New York state lawmakers set to block teacher ratings' release - New York News

New York state lawmakers set to block teacher ratings' release

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -

The New York state Legislature is likely to pass a last ditch bill that would prevent the release of teacher evaluations, while letting parents see the ratings only of their kids' instructors.

The measure, introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo just before midnight (local time) Monday, could pass before lawmakers head home for the year, sources said Tuesday.

The Democratic-controlled Assembly said it will pass it Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said his conference is reviewing the measure.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who favors full disclosure of teacher evaluations and has blasted any limitations, declined to comment.

The Cuomo legislation requires that schools "fully disclose and release" a teacher's rating to parents of students in his or her class. Parents are entitled to receive a written or verbal summary that deems whether the classroom teacher is considered highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective.

The proposal also calls for publishing teachers' ratings to the public by school, grade and subjects -- but without the names attached.

In February, the New York Post published the ratings of thousands of teachers after winning a legal battle against the teachers union, which unsuccessfully sought to block the release.

Cuomo is siding with the unions and taking away that right.

The powerful city and state teachers unions voiced "strong support" for the measure, saying broad public disclosure of teachers' names could "destroy employee morale, disrupt the operation of public schools and distract from the real work of our public schools."

The head of the New York City Parents Union also praised the bill.

"It doesn't put any legal requirements on parents, like FOILs [Freedom of Information Law requests] and silly confidentiality agreements," Mona Davids said. "It gives us full access to information by phone or in person or email."

Cuomo confirmed Tuesday that his bill was a take-it-or-leave-it offer.

"It is not an issue that I am prepared to compromise on at this time because we do not need to compromise on the bill at this time," Cuomo said, noting most evaluations "won't even be done for a year or two."

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