May 30 2013
Privacy for Me but Not for Thee
Vicki E. Alger
The U.S. Department of Education pushed amendments to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in 2011 making it a lot easier for third parties to get a slew of personal information about schoolchildren and their families. But what if parents want to know how well their children’s teachers perform?
According to Education Week, nearly half the states in the country (23) restrict parents’ access to teacher evaluations—and just this year five states tightened access. The states that allow parents the most access include:
Florida (requires parental notification about teachers with poor evaluations)
Michigan (in 2015-16 parents will be notified of teachers with two poor ratings)
New York (evaluation results only released to parents)
There are any number of online and publicly available resources with evaluation results for doctors, dentists, lawyers, experts in the trades—even politicians. Why should teachers be any different?