The United Federation of Teachers in New York City is threatening to sue the city’s Department of Education over the planned release of information relating to the effectiveness of the city’s 12,000 teachers. The data claims to show the progress that students in the fourth through eighth grades make in English and math over the previous year. While the union claims that the value-added scores of teachers is not reliable, proponents argue that parents have the right to know if teachers are adequately performing their jobs.
The teachers union also claims it had an understanding in place with the DOE in 2008 that in the event that there was a public-records request for the data, the city would work with the union to “to craft the best legal arguments available to the effect that such documents fall within an exemption from disclosure.”
The position the New York City teachers union mirrors the subject of controversy in several large school districts nationwide, including Los Angeles, where the teachers union threatened to wage a boycott against the Los Angeles Times for planning to publish teacher performance data in that city’s failing public school system.