485 Days and Counting: NYC’s Education Department Stymies Public Records Requests, Both Big and Small

David Cantor:

Fifty-nine is a small, perhaps statistically probable two-year tally for programs attended by 70,000 children. But as with many other records the public has a right to see, the city has refused for more than a year to provide the case reports, leaving to the imagination whether they involve fraud and poor supervision or more disturbing acts of abuse involving 4-year-olds.

In fact, the Department of Education doesn’t appear to have released hundreds of teacher misconduct reports in all grades, a reflection of its reluctance to share records at all, attorneys, advocates, and reporters say. They complain that the agency delays responding to requests for months or even years, earning a reputation as perhaps the city’s least transparent agency and flouting deadlines for providing records set out in New York’s Freedom of Information Law.