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Court Rules City Must Release Teacher Ratings

Thursday, August 25, 2011

education, classroom, school, school supplies, class, teachers, students (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

New York City must release public school teachers’ ratings, along with their names, according to a decision issued by a state appellate court Thursday.

The ratings, which are given to about 12,000 teachers annually, are controversial because of a disagreement over whether they accurately reflect teaching ability. The union sued to prevent the city from giving the ratings to media outlets and said making the ratings public violates teacher privacy.

But, the court ruled that teachers’ names did not fall within six exemptions that protect personal privacy under the law.

The city teacher's union, the United Federation of Teachers, says the ratings are, quote, "worse than useless" and that they will appeal the decision.

This is the union's second loss in court and it could potentially go the state's highest court.

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