The city council held a hearing last week on the state of negotiations between the BPS and the BTU. Neither the BTU nor the BPS could attend inasmuch as a negotiation session had been scheduled many weeks earlier. We expressed our regrets, and the BTU and the BPS issued a joint press release stating our hopes for a contract.

During the session, Boston Municipal Research Bureau Chief Sam Tyler asked that the new contract:

* Increase flexibility in teacher hiring and assignments
* Improve teacher-evaluation process to provide actionable feedback
* Make student achievement a factor in those evaluations
* Reduce the role seniority plays in reassignments and layoffs
* Extend enrichment or development time for students
* Enhance mentoring and collaborative development for teachers
* Expand the role of parents and students in school-site councils and teacher evaluations.

Some of the above we have discussed already; some will be on the negotiating table soon. We are committed to reaching a settlement that is good for students, good for our schools, and fair to our members. Here’s the Globe’s take on the hearing and the Phoenix’s editorial which is worth reading.