Updated 06/19/2012 08:43 PM
State Assembly To Vote On Teacher Evaluations Bill, Senate Future Uncertain
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a last-minute push for his bill about the disclosure of public-school teacher evaluations a day after he said a deal was unlikely to emerge before the end of the legislative session this week. NY1’s Zack Fink filed the following report.
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Negotiations among the teachers union, legislators and the governor's office failed to produce an agreement on the issue of what portion of teacher evaluations should be made public.
When talks broke down on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent his bill to the assembly shortly before midnight, essentially telling the legislature to "take it or leave it."
"That’s the bill," Cuomo said. Bill's not going to change, not going to be a substitute bill. They act on it or they don't. But there's not going to be changes and discussions at this time."
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the governor's bill will pass his chamber as is.
"The governor has sent a bill and we plan on passing that bill before we go home," he said.
A spokesperson for Silver says a vote on the bill will take place Thursday.
The legislation would allow parents to see the evaluation of their child's teacher. The rest of the evaluations would be made public but without teachers' names attached to them. That way, parents can assess how individual schools are performing.
Some members of the assembly who were looking for the governor to compromise now seem willing to accept his terms.
"I don't know, agreement, what that word really means," said Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan. "I think the governor has put something forward here that has a good potential to pass this session.”
The bill’s fate in the State Senate is less certain, as the State Senate has not said if it will vote before lawmakers go back to their districts for the summer.
"We are going to look at the bill in a very objective way as a conference and make a decision as to what we think is right, not necessarily what people have written opinions on," said State Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pushed for full public disclosure.
"I understand his argument. I understand his point. It's a legitimate point of view. I just happen to disagree with his point of view,” Cuomo said.
Back in February, the evaluations of 18,000 teachers were made public, after several news outlets requested them, including NY1.
"Teachers do have a right to privacy. And I don't believe it outweighs the parent's right to know but I believe the teachers have a right to privacy if it is unnecessary in the first place," Cuomo said.