Bill Blocking Release of Teacher Evaluations Appears Dead

By Jill Colvin on June 20, 2012 1:06pm 

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott briefed reporters on the data Friday.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott briefed reporters on the data Friday.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

NEW YORK CITY — Legislation that would block the release of teacher evaluation results to the public appears dead on arrival one day before Albany lawmakers begin to head home for the summer.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a deal late Monday that would allow parents to review their children’s teachers’ evaluations scores, but would block their release to the general public and the press.

While Assembly Democrats are on board with the plan, it now rests with Senate Republicans. And there appears to be little optimism they'll push it through before the end of the session Thursday.

“I don’t know what the senate is going to do, so we’ll see on that,” Cuomo said during a radio interview Wednesday.

Cuomo seemed in little rush to push the bill with the clock ticking.

“If you want to pass it, pass it. If you want to talk more, I’ll see you next year,” he told Republicans, who have also blocked his plan to decriminalize small amounts of pot, during the broadcast.

Under Cuomo's plan, the public would still be able to review school and grade-level data, but all information linking scores to individual teachers and principals would be scrubbed out.

Earlier this year, the city’s teachers’ union cried foul after DNAinfo.com New York and other news outlets published evaluation data on thousands of middle school teachers, complete with names, obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request.

Advocates have argued Cuomo’s plan strikes the right balance, by protecting teachers’ privacy, while still providing information to parents. But critics, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have slammed the idea as too onerous for parents.

“This is just an outrage. This is just a total cave to the unions,” he said last week when asked about the plan, arguing that the public has a right to know how public teachers perform.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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Mario Tama/Getty Images

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