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Mayor Bloomberg Takes Serious Issue With Gov. Cuomo-Backed Teacher Evaluations Bill

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The bitter battle over teacher evaluations took a turn Friday as Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to call more than 1 million parents to give them the 4-1-1 on their kids' teachers.

It's Bloomberg's counter attack to what he believes is an inadequate evaluation bill just passed by Albany, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported.

"Let me tell you what we're going to do, we're going to have our schools call every single parent and we will tell you that you are entitled to this information, and if you want it just say yes or no. Ask us right now and then we will send it to you," Bloomberg said.

The mayor announced the extraordinary move -- calling the parents of 1.1 million students from kindergarten through grade 12, after the Gov. Andrew Cuomo-backed bill stopped the public from getting access to teacher evaluations and required parents to request the evaluation.

The mayor said that's not a formula that works here in the multicultural Big Apple.

"In New York City, most of our parents work. To go and to take time out to go to the principal's office is just not possible for most. A lot of them, their command of the English language or their experience in dealing with bureaucracies is not good," Bloomberg said.

The mayor said the Legislature caved to the teachers union, but United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said he doesn't see it that way. He said the mayor wants teacher evaluations made public to vilify teachers.

"I know that the teachers of New York City feel that they should be given more respect by this administration," Mulgrew said.

Parents that spoke to CBS 2's Kramer on Friday said they support the mayor.

"Good idea. Why struggle to get information about your children's education if you don't have to?" said Bree Altsman of Battery Park City.

"I actually think it might be very helpful, absolutely I do," added parent Leslie Prodenzano. "If it's going to make education and our school systems better, why not?"

One of the mayor's biggest objections is that parents can only get evaluations for those teachers who currently teach their kids. If they want to find out about teachers whose classes their kids might have the following year, they're plumb out of luck.

Do you like what the mayor is planning to do? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below ...

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