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Boston teacher evaluations reflect wide variation

Boston public schools released teacher evaluation data today that show wide variation in ratings among the city’s schools.

Some schools were quite generous in rating their teachers “exemplary,” the highest of four categories. At Fenway High it was 77.3 percent.

Several schools, however, did not rate any of their teachers exemplary, such as Another Course to College.

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Across the district, 13.5 percent of teachers received the exemplary rating, 79.5 percent were deemed proficient, 5.8 percent needs improvement, and 1.2 percent unsatisfactory.

The data also for the first time provided a summary for administrators.

For principals, 9.2 percent of them were rated exemplary; 87.4 percent, proficient; 1.1 percent, needs improvement; and 2.3 percent unsatisfactory.

Central office administrators, however, received the highest ratings: 36.7 percent exemplary, 59.8 percent proficient, 2.3 percent needs improvement, and 1.2 percent unsatisfactory.

Boston released the teacher evaluation data under orders from the Secretary of State’s office. The Globe asked the Secretary of State to make a ruling after the School Department denied a request by the newspaper last summer to release the data. The Globe had requested aggregate teacher ratings for each school as well as administrators statewide, and never asked for data on individual teachers or administrators.

But the School Department had argued that releasing data in the aggregate would jeopardize the privacy rights of teachers.

The Secretary of State’s Office disagreed, noting the “withheld records do not disclose the identity of any individual employees that would be protected” by exemptions under the state’s public records law.

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