Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Montgomery Offers a Different Approach to Teacher Evaluation

Measuring the success of teachers has been an ongoing dispute in the education community. Deciding which teachers should stay and which teachers should go isn’t an easy task for any district, but for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland there is a unique system in place to help make those decisions.

The program, Peer Assistance and Review — known as PAR — uses several hundred senior teachers to mentor both newcomers and struggling veterans. If the mentoring does not work, the PAR panel — made up of eight teachers and eight principals — can vote to fire the teacher.

Nancy S. Grasmick, Maryland’s state superintendent of schools, called PAR “an excellent system for professional development.” Senior staff members from the United States Department of Education have visited here to study the program, and Montgomery County officials have gone to Washington to explain how it works. In February, the district was one of 12 featured in Denver at a Department of Education conference on labor-management collaboration.

Learn more about PAR and read the full article here.

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