PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Peer Assistance Program, PAR, uses senior teachers in the Montgomery County,Maryland districts, to mentor new teachers and struggling veterans. If mentoring doesn’t work, a panel of eight teachers and eight principals can vote to fire the teacher.

In the eleven years since PAR has been used to evaluate teachers, 300 were fired. In the ten years before PAR, only 5 teachers were terminated.

The district enrolls 145,000 students; yet with one third low income families and 84% going to college, it was not eligible for the Race to the Top federal money.

As superintendent Jerry Weast points out in The Post-Gazette, PAR has union support and to be part of the Race, student achievement scores must be tied to teacher effectiveness, which many unions oppose.

With commendation from federal education secretary Arne Duncan, the high college enrollment rate and teacher trust in the PAR system, Weast feels good about the peer review process.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

Watch & Listen LIVE