Records used in other states to uncover cheating on tests not open in Texas

From Watchdog.org:

While other states are finding evidence of school test score manipulation, the Texas Education Agency has managed to quash open records requests that would allow the public to investigate such a thing in this state.

In two recent open records requests, the TEA has successfully argued that the information that would make an investigation possible is not a public record.

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Bexar County commissioner presents legal arguments challenging records request for emails

From Watchdog.org:

Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson has presented his initial legal argument in a fight to keep emails from his personal account private, even though he acknowledges he was discussing public business through those emails.

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Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission Annual Conference—April 3, 2012

From Shipman & Goodwin

Sessions during the all-day affair will focus on questions about the juxtaposition between open government and economic development.  Those conference sessions will explore the fact that Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act presumes access to the public’s business and the fact that economic development negotiations can crave secrecy.

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Georgia pols fight law opening criminal records even without crime

From FoxNews.com

ATLANTA –  For 13 years, a Georgia woman has lived under the shadow of a child abuse investigation, though police cleared her of any wrongdoing. 

The welts and bruises on her daughter's body turned out to be an allergic reaction to antibiotics. But the investigation showed up on criminal background checks, restricting her access to jobs, housing and even her daughter's school. 

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Delaware Gov. Markell supports increase transparency requirements for lobbyists

From StateIntegrity.org

Delaware is the latest state to take action on improving its Corruption Risk Report Card grade. With a C- overall grade, Delaware ranked 22nd out of 50 states in the State Integrity Investigation. The overall score was hurt badly by the lack of effective laws and practices governing lobbying activity: Delaware's 43 percent 'F' grade on the lobbying disclosure category was fourth-worst in the nation.

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Pa. court orders state transportation dept. to release speed tracking device records to ticketed speeder

From RCFP

A Pennsylvania appellate court ruled on Tuesday that the state Department of Transportation must release records on speed enforcement devices used by state police agencies in full – without any redactions – under the state's Right-to-Know Law to an engineer whose speeding ticket sparked the requests.

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Senate kills, House revives moments later a bill that would curtail child services transparency

From Kentucky Open Government Blog

A bill opposed by the Kentucky Press Association that could increase secrecy at the Cabinet for Health and Family Servicesdied in a Senate committee on Tuesday then was revived minutes later in the House of Representatives.

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NFOIC’s FOI Friday for March 30, 2012

A few open government and FOIA news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier.

Text messages enter public-records debate

Those supposedly private messages that public officials dash off on their government cellphones to friends and colleagues aren't necessarily private after all.

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