MWDN: Northborough, Southborough discuss new teacher evaluation method

The subject of teacher evaluations has come up on this blog before, in conversations about overall school performance, teacher contracts, and the like. Recently the state rolled out a new evaluation system for teachers that school districts across the Commonwealth, including ours, will be required to adopt.

While school districts that are part of the Race to the Top program will start using the new system this fall, Northborough-Southborough, which is not part of Race to the Top, has another year to incorporate the changes. Doing so will require collective bargaining with the teachers union.

Reports the Metrowest Daily News:

(Superintendent Charles Gobron) said he doesn’t expect the negotiations to result in any sort of pay increase since the evaluation system is state mandated. Rather, the types of things that will likely be negotiated are things like the length of unannounced classroom visits — a requirement that will be new for many districts.

Also new, Gobron said, will be the fact that student learning “outcomes” will have an effect on a teacher’s evaluation.

“Working that out is going to be interesting,” he said, noting his belief that tests like the MCAS are not the final word when it comes to evaluating student growth.

You can read more about the evaluation method on the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website (

Also this month, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill that gives teacher performance and evaluations – instead of seniority – greater weight in staffing decisions.

What do you think? Are these steps in the right direction? Will they make you feel more confident about the education your children receive? Is there more more work to be done related to teacher performance? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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SB Resident
11 years ago

It seems to me that its already generally very obvious to all those involved who the good and bad teachers are. Until there are real repercussions for the bad ones (and rewards for the good ones) its all just a waste of time.

Frank Crowell
11 years ago

Minor changes to a system that needs vast reform which will not happen until collective bargaining is abolished. I wish I could negotiate the terms of implementation of a state mandate. 

Who will be negotiating on behalf of the taxpayer?

Why does the teacher’s contract allow negotiation of state mandates instead of automatic implementation?

Al Hamilton
11 years ago
Reply to  Frank Crowell

If you read the teachers contract you will find that the first 3 or 4 pages are dedicated not to education but to a detailed and drawn out grievance process. Don’t look to the current administration for meaningful change.

Frank Crowell
11 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

My grievances will be taken out in the voting booth. This union friendly state needs a shake up – Chris Christy style. Problem is there is not a single Republican in this state up to the task.

Neil Rossen
11 years ago
Reply to  Frank Crowell

Mr Crowell,
Any Republican is better than yet another Dem beholden to the unions for votes and money. I do agree that there is little hope of anything meaningful happening in an acceptable timeframe.

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