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Delegates Say Yes to Peer Review

Delegates also voted this morning to support a resolution urging all locals to consider peer-review and -assistance programs. The union's Toledo affiliate pioneered this program 27 years ago, and Fran Lawrence, the local's president, said there exists strong consensus among teachers in favor of it.

"Nine out of 10 of our members for 27 years have supported peer review and assistance: That's solidarity," she said, responding to one delegate's concern that asking senior teachers to evaluate other teachers would create divisions among educators.

The resolution brought out an impressive turnout of speakers. Besides Lawrence, Randi Weingarten, the president of the UFT, who is expected to take over as president tomorrow, made a passionate plea for it.

"For those who haven't tried this yet, it's scary," she acknowledged. "It feels like we are abdicating the due process role," she said, adding, however, that this couldn't be further from the truth.

Saying she is tired of principals throwing out members, she added: "What this resolution says is let's ... give our teachers assistance and let's make sure we take back our profession."

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