ALBANY, N.Y., June 21, 2012 - New York State United Teachers President Richard C. Iannuzzi said today that the privacy bill passed by both houses of the state Legislature accomplishes two important goals: It stops the shameless media exploitation and distortion of evaluation information, and it appropriately keeps teacher personnel records confidential. The governor's bill also permits parents – and parents only – to request limited composite information concerning their child's current teacher(s).
"The governor and Legislature did the right thing by stopping the media from distorting and disseminating evaluation results," Iannuzzi said. "This bill accomplishes that goal and preserves the purpose of evaluations, which is to provide opportunity for continued growth and improvement."
Passage by the Senate and Assembly - and the governor's expected signature - marks an advance for teachers and parents, and reinforces that a quality evaluation system must be dedicated to promoting student learning," Iannuzzi said.
Iannuzzi thanked the governor for initiating the legislation and the Legislature for acting to pass it, noting the bill "reinforces the bedrock principle that accountability does not equate with public servants being shamed and humiliated in the press."
Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta added: "This is an important win for NYSUT members, and credit goes to our dedicated leaders, activists, legislative staff and the whole NYSUT team, who tirelessly and successfully conveyed to lawmakers the reasons why teacher accountability is not the same as media sensationalism."
Iannuzzi said the bill acknowledges the important partnership between parents and teachers in helping children to learn, "We believe this legislation, if applied correctly, will be fair to teachers, parents and students. It has potential to serve as one more piece of information in a comprehensive process where parents and educators, working together, can ensure that all students have a quality education."
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents some 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.