Category Archives: Teacher Evaluation

Peer Assistance and Review by Mark Simon

Teacher, administrator, and support staff evaluation is not a one-size-fits-all system in MCPS. When problems are identified, intensive support and intervention are provided through “peer assistance and review.” The system was designed and implemented starting in 2000 by MCPS and the employee organizations representing teachers, principals, and support staff. The theory is that the work of teaching and making schools effective is complex. When there are problems, intensive work with under-performing educators is needed to bring about substantial improvement or removal. In general, teachers and others seem to feel the Peer Assistance and Review system is fair and helpful. Thousands have improved their practice, and after almost 15 years, hundreds of teachers are no longer teaching because it wasn’t a good fit. It seems to be working. It’s admired nationally. But with anything this ambitious, there are bound to be problems and room for improvement. We’re going to be looking for the skinny on how its working, 15 years later.