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Judge Rules That Teacher Ratings Be Made Public

By DNAinfo Staff on January 10, 2011 5:51pm

The UFT said it will appeal a court decision to release teacher ratings for city teachers.
The UFT said it will appeal a court decision to release teacher ratings for city teachers.
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Chris Hondros/Getty Images

By Jennifer Glickel

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A judge ruled on Monday that the city's Department of Education can release performance rankings for 12,000 public school teachers along with their names, the Associated Press reported.

The ruling was a setback for the United Federation of Teachers, who went to court in October to try to block the DOE from making the internal rating reports for teachers public. They argued that the ratings system

"The reports, which are largely based on discredited state tests, have huge margins of error and are filled with inaccuracies, will only serve to mislead parents looking for real information," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew in a statement.

But finding that "there is no requirement that data be reliable for it to be disclosed," Manhattan Supreme Court judge Cynthia Kern ruled that the information be released publicly.

The union has reportedly said that the DOE assured them the ratings would be kept confidential, but the judge said that the Department did not have the right to make that agreement.

The UFT said they plan to appeal the decision.

The NYC Law Department, speaking on behalf of the DOE, said that the ratings will not be made public while the appellate court decides the UFT's stay application.

"The Court has affirmed the City’s belief that the public has a right to this information under New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)," Jesse Levine, senior counsel for the City, said in a statement.

"Since the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) has advised us that it intends to appeal and seek a stay of Justice Kern's order, we will not oppose the application, and will await the Appellate Division's determination."