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City's data release could be first time some teachers see scores

If the city releases individual teachers’ effectiveness ratings this week, some teachers could see their own scores for the first time in the media.

Nearly 45 percent of the teachers who received teacher data reports this year have not yet downloaded them, a Department of Education spokesman said today. But some teachers told GothamSchools today that there has been confusion about how they could access their reports.

The city originally told teachers that the reports would be kept confidential between themselves and their principals. But city officials said today they planned to publicly release teachers’ ratings in response to Freedom of Information Law requests from several news outlets. The city teachers union is suing to try to stop the release.

Teachers can see their ratings either by downloading their report online or by getting a copy from their principals. The city e-mailed teachers log-in information to download their reports, but several teachers reported that they never received that information.

One literacy teacher, for example, said that her school never distributed information about the reports, and she learned she could access the report online only after reading GothamSchools contributor Ruben Brosbe’s account of technical difficulties in obtaining his report. Since then, she said, she’s requested a password but has not received it.

A week before the city released this year’s reports to teachers in February, department officials shared them with principals and instructed them to share them with teachers. “Although teachers will be able to see their own reports this year, you are expected to have one-to-one conversations with each eligible teacher about his/her report,” said a DOE memo.

But the extent to which principals discussed the reports with their teachers is unclear. In 2009, department officials estimated that 80 percent of principals spoke with their teachers about the reports.

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