What Gets Measured Gets Publicized? — If a k-12 public school district systematically tracks the average learning progress of each teacher’s class in terms of test scores, should that information be on the public record? The Los Angeles Times says yes, and is suing the city’s public school system for the data linked to each teacher’s name. But an interesting question of equity arises. No such metrics are even required to be gathered, much less released, for individual public college and university professors, or for at least equally important professionals in the criminal justice system—badged officers, prosecutors and judges, prison wardens and probation officers—or indeed of almost anyone else in government.
How to Extinguish a Nosy Newspaper — What’s frivolous about a lawsuit to force release of emails that might confirm a tip that a school superintendent used public funds and resources to influence a bond election and a ballot race for the county superintendent of schools? Everything, said a judge in rural Glenn County between Sacramento and Redding: suing too soon and being too aggressive in a case in which thousands of emails (and attachments) were withheld without explanation or justification. But “frivolous” in this context is not just a basis for dismissal. It’s been used to warrant an order to the requester to pay the district more than $56,000 in attorney’s fees. The plaintiff, a nearly impoverished but gutsy newspaper publisher in a poor rural county who’s never really operated in the black, says if that order stands it will ruin him.