The American Federation of Teachers is touting a "peer review" program in Anderson, Indiana as one of the best ways to support and screen teachers without revamping tenure or resorting to performance pay plans.
You don't hear much about peer review in Chicago -- I'm not sure the city ever had such a program. But it's seemed to have worked in other places like Toledo, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, and Montgomery County Maryland.
I don't think I'd like the idea of using peer review instead of other reforms to tenure and teacher evaluation, but I'm pretty sure that it would make for a good element in a teacher quality reform package.
Anderson Federation of Teachers
422 West Ninth Street, Anderson, Indiana 46016
(765) 643-5432 • (765) 643-5743 (Fax)
For Immediate Release
March 11, 2009
Anderson Teachers Union and School Board Vote
For Indiana’s First Peer Assistance and Review Program
and school board members voted to pass Indiana’s first peer assistance
and review (PAR) program, a teacher evaluation program that will
provide new teachers, and those who are struggling, with intensive
mentoring, evaluation and support.
peer assistance and review program will do more to benefit the teaching
profession in Anderson than any other education reform that our union
has brought to our schools,” said Rick Muir, president of the Anderson
Federation of Teachers.
Anderson Federation of Teachers, in collaboration with the school
district, developed the Anderson Peer Assistance and Review Program.
Expert or consulting teachers will be selected and assigned to mentor
and evaluate teachers based on specific criteria and the Anderson
school district performance standards. Teachers’ strengths and
weaknesses will be identified. After receiving help in such areas as
teaching strategies, communication and working with peers, teachers
will be evaluated and recommendations will be made about retaining or
is a high-quality program that will fairly and fully evaluate teachers,
and help us to provide a world-class education for the Anderson public
school students,” said Philip “P.T.” Morgan, an Anderson school
district board member.
PAR concept was developed nearly 30 years ago by the Toledo Federation
of Teachers with its school district. It has since been replicated in
other Ohio school districts as well as in California, Maryland,
Minnesota, New York and elsewhere. Dal Lawrence, past Toledo Federation
of Teachers president and architect of the Toledo Plan, helped craft
the Anderson PAR program.
is an example of an innovative, successful union-led education reform,”
said Dal Lawrence. “It shows just how inaccurate the stereotype is that
teacher unions are anti-reform or anti-accountability.”
PAR program that the union and school board approved is part of a
package of contract items. The PAR program will be implemented in the
fall of 2009.
Greenwalt, a 5th-grade teacher from Forest Hills Elementary School,
said that she is looking forward to PAR because it will help her become
an even better teacher.
Finger, principal of Highland High School, said he visited Toledo to
see PAR in action. “What I saw there convinced me that PAR not only is
an effective evaluation system but is a safety net for new teachers who
need the extra support as they get started in their careers.”
Filed under: The World Outside CPS