It shouldn’t be this hard to do right by the city’s public school children.
An arbitrator recently ruled that the Bloomberg administration could not go forward with plans to close—and then reopen—24 failing schools throughout the city. Why not? It would be wonderful to report that the arbitrator found that the city hadn’t gone far enough on behalf of students. But, alas, that’s not the case. Instead, the arbitrator contended that the plan violated labor contracts.
So it’s all about the teachers—and the teachers’ union.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature chose discretion over valor in the battle over access to teacher evaluations in New York. Sometimes discretion is a good thing. But not in this case.
Mayor Bloomberg and others believed in full and unfettered access to teacher performance evaluations. They made the case that transparency would only help the effort to encourage good teachers and weed out the bad ones.
Unfortunately, the governor and legislators decided to limit access to the data to parents, who will be able to review evaluations of their childrens’ current teachers. While that’s better than nothing—and bear in mind that the unions fought the whole idea of performance evaluations to the bitter end—it’s a far cry from the sort of transparency that Mr. Bloomberg and his allies sought.