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
Related documents

How will the PAR Panel review a teacher on Intervention?

captionToledo CT

Districts have different voting requirements for deciding whether a teacher on Intervention will successfully leave the PAR program, continue for another year on Intervention, or be recommended for dismissal. Toledo requires a super-majority six votes from the Panel’s nine members in order to affirm or reject a CT’s recommendation, although most districts require a simple majority. In practice, however, Panels were widely said to reach agreement on all decisions. Clearly, in order to do so, the members of the PAR Panel must operate with a high level of trust and collaboration.

“If you were just a fly on the wall, you wouldn’t be able to know who’s the union rep and who’s the district rep. If anything, sometimes the union can be harsher on poor performance than administration.”

San Juan District Administrator

Over the course of Intervention, the CT reports about the teacher’s progress to the PAR Panel or to a subgroup of Panel members. San Juan CTs submit written reports every 6 weeks and discuss them with the Panel. Rochester CTs submit status reports at mid-semester and at the end of the semester. At least once each year in every district, the PAR Panel meets to decide what the next steps for each teacher will be. For such meetings, CTs prepare detailed, evidence-based reports about each teacher on Intervention. Usually, the CT attends the meeting and is expected to read or summarize the report. For example, in Cincinnati, CTs submit their reports in advance of the meeting and also present them in person at the Panel meeting. In Montgomery County, principals also are expected to attend the Panel meetings and report on the teacher’s performance. Most Panels discuss each case before voting, although Toledo’s Panel votes without deliberating.

“You have to have your ducks in a row and you need to know your people. And most of us do. We get up there and we know our people like the back of our hand.”

Toledo CT

By all accounts, PAR Panels weigh these decisions very carefully, keeping in mind the interests of students and the legitimate needs of the teachers. It is a serious matter to dismiss a teacher who is not progressing adequately, but it is also the Panel’s responsibility to see that students are not shortchanged. The practice of giving teachers a second year on Intervention is currently being reviewed by some districts, since a second year imposes additional costs, both in student learning and scarce CT time. CTs and Panel members often say that, if teachers on Intervention are going to succeed, it will be apparent during the first year.