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Unions question proposed restrictions to D.C. teacher evaluations –

dcogcadmin | June 19, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Teachers unions are questioning the transparency and due process of a measure to permanently exempt teacher evaluations from public records requests.

The unions are asking the D.C. Council to hold public hearings before a June 30 vote on the Budget Support Act. The act includes a provision to exempt teacher evaluations, observations, ratings and data collection from D.C. Freedom of Information Act requests.

Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers Union, said passing the legislation is “sending a red flag to the D.C. community that they’re hiding information.”

The union has fought for data from teacher performance reports for the past year and most recently sued the city in the D.C. Superior Court after the school district refused to file a public records request, even with personal identifying information redacted.

Davis said the union wants to use the data to determine whether the teacher performance reports, called IMPACT, are effective.

“We need so much information to determine if this process is the process that should be used to determine teacher performance, especially if we are talking about equity issues and giving students access to highly effective teachers,” she said.

The D.C. Public Schools system has a high turnover rate for teachers, [Read More]