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The Boston Globe



Boston teacher evaluations: Grading on a curve

A LOT OF eyebrows went up last week with the news that 92 percent of all teachers in the Boston Public Schools have been rated as proficient or advanced under a new evaluation system. It’s hard to accept such a finding at face value when state education officials have cited nearly half of the city’s schools as poor performers.

The teacher evaluation process in Boston is a work in progress. Evaluators can now drop in on classrooms unannounced. That’s better than the shabby efforts of prior years, when principals made appointments to evaluate teachers or, in many cases, did no evaluations at all. But it will be another year before measures of student progress, such as scores on standardized tests, get factored into teachers’ evaluations. A clearer picture should emerge then on whether the system is making headway on its promise to place a strong teacher at the head of every classroom.

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