Friday, March 30, 2012

Access to Teacher Evaluations Divides Advocates

This from Education Week:
As the movement to overhaul teacher evaluation marches onward, an emerging question is splitting the swath of advocates who support the new tools used to gauge teacher performance: Who should get access to the resulting information?

As evidenced in recently published opinion pieces, the contours of the debate are rapidly being drawn. Some proponents of using student-achievement data as a component of teacher evaluations, including the philanthropist Bill Gates and Teach For America founder Wendy Kopp, nevertheless believe that such information should not be made widely public. Other figures, like New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, champion the broad dissemination of such data.

Regarding teacher evaluations, the policy landscape for disclosures is also in flux. An Education Week review shows that access to teachers' evaluation results is permissible under open-records laws in at least 18 states plus the District of Columbia, though they are often unclear as to specifics. And only Florida and Michigan have established policies requiring that parents be notified if their child's teacher repeatedly performs poorly on his or her evaluations...

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