Unsatisfactory? The Evaluation Fight of 1985

When it comes to school evaluations, student grades by teachers probably come to mind. However, the winter of 1985 saw the teachers of the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) confront a very different kind of assessment: the Boston Public School (BPS) administration and its evaluation of its teaching staff. The cartoon below, published in the January 1985 issue of the Boston Union Teacher, captured the problem: busybody administrators and superintendents looking for reasons to fail teachers and keeping them from educating children. What was going on that school year and how did teacher evaluations play a role?

An Elephant in the Room: Desegregation in the BTU

A political cartoon showing two children walking through a school hallway, talking to one another. One is white and one is Black. The white child says to the Black child, "My father wants me to have everything he didn't have as a child - like an integrated education."
“Judge to Rule on Staff.” Courtesy University Archives and Special Collections, UMass Boston: Boston Union Teacher, October, 1974. Detail.