Teacher evaluations still being debated
Though districts are in various stages of implementing their grading plans, eventually, they will all have one. Teachers unions have prevailed on their allies in Albany to limit the release of the resulting information to students’ parents and block access by the general public. Cuomo has expressed support for the teachers' position, setting him on a political collision course with Bloomberg. But so far, a deal on data release has remained elusive down at the Capitol. Our Nick Reisman gets us started now with more.
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NEW YORK STATE -- With days to go before the end of the planned end to the legislative session, lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo have yet to resolve how much information on teacher evaluations can and should be disclosed. Calling in to former Governor David Paterson's radio show, Cuomo indicated no deal was coming any time soon.
“Nothing that we have left frankly that it can't take more time and frankly wouldn't be better with more time. So the question with teacher evaluations is we have time,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo has said he will not waive the required three-day aging period for proposed bills, so any deal would have to be finalized Monday night. But lawmakers and the governor remain at odds over whether parents should be able to view evaluations of teachers, the names of the teachers or whether notes can be taken.
“It's the extent of the disclosure and what that world is out there and how much disclosure is warranted, how much is not and that is a big issue and that remains to see how it is resolved,” said Assembly majority Leader Ron Canestrari.
Officials were able to come to multiple agreements over the weekend, including the creation of the Justice Center, which would overhaul how reporting and abuse cases of the developmentally disabled.
“The governor refused to vary from the original framework, but the Assembly staff and leadership did a very good job of working within that framework to deal with some of the bigger issues that had concerns about,” said Assemblyman Tom Abinanti.
Lawmakers in the Assembly had pushed for independent oversight and reporting of the Justice Center. Meanwhile, another provision to the bill would allow the new agency to track incidents of residents at youth facilities attack their guards.
“It's a difficult thing dealing with people with disabilities, dealing with people in mental illness. It's what we're trying to deal with, everybody's rights,” said State Senator Roy McDonald.
There's also word that lawmakers could return after Thanksgiving to vote themselves a pay raise and even raise the minimum wage, a story legislative leadership denies.
Canestrari said, “I have not heard that at all from anyone here remotely. Not at all.”
Lawmakers are expected to approve a measure aimed at stopping online bullying and close a loophole when it comes to viewing child pornography online.
The last day of session is Thursday.