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City school system requests judge to settle dispute over teacher evaluations

Dr. Gregory Thornton delivers remarks after being introduced as the new CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. Standing in background is Board Chair Shanaysha Sauls.
Dr. Gregory Thornton delivers remarks after being introduced as the new CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. Standing in background is Board Chair Shanaysha Sauls. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun)

The city school system is asking a judge to settle a dispute with the union over changes to teacher evaluations.

The Baltimore Teachers Union in June filed a class action grievance against the school system over changes to the evaluation system that affect teacher ratings and pay.

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The union expressed concerns with adjustments to the "cut scores" that determine whether a teacher is "highly effective" "effective," "developing" or "ineffective." The changes would cause some teachers with the same numerical score as the previous year to receive a different rating, and therefore potentially not receive an automatic pay raise. For example, a teacher who scored an 80 or above out of 100 previously would be considered "highly effective," but now would need an 86 for the highest rating.

In August, the Maryland Public School Labor Relations Board found in favor of the union, and that the change was subject to bargaining with the union. But last month, the school system filed a petition in court to have a Circuit Court judge review the matter.

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