New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spoken out about the new teacher evaluation laws proposed by Governor Cuomo, saying that parents have a right to know their results.
In response to the proposal by New York State Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch to change state law to prevent the public release of teacher evaluations in the future, Mayor Bloomberg said, “I would be opposed to any law that tried to restrict parents’ right to know,” writes Dana Rubinstein at Capital New York.
Bloomberg spoke about the release of teacher-evaluation data , saying that they served a public purpose:
“The arrogance of some people to say that the parents don’t have the ability to look at numbers and put them in context and to make decisions is just astounding to me. Parents have a right to know every bit of information that we can possibly collect about the teacher that’s in front of their kids. This is about our kids’ lives. This is not about anything else.
“And no evaluation system is ever gonna be perfect. Every elected official stands up and says ‘we want an evaluation system.’ Well, this is one that was created. It’s very thoughtful.”
This comes after the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) lost their appeal to prevent New York City from releasing performance reports for thousands of teachers.
“I’m not so sure that that’s bad … This is not like police and fire. You think about it. Police and fire, we assign a cop or a firefighter to a station, to a post, to a firehouse, to a piece of equipment. And all of the firefighers and all of the cops are changed. Not only are they interchangable, we deliberately move them around, because that helps their careers and they learn more things and they’re better able to perform their jobs …
“Education is different. A teacher is in front of that child for the whole year … You get evaluated every day. They look at what you write and they look at whether people read it … I get evaluated every day. God knows you guys all write and talk about the job the mayor is doing every single day.”
He summarized that the data belongs to the public:
“There’s nothing wrong with an evaluation system. And the arrogance that says, ‘Oh, they’ll never understand the numbers.’ That may very well be. I hope not. But nevertheless, this data belongs to the public, and it certainly belongs to the parents of the kids who have been given to us to change their lives and give them an opportunity that, if they don’t get it now, they’re never gonna have for the rest of their lives.”