 PM
City Teachers Return To Work Following Data Release
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City public school teachers headed back to the classroom for the first time Monday since the controversial release of educator report cards.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew stopped by PS 321 in Brooklyn this morning to show his support for teachers, saying the school is an example of why people shouldn't take the evaluations too seriously.
Despite its good reputation, PS 321 still got mixed evaluation results.
"The teacher data reports are completely unreliable. And that's one of the reasons we're out here today to show people that it's the schools that count, it's what the parents think and the principals think that counts. And they do not believe that these reports do anything to serve the teachers and their children well," Mulgrew said.
"I don't think it should affect the reputation of our school at all. I mean our teachers here are absolutely amazing," said PS 321 teacher Beth Leliaert.
"It's another way to be humiliated by the city. And it doesn't support what I'm doing as a teacher," said PS 321 teacher Ronda Matthews.
On Friday, the city Department of Education released the names and ratings of 18,000 fourth through eighth grade English and math teachers over the objections of the United Federation of Teachers.
A judge ordered the material to be released after several news organizations, including NY1 requested it under the Freedom of Information Law.
The DOE sent a guide to school principals with instructions for handling the release.
It gives tips on handling teachers that are upset over the grades and parents who want to change their child's teacher as a result of the ratings.
PS 321 principal Elizabeth Phillips says she agrees with the union's stance that the grades are not a true measure of a teacher's performance. She says her school is visited by teachers and administrators from all over the world.
"When they go into the classroom they are blown away by what they see the quality of teaching," said Phillips.
"I'm happy, totally happy. It's the reason we live in this neighborhood," said PS 321 parent Richard Fett.
NY1 published an unedited version of the DOE data.
The massive Excel files include individual scores from 2007 to 2010, and each is based on almost 100 different sets of numbers.