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State orders Boston to release teacher ratings

BOSTON ,MA 09 / 12/ 2012: BTU President Richard Stutman ( cq by pr ) at the podium speaking at press conference. The Boston Teachers Union and the School Department reached a tentative agreement early this morning on a new contract after 27 months of contentious negotiations, according to several people with direct knowledge of the agreement. The two sides will officially announce the agreement at 11:30 a.m. at a press conference at Boston City Hall. The new agreement is expected to bring sweeping changes to the way the School Department evaluates the performance of its roughly 5,000 teachers by relying on the use of student test scores. Teachers with an overall rating of unsatisfactory will be unable to receive a pay raise and could face a more speedy termination than in previous years. The city?s approximately 125 schools also will have greater flexibility to hire teachers transferring from another school. ( David L Ryan / Globe Staff Photo ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC 13teachers
Richard Stutman, president of the Boston Teachers Union, said “I think it is irresponsible of the Globe to publish this data,” in regard to the newspaper’s request for the ratings of teachers in the Boston public school system.David L. Ryan / Globe Staff

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The Secretary of State’s Office has ruled the Boston public schools wrongfully withheld overall ratings of teacher performance at individual schools this summer in violation of the state’s public records law and ordered officials to release the data.

The School Department said it would comply with Friday’s ruling. “In the days ahead we will make this information publicly available so we can be fully transparent,” said interim Superintendent John McDonough in a statement Sunday.

The data are the first to be generated under a new job evaluation system that could offer families valuable information on the quality of instruction at each of the city’s schools. The system deems whether a teacher’s performance is exemplary, proficient, in need of improvement, or unsatisfactory.

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