NYC Teachers Union Block Teachers Grades

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News Update: New York’s United Federation of Teachers has successfully blocked the planned release of teacher performance data for New York City’s 12,000 public school teachers.  The data is intended to show the “value-added” factor for individual teachers and measures whether students’ performance improves year-over-year while assigned to that teacher.

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both filed requests for the information to be released under public disclosure laws. Natalie Ravitz, a spokeswoman for the city’s education department, said “while we respect UFT’s right to sue, we believe that the public has a right to this information under the law.” As threatened on Wednesday, the union has since asked the New York Supreme Court to block the release of all teacher performance information and the city has agreed to not release it until the case can be heard.  The union claims that the data is flawed and unfair.

According to Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust in Washington D.C., a nonpartisan research and advocacy group, “it would be one thing if teacher differences were minor — they’re not. They are huge. It would be irresponsible to teachers and, more important, irresponsible to kids, if we didn’t generate these data and use them for improvement.”

The Obama administration is also pushing to use standardized testing to evaluate teachers, although the effort is being fought by teachers’ unions throughout the U.S.

Bloomberg

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