Education schools within the Minnesota State Colleges and University system must comply with an open-records request and allow an outside research and advocacy organization to copy them, a district court judge ruled last week.
The Washington-based National Council on Teacher Quality sued the public institutions to obtain the course syllabuses as part of its contested national review of every teacher-preparation institution in the country.
The college system had agreed to make education syllabuses available for review but not for duplication. The institutions claimed that supplying photocopies would violate faculty intellectual-property rights established under a collective bargaining agreement and also under the federal Copyright Act.
But the judge disagreed, saying that the clause in the faculty contract was irrelevant in light of state open-records statutes, and that the federal law also permits “fair use” exemptions, including reproduction.
A version of this article appeared in the November 07, 2012 edition of Education Week as Teacher Colleges Told to Release Syllabuses