A User's Guide to

Peer Assistance and Review

  • What is PAR?
  • Costs and benefits of PAR
  • Designing your PAR project
  • Labor-management relations
  • Practical issues and advice

Practical Issues and Advice

captionSan Juan CT consults with new teacher

• How should we move ahead with PAR?

If you’ve explored this website, you know that there’s no simple recipe for PAR. Because PAR has several components, involves many people, and leads to high-stakes decisions, each program must be tailored to fit its district. There’s no guarantee that what works in one setting will work in another. Therefore, if you’re planning a new PAR program or want to improve the program you have, it’s good to know in advance the issues you’re likely to encounter. You can save time and avoid costly mistakes if you benefit from the lessons that others have learned.

The following questions follow PAR through several stages of development. The responses explain the issues behind these questions and provide practical advice, drawn from the districts of our study.

• Getting Started

Can PAR be adopted at the bargaining table?

Should principals help plan PAR?

How can union leaders convince the doubters?


• Implementing PAR

How can a district fund PAR?

Does PAR require a standards-based evaluation system?

Should CTs be school-based or district-wide, part-time or full-time?

Do principals have a place in PAR?

How long should a teacher spend in PAR?

Should full-time CTs be required to return to the classroom once their term is over?


• PAR Over Time

How can a district show that PAR is effective?

Should a district expect its PAR program to grow?

Do PAR programs function differently over time?

Does PAR create new legal challenges?