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?

Fagettaboutit.

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:

Alabama

Colorado

Florida (requires parental notification about teachers with poor evaluations)

Maine

Michigan (in 2015-16 parents will be notified of teachers with two poor ratings)

Nevada

New Mexico

New York (evaluation results only released to parents)

North Carolina

North Dakota

South Carolina

Virginia

West Virginia

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?

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