A program that puts teachers in charge of evaluating and helping some of their own will get a trial run in Chicago starting next fall. (“Teachers to Conduct Peer Reviews in Chicago,” Jan. 25, 2006.) While the practice of peer review has been hailed as a success in some districts—in states such as Ohio, New York and Minnesota—it remains a divisive issue among administrators and educators.
Administrators are wary of giving up their legal responsibility for determining employment, while union leaders don’t want to foster divisions in the teacher corps.
Does peer review undermine administrative control? Will it create conflict and distrust amongst teachers? Or is it an efficient and beneficial form of evaluation?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Talkback blog.