All North Legislators Supported Teacher Law
All four north country legislators supported a teacher evaluation law that strictly limits how much the public can find out about teacher performance.
The law passed by lopsided margins Thursday in the state senate and assembly, after a last minute deal struck by Governor Cuomo.
The law will prevent a repeat of what happened in New York City earlier this year, when a judge authorized the release of detailed evaluations of thousands of teachers.
Instead, only parents will get teacher evaluations by name - and it's not clear how much information those evaluations will contain.
"You're not going to get any type of explanation or how it's even accumulated," said Ken Blankenbush, (R - Black River.) "You're just going to get a grade."
Despite that, Blankenbush voted for the measure as the legislative session came to a close Thursday.
"What we should have done was take a longer look at it. We didn't have to pass it right there, right then."
The law is a major concession to the state's powerful teacher unions, who argued teachers have a right to privacy.
Both state Senator Patty Ritchie, a Republican, and state Assembly member Addie J. Russell, a Democrat, agreed with the union's concern.
"At some point, I think we need to draw the line," said Ritchie. "I had an issue with the fact that teacher evaluations would be posted everywhere."
"The bill strikes a proper balance of providing information to parents, while at the same time providing a certain amount of privacy to teachers," said Russell.
The law also will not allow parents to compare their child's teacher with other teachers in the same school or grade, by name.
And parents will not be able to look ahead, to get evaluations on teachers their children will have in the next school year.
What information will be available to the general public? According to the New York Times, detailed information will be posted on the state education department's web site, but without teacher names.
The most visible opponent to the deal remains New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who told the Times "parents have a right to full disclosure."
Republican state senator Joe Griffo also voted for the law.
- reported by 7 News reporter Matt McClusky
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Watertown, NY
On Wall Street