By Laura Barrett
Thanks to the union, Somerville administrators who had rated an estimated three-quarters of their teachers “Needs Improvement” last
spring were persuaded to retract the assessments
and hire the MTA to retrain teachers and district
personnel in how to do evaluations correctly.
The Somerville Teachers Association
first learned of the problem in early May after
Superintendent Anthony Pierantozzi released a
video message appearing to announce that a high
percentage of teachers would be rated “Needs
Improvement” under the state’s new educator
evaluation system because Somerville’s test scores,
like those of other urban districts, are below the state
average. Pierantozzi explained in a letter to the STA:
“Based on Somerville’s ranking, I imagine that you
The union strongly objected to the central
administration’s presumption that individual
educators should receive low ratings based on overall
district performance rather than on an evidence-
based evaluation of each educator’s performance.
The district did not heed the advice.