Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why aren't more teachers on PAR?

More from the same article:

Julie Sanders, a 7th grade teacher in Montgomery County, is a strong believer in the idea behind PAR, which she calls a “get-well plan” for teachers, but she isn’t convinced that it adequately captures everyone who needs help.

“It would overwhelm the system,” Ms. Sanders said. “I think [the PAR panelists]
probably need to get rid of a lot more people than they actually do.”

And because of rigorously enforced timelines and the extensive documentation required to refer a teacher to peer assistance and review, some principals continue to use the “excessing” process to rid their buildings of poor-quality instructors, Ms. Sanders said. (Teachers who are removed from schools as a result of program changes, but still are employed by the district, are deemed “excessed.”)

That is a place where administrators need to be held accountable on making better use of the system, said Ms. Lawrence, the Toledo union president.

“It isn’t an easy thing to say to a teacher, ‘You have performance problems and you need to be referred to assistance,’ ” she said. “But that’s part of what being a manager means.”

Phillip Gainous, the vice president of the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Supervisory Personnel and the co-chairman of the Montgomery County district’s PAR panel, thinks that the referral process is gradually improving. Principals are gradually coming to view PAR not as a hammer, he said, but as a genuine route to improvement.

This last paragraph is certainly not in line with the data that shows fewer and fewer tenured teachers being referred to the PAR program.

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