10:30 am Jun. 15, 2012
This morning the New York Post reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo and union leaders were finishing up legislation that would allow parents to see teacher evaluations in meetings with school principals, but would not entail releasing those evaluations to the wider public.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a loud proponent of grading teachers and making those grades public, called the proposal "an outrage."
"If a parent has to go to the principal's office to see an evaluation, it is designed deliberately to keep the average parent that we have in this city from ever seeing an evaluation," said Bloomberg, during his regular Friday morning appearance on the John Gambling Show. "This is an outrage ... The families in our city, either both parents work, or a lot of families, only one parent, and they work. And they just can't do that."
The governor recently questioned why teacher evaluations should be widely available, while police and fire department evaluations are not. The mayor said that comparison is beside the point.
"One of the arguments is, look, the police and fire don't have public evaluations," said Bloomberg. "But that's not a comparison. That's apples to oranges. You can't pick your firehouse. You can't pick your police precinct. You can move your kid from one school to another. And you can ask for a transfer within a school, whereas you can't transfer within a precinct or within a firehouse."
"But to have an evaluation system where nobody can really in a practical sense get the data is just not giving you an evaluation system," added Bloomberg. "And it's ridiculous."
Gambling asked if that might not pose a problem—won't parents flock to top-rated teachers, much as diners flock to A-rated restaurants?
"Isn't that wonderful?" said Bloomberg. "Why would you, as a parent, not want to have the best teacher? So the teachers have to do exactly what the restaurants have to do. The restaurants have to make their facilities cleaner to get the 'A.' That's the whole idea. It'd be wonderful if everybody got an 'A', as long as it's not faked, as long as it's deserved. It'd be wonderful if every teacher we had was top rated. Now, the real world is, not every restaurant's gonna be an 'A,' and not every teacher's gonna be perfect."
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