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Controversy Surrounds Boston Public School Teacher Evaluations

BOSTON (CBS) - It's a report card of sorts for Boston Public School teachers, just released by the administration. A new evaluation system finds 13.5 percent of teachers are exemplary and 79.5 percent are proficient. But 5.8 percent of teachers need improvement and 1.2 percent are unsatisfactory. Those numbers are already proving to be controversial.

"I don't think the results are valid and I think they're entirely subjective, not objective as the department would claim," said Richard Stutman, the President of the Boston Teachers Union.

And he's just getting going. "A disturbing and troubling pattern has emerged," he added.

Stutman insists the evaluations show bias, "with a bias against Black teachers, against Hispanic teachers, against male teachers," he said.

The just-released report evaluates 90 percent of Boston Public School teachers, and shows that Black, Hispanic and male teachers have high percentages of unsatisfactory results.

The administration sees it differently.

"The results are absolutely valid," said Ross Wilson, an Assistant Superintendent who is in charge of the evaluations.

"The system is more robust and much fairer than any other evaluation system we've had in the past,"said Wilson.

He also claimed the results will help the system help teachers improve.

"Our job is to make sure they have the supports they require to grow professionally," Wilson said.

He also says they're investigating why some results look skewed.

"We want to look very closely at that data to determine what's happening with our educators and to ensure we have a fair and consistent system," he said.

What can parents take from the evaluations? That, too, depends on where you stand. The Teachers Union claims parents should be skeptical, while the school system says the evaluations show they're working hard to improve teaching in Boston. One other factor, if teachers don't improve in a timely way, the system can act more quickly to remove them.

Online: Boston Public Schools

Teacher Evaluation details

Boston Teachers Union


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