Teacher Evaluation & PAR

Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Program

The PAR program is a cornerstone of the new evaluation process within the Professional Growth System. Originally proposed by MCEA, PAR represents a qualitative shift in how the school system supports and evaluates teachers. MCPS is one of only a handful of school districts nationally where master teachers share responsibility for ensuring that all teachers meet the school system’s high performance standards. The PAR program is run by a joint panel of representatives from MCEA and from the principals’ association. PAR serves two groups of teachers:

  • novice teachers – first year teachers with no prior teaching experience
  • experienced teachers who have received a below standard evaluation from their principal

For both groups, PAR provides intensive assistance to the teacher, and is responsible for an independent assessment and recommendation for continued employment, continued assistance, non-renewal or dismissal.
PAR Brochure.

The teacher professional development and evaluation system within the Montgomery County Public Schools has received national attention and recognition. To learn more, review the documents below:

Including Student Results in Teacher Evaluations– A Case Study in Focus on Teaching Expertise –  Research for Better Teaching Inc.

In an era of accountability in education, teachers are asked to be accountable for student results as never before. In Montgomery County MD this accountability appears in the written evaluation of every teacher. This paper, published by Research for Better Teaching Inc. in 2005, describes: (a) how this accountability avoids a reductionist numbers game tied to test scores; and (b) how joint responsibility for student learning has come through a powerful alliance of union and administrative leaders.

Helping Teachers Help ThemselvesThe New York Times

ROCKVILLE, Md. – The Montgomery County Public Schools system here has a highly regarded program for evaluating teachers, providing them extra support if they are performing poorly, and getting rid of those who do not improve….. (read more…)

Profiles in Excellence: Montgomery County Maryland – A District-wide Coalition to Improve Teaching Through National Board Certification – A case study by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

“While considerable attention has been paid to the ‘multiplier effect’ of individual National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) or small groups of NBCTs transforming the culture of individual schools, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) offers an example of how school leaders can purposely leverage the program across an entire district”. Read this case study from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Taking Teacher Quality Seriously  – A Collaborative Approach to Teacher Evaluation- Rethinking Schools

“So what’s the alternative? If narrow, test-based evaluation of teachers is unfair, unreliable, and has negative effects on kids, classrooms and curricula, what’s a better approach?” Read this thoughtful analysis by Stan Karp, editor of the well-respected publication Rethinking Schools, about the Montgomery County Professional Growth System. To learn more about Rethinking Schools, go to www.rethinkingschools.org.

Montgomery County Public Schools: Improving Student Achievement Through Effective Human Capital Management – The Center for Educator Compensation Reform

This case study of the MCPS Professional Growth System was prepared by the Center for Educator Compensation Reform(CECR) in 2012. The paper describes the core elements of the Teacher Professional Growth System, and “is a story about how one school district has developed a coherent teacher effectiveness strategy that incorporates multiple components of a human capital management system”.