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Cuomo OKs law to limit access to NY teacher evaluations

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. (Jan. 19, 2012)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. (Jan. 19, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a new law Monday that will limit public access to teachers’ evaluations to parents only.

Cuomo, a Democrat, had championed the proposal and had lobbied the Legislature to approve it.

“This law strikes the right balance between a teacher's right to privacy and the parents’ and public’s right to know,” Cuomo said in a statement. “New York's children deserve a top-quality education, and the state's new teacher evaluation system will ensure that teachers and principals are held responsible for student performance.”

When the state Legislature approved the bill last week, teachers’ unions called it a “tremendous victory.”

Earlier this year, a state judge, in a case involving New York City teachers, ruled that evaluations should be publicly available. Lawmakers who supported limiting access said they wanted to protect teacher privacy and avoid “media exploitation.”

School districts across New York are still hashing out details of what will go into teacher assessments. Cuomo has said it’s unlikely that any evaluations would be completed under the new system until 2014.

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