Measure Balances Parents’ Right to Know, Teachers’ Right to Privacy
(Albany, NY) Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) announced the Assembly passed a bill he supported which would require the results of the Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPRs) of teachers and principals to be disclosed to parents (A.10786). This measure is expected to become law.
“Teacher evaluations are a tool to improve teaching and learning and to help make sure our kids get the best education possible,” Assemblyman Miller said. “Parents have a right to the record of their child’s teacher and school evaluations, but teachers also have the right to privacy. This bill strikes a balance, ensuring that parents get all the information they need, while at the same time ensuring that the names of teachers are not made public.”
Specifically, the Assembly’s bill would:
- Require school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to fully disclose and release to the public the final quality ratings of the APPRs of its teachers and principals;
- Require the State Education Department (SED) to fully disclose APPR data on its website and by other means to make the data widely available to the public and suitable for research and analysis;
- Require school districts and BOCES to fully disclose and release to the parents or guardians the final rating for each of the teachers and for the principal of the school building to which the student is assigned for the current school year;
- Require SED and each school district and BOCES to ensure that any public release of APPR data does not contain personally identifying information for any teacher or principal; and
- Ensure that SED can collect the data and materials it needs to meet its Race to the Top obligations and carry out its other functions and duties.
“It’s important that these evaluations are transparent so that we can provide the best education possible to our children, but it would be inappropriate to make teachers’ names and ratings public,” Assemblyman Miller said. “It’s not done with any other public-service job, and it shouldn’t be done with our teachers.”
The Assembly’s bill takes into consideration the newness of the teacher-evaluation process and remains sensitive to the needs of students, parents and teachers alike, Assemblyman Miller noted.