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NEA urges New York City not to evaluate teachers in the public square

WASHINGTON - October 22, 2010 -

The New York City Department of Education has temporarily halted plans to release Teacher Data Reports that reflect preliminary, confidential, evaluation ratings for thousands of New York City teachers pending a hearing before the New York State Supreme Court on the legality of releasing the data.

The proposed release of this data, driven by requests from several news organizations, follows a series of Los Angeles Times articles in August that analyzed 6,000 elementary school teachers' effectiveness in raising students' math and English scores. The Los Angeles Times articles were the first time such data had been made public.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“It is unconscionable to evaluate teachers in the public square. Releasing confidential data to media outlets is irresponsible, unethical and an unwarranted invasion of our members’ privacy.

“It is even more problematic in this circumstance because the value-added methodology being used here has been shown to be an inaccurate, unreliable, statistically invalid measure on which to base important decisions.

“We urge the department to work with the United Federation of Teachers to reach a resolution that protects the privacy rights of the teachers.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Brenda Alvarez  (202) 822-7823;