States Tighten Disclosure of Teacher Evaluations
In the wake of several news media projects disclosing how teachers fared under student achievement measures, Education Week produced a story and chart early last year outlining each state’s laws regarding access to teacher evaluation ratings.
At least five states subsequently altered their education codes or open-records laws in 2012.
• March: A new law in UTAH strengthens existing prohibitions on the release of personnel evaluations.
• April: TENNESSEE, previously a state in which evaluation results were open, passes legislation closing evaluations off from public disclosure.
• June: NEW YORK, legislators craft a law narrowing eligibility for accessing these records. The measure specifies that, on request, parents can view the final effectiveness rating for each teacher in the building to which their child is assigned.
• June: Though case law in MASSACHUSETTS, already tilted in this direction, a new law explicitly puts teacher evaluations under the definition of “personnel information” exempt from disclosure under open-records laws.
• August: NEW JERSEY,’s new teacher-evaluation measure specifically states that teachers’ evaluation results are confidential and not subject to public disclosure.
Vol. 32, Issue 32, Page 15