In New York and Los Angeles, controversy has erupted over whether teacher evaluations should be made public or shared with parents. Is that a good idea? Would you push to share evaluations with parents in Chicago?
Gery Chico: Schools belong to parents, as taxpayers and as the source of our students. They are entitled to and need a significant role in their children’s education. Since children spend only 85 of their time from birth to age 19 in school and 92% at home, clearly parents have a major role as their children’s “first teachers.” My education plan involves empowering parents to become partners with their schools and to have greater influence in the decisions that affect their children. As Mayor of Chicago I will create a Parent Academy for every school. These academies will serve as networking, resource and educational centers for parents, run by parents. Part of empowering parents is giving them the information they need to make important decisions about their children and their education.
Miguel del Valle: Teacher evaluations should be between the teacher, the principal of each school, and the human resources personnel office. Teacher evaluations should be fair and consistent with student achievement. The public should have full access to information about education outcomes in individual schools. However, there may be a way to define a system to provide a very limited amount of evaluative information available to parents about individual teachers.
Rahm Emanuel: Parents have every right to know how their child’s school and teacher is performing, but there are more constructive ways than to follow the Los Angeles model, which provided haphazard information based on partial evaluations. For example, I have called for parents to receive a report card that grades their child's school, not just their child's work. Every Chicago Public School principal currently receives a report card with a top-level analysis of how their schools are doing and whether they are truly organized for improvement. I want a simplified version of these report cards be shared with parents so that they have the necessary information to participate in their child's education and push for higher standards in their local school. It will include letter grades that rate criteria such as school improvement and organization, school safety, student attendance, staff attendance, graduation rate and entry into post secondary education.
Carol Moseley Braun: No answer.
Patrica Van Pelt-Watkins: I believe one of our most valuable partners in improving the Chicago Public School system are the teachers. I would only support evaluations that provide school-level summaries of teacher evaluations that include student achievement, peer evaluation, principal observation and classroom management capacity.
William "Doc" Walls, III: It is a good idea for the Public School system to share teacher evaluations with the public. Teachers are public employees paid using taxpayer funds. I would push for the sharing of teacher evaluations, premised upon the condition that those evaluations are fair and objective.