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Tool Name
Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) System

Evaluation Type
Classroom Observations

Subject
All Subjects

Grade
All Grades

Use of Evaluation
Formative
Summative

URL
http://www.gse.harvard.edu/~ngt/par/

Developer
This product was developed by Toledo Public Schools and Dal Lawrence of the Toledo Federation of Teachers.

Product Description
A Peer Assistance and Review System (PAR) is typically established by collaboration between district leadership and teacher unions. If following Toledo's model, the Peer Assistance and Review System will have two components, one for new teachers and one for ineffective experienced teachers. In both cases, these teachers receive coaching and support from experienced master teachers, often called consultant teachers. Consultant teachers are responsible for observing and mentoring novice teachers and providing regular reports to the novice teachers on their observations, lesson planning, and teaching models. Consultant teachers submit a final report to a PAR, and based on that assessment, the panel makes a recommendation to the superintendent as to whether the teacher should be rehired, dismissed, or offered a second year of PAR. Non-novice teachers are referred by a principal, colleague, or school-based team. The intervention consists of the consultant teacher and teacher involved in the intervention collaboratively developing an improvement plan to be implemented over one or two years. The consultant teacher provides support, feedback, and assistance for the teacher and occassionally reports back to the panel on the progress of the teacher. Consultant teachers are chosen by a PAR Panel, which often includes both union and district members. The PAR Panel is responsible for oversight of the program. Under this program, principals are no longer responsible for evaluating the performance of teachers who are in the PAR program.

General Target Population Information
This system is designed for use with all teachers regardless of content area or grade level.

Stage of Teacher Development
All Stages

Users
More than 70 districts use the PAR System, many in Ohio, California, and Connecticut. Specific additional sites include San Juan, California; Montgomery County, Maryland; Rochester, New York; Syracuse, New York; Toledo, Ohio; and Columbus, Ohio.

Research and Resources

Darling-Hammond, L. (1984). The Toledo (Ohio) public school intern and intervention programs. In A. E. Wise, L. Darling-Hammond, M. W. McLaughlin, & H. T. Bernstein (Eds.), Case studies for teacher evaluation (pp. 119–166). Santa Monica, CA: RAND.

Harvard Graduate School of Education Project on the Next Generation of Teachers. (2008). A user's guide to peer assistance and review. Cambridge, MA: Author.


Cost
The Harvard Graduate School of Education Project on the Next Generation of Teachers estimates the cost of a district moving to a PAR System at $4,000 to $7,000 per teacher.

Contact Information

Interested districts could contact districts where a PAR System is already in place like San Juan, California; Montgomery County, Maryland; Rochester, New York; Syracuse, New York; Toledo, Ohio; and Columbus, Ohio.


Support Available

The Harvard Graduate School of Education Project on the Next Generation of Teachers User's Guide to Peer Assistance and Review can be found at http://www.gse.harvard.edu/~ngt/par/.  

Interested districts could also contact districts where a PAR System is already in place like San Juan, California; Montgomery County, Maryland; Rochester, New York; Syracuse, New York; Toledo, Ohio; and Columbus, Ohio.