Friday, May 05, 2006

Onlining Disciplined Teachers

In what I think may be an emerging new trend, when the State South Carolina disciplines a teacher for cause, the case winds up on the internet for all to see:
Students can now do a little homework on the Internet and find out what their teachers have been up to.

Earlier this year, the state Education Department began posting online disciplinary actions against educators.

Last year, 82 teachers had their licenses suspended or revoked. Half were disciplined by the state for improper acts against students - acts that mostly involved sexual misconduct and inappropriate physical discipline.

About a third were disciplined for breaking their teaching contracts. Others were disciplined for academic fraud or falsifying their credentials.

In all, there are 291 disciplinary decisions from 2004 and 2005 posted online.

"Our goal here is to make government as transparent as possible and to ensure the public has access to as much information as possible," state education Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum said.

The Palmetto State Teachers Association, however, thinks the Internet posting is a bad idea, director Kathy Maness said.

"I realize it's a public record, but it doesn't have to be blasted across a Web page," Maness said.

While the information should be public, posting it on the Internet is "unfair," said Bob Hazel, a Columbia attorney who has represented teachers who belong to the association. He said the public airing of disciplinary actions could make some people decide against a teaching career.

"Teachers have enough problems as it is," he said. "It's sure not positive."

Others in the world of education like the idea.
Read the whole thing. More here.

The Palmetto State isn't the only one to publicly post the disciplinary history of teachers. Earlier last month, we took a look at what they're doing in Iowa.
See our latest education-related entries right here.