“This Court should declare the Defendants’ conduct unlawful and permanently enjoin its future occurrence,” the plaintiffs wrote. “The Defendants can easily comply with state law by ensuring that when they publicly release qualifying school choice data, they release all of the data to everyone at the same time and do so without any ‘spin.’”
DPI and State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor are named as defendants in the lawsuit. In an emailed statement, DPI spokesperson Benson Gardner said the department released all of the data publicly at the same time on Sept. 12.
“The department provided complex assessment data to the news media one day earlier simply to allow them lead-time to write their stories, including in-depth print articles,” the statement read. “The department followed the law in the public release of this information.”
The embargoed news release did include aggregated data on the choice program, which the lawsuit alleges shows “a deliberate attempt to shape the news narrative of the assessment results so as to make public schools appear in a more positive light and choice schools appear in a more negative light.”