The first year of the Peer Intervention Program within the New York City Board of Education

Margaret Rose Harrington, Fordham University


The purpose of this case study is to describe the process of shared decision making used by the Peer Intervention Panel to implement the mandate of the New York City collective-bargaining agreement. The Peer Intervention Program, composed of three supervisors appointed by the Chancellor and six teachers appointed by the United Federation of Teachers, is a result of the collective-bargaining agreement that became effective in September 1987. The program was to be created by a panel which was convened in January 1988. The panel established a process for the implementation of the program, the selection of a coordinator, assistant coordinator, 10 intervenors, and a process for selecting and interacting with the first participating teachers. The purpose of the Peer Intervention Program was to provide a process and a methodology for teachers selected as intervenors to work in a confidential supportive mode for up to 1 year with a tenured teacher who has been rated unsatisfactory or one who wishes to improve his or her classroom competence. This program is an attempt to improve the performance and skills of the classroom teacher by collegial interaction. The model involved the coordinator, assistant coordinator, and the intervenors in a process to develop a new professional model. The program was studied for the first year of operation wherein the 10 intervenors worked with 47 participating teachers selected citywide. The process for collecting information at the end of the first year included key informant interviews of the negotiating committee and the panel, a survey questionnaire, follow-up interview questions with the initial intervenors, and data collected in the researcher's role as a participant observer. The focus of this case study was on the process of establishment from the contractual mandate through the creation of a new model for shared decision making. The model created by the panel was communicated to the intervenors who in return further developed it through their work with participating teachers. The study concluded that the Peer Intervention Program had great success in its first year of implementation. According to panel members, the coordinator, intervenors, and participating teachers, the shared decision-making model was operational and growing. The intervenors had grown in skill and ability, and many participating teachers felt they had been fitted from this new program. Implications drawn from the study's conclusions follow two areas: the Peer Intervention Program itself and the concepts of shared decision making/collegial involvement in solving teaching/learning problems. Recommendations included on-site teacher training, the need for professional time for teachers to work with one another, released time for continued personal staff development, and collegial sharing opportunities for teachers with other teachers.

Subject Area

School administration|Teacher education|Adult education|Continuing education

Recommended Citation

Harrington, Margaret Rose, "The first year of the Peer Intervention Program within the New York City Board of Education" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9123119.