Court Says Teacher Rankings Should Be Public

An appeals court ruled Thursday that rankings of New York City public-school teachers should be released to the public.

In a unanimous decision, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Manhattan said the rankings should be disclosed because they “concern information of a type that is of compelling interest to the public, namely, the proficiency of public employees in the performance of their job duties.”

The rankings, which judge teachers based on how well their students perform on state standardized tests, are already in the hands of roughly 12,000 teachers in the fourth through eighth grades. But the teachers’ union sued to prevent their public release, arguing that they are deeply flawed subjective measurements that were intended to be confidential.

The union, the United Federation of Teachers, is in the process of appealing the ruling, the union’s president, Michael Mulgrew, said in a statement. But because the ruling was unanimous, the union does not have an automatic right to appeal. A higher court has to grant the union the right.

“Parents and teachers need credible, accurate assessments rather than guesswork,” Mr. Mulgrew said in the statement.

The New York Times is part of a group of news media organizations that have requested the release of the information. Lawyers for the group have argued alongside city lawyers in support of their release.

Given the potential of an appeal, it is not immediately clear when the rankings, which are known as Teacher Data Reports, could actually be released.

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