- Last Updated: 12:11 AM, June 20, 2012
- Posted: June 20, 2012
Gov. Cuomo split the teacher-evaluation baby Monday night, offering up a compromise bill just before a midnight deadline to introduce new legislation before Albany absconds for the summer.
He should’ve gone on vacation instead — because his dark-of-night maneuvering sacrifices students’ best interests on the altar of union-defined “privacy.”
Here’s how you can tell:
The teachers unions support the bill.
So does Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver.
Ipso facto, it’s a bad bill.
Plus, Mayor Bloomberg is against it.
State courts this year ruled — in a suit brought by The Post — that the public has a right to see individual performance ratings for thousands of city teachers.
That gave parents a window into how their children’s teachers were performing compared to others in the school system.
And it gave taxpayers the maximum possible transparency, letting them see what they were getting for billions of tax dollars.
The unions hated that ruling — because it injected a measure of accountability into the equation.
They squawked. Cuomo listened.
His “compromise” bill lets parents see performance ratings and scores for their kids’ current teachers, but not ratings for teachers their kids could have in the future — meaning it’ll be that much harder to choose where to enroll their kids.
Yes, the bill allows for the release of data to the public — but, fatally, the names of specific teachers and principals must be redacted. So much for accountability.
Cuomo says his bill “strikes the right balance between a teacher’s right to privacy and the parents’ and public’s right to know.”
But the courts have found that the public’s right to know trumps the unions’ right to “privacy.” Just leave it at that.
Albany doesn’t need a last-minute push, because the status quo is just fine.
The best outcome now? The Legislature leaves, and the court-ordered release of teacher data continues apace this summer.
It’s not at all clear whether the bill will pass before the session ends tomorrow. Assembly Democrats expect to pass the bill, but Senate Republicans won’t say if they even intend to bring it to a vote.
The Senate has its own motives, of course. It’s not interested in transparency; it thinks the bill is too kind to parents and is probably angling to pass a looser law at a session in the fall or next year.
This bill needs to die.Follow @NYPostOpinion