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Judge Blocks DOE from Releasing Teachers' Names With Evaluation Data

By DNAinfo Staff on October 21, 2010 6:27pm  | Updated on October 22, 2010 7:11am

UFT president Michael Mulgrew said the city's data would be
UFT president Michael Mulgrew said the city's data would be "misleading" to parents at a press conference on Thursday.
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DNAinfo/Shayna Jacobs

By Shayna Jacobs

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The city cannot release the names of thousands of city teachers whose performances were rated in a Department of Education assessment until the matter is argued in court next month, a Manhattan judge ordered Thursday.

The ruling came after an emergency lawsuit was filed by the teachers union in an attempt to block the DOE from releasing "Teacher Data Reports" evaluating individual teacher performance.

The DOE apparently planned to provide the New York Post and other publications with the full reports on Thursday, but the city instead consented to delaying the release of the records after a private conference between city and UFT lawyers with Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Cynthia Kern on Thursday afternoon.

Arguments in the case were set for Nov. 24, after which the judge may make a final ruling on the release of the teachers' names.

The city may still release a version of the reports — with names redacted — as soon as Friday, a lawyer for the city said after the closed-door conference.

"[Friday] we'll know whether something will be released immediately or whether there will be further discussion," said Jesse Levine an attorney for the city.

The UFT adamantly opposes the release of the names, claiming the data has proven to be "misleading" and "unreliable."

The petition filed Thursday seeks to "prevent [the city] from improperly violating the personal privacy" of teachers and "likely irreparably damaging" their reputations, the suit says.

"When you are saying that this is a judgment of [teachers] you have to say what is reliable and what is not," UFT President Michael Mulgrew told reporters at a press conference Thursday.