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​PEERS Frequently Asked Questions

A Brief Overview of PEERS

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has contracted with SAS to provide the web-enabled Pennsylvania Educator Effectiveness Rating System (PEERS). PEERS allows all administrators and teachers across the state to view their evaluation metrics and to capture and store this information electronically as well as obtain a print version. The system pre-populates ACT 82 forms for educators using PIMS data, and allows evaluators to input final ratings for each evaluation component. Additionally the forms can be designated by the LEA to individuals who are responsible for the evaluation process.

PEERS is hosted within the existing PVAAS application, which already provides district, school and teacher value-added reports as well as the verification mechanism for student-teacher linkages by teachers and principals. PEERS includes evaluation metrics for:

  • Observation/Practice
  • Building-level data or the School Performance Profile (SPP)
  • Elective Data or Student Learning Objectives (SLO)
  • Teacher-level PVAAS data
  • Teacher Correlation data

PEERS includes the following key features:

  • Participation is free and voluntary for all LEAs
  • Access is available through a user’s PVAAS account
  • Secure access is available to final summary rating reports (82-1, 82-2, 82-3)
  • More than one evaluator may have access to an individual’s rating form during the input phase in developing the summative report
  • PEERS pre-populates the SPP
  • PEERS pre-populates the teacher-specific component for the PVAAS 3-year rolling average
  • Data entry flags and cues to check for data entry errors
  • LEAs/Districts may determine and choose year of available data (year prior or current year)
  • LEAs/Districts determine the weighting/% for each type of teacher specific data based on the percentages indicated in Act 82
  • PEERS can be used alone, in lieu of the PDE Excel documents, or in combination with other supervision systems

Educator Effectiveness Systems in Pennsylvania
(The page linked above includes Rules and Regulations for Classroom Teachers, Rules and Regulations for Principals and Non-Teaching Professionals, and the Educator Effectiveness Administrative Manual, among other information about Educator Effectiveness in PA.)

The intent of this FAQ is to provide LEAs with responses to the most frequently asked questions about PDE’s PA Educator Effectiveness Rating System (PEERS) tool, available to all LEAs within PA.

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

What is PEERS?

​PEERS, or PA Educator Effectiveness Rating System, is a free, voluntary, web-based version of the Act 82 PA Educator Effectiveness final rating tools, PDE 82-1, 82-2, and 82-3. It is available to local education agencies (LEAs) for the summative evaluation of teaching professionals, non-teaching professionals, and principals/administrators.

PEERS allows administrators and teachers across the state to view their own evaluation metrics, and to capture and store this information electronically as well as obtain a print version.

How do I get started using PEERS? Does my LEA/district need to sign up or register?

​No, LEAs do not need to register or sign up to use PEERS. PEERS became available on March 2, 2015. Beginning on that date, all LEAs had PEERS available as a tool to use if and how they choose at any time!

How can I access PEERS?

​Developed by SAS® EVAAS® under the direction of PDE, PEERS is hosted within the existing PVAAS web application, and is accessed through the PVAAS login page.

Use of the existing PVAAS account management system allows for easy and secure access to PEERS. Users will access the system through PVAAS accounts they currently hold (if applicable), or through new accounts that are created locally. Users must enter their PVAAS username and password, and check an acknowledgment of “Access to Confidential Data” to access the system on the PVAAS website.

Remember: You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the information provided in PVAAS. User accounts are intended for one user; each person should have his/her own PVAAS user account.

Why is PEERS considered a tool for the “final portion” of the supervision and evaluation process?

​PEERS provides users with a web-based system to complete the summative forms of Act 82, i.e., the PDE 82-1, 82-3, and 82-3. PEERS does not manage the “front end” of the supervision process, such as scheduling observations, data collection and recording, pre-observation conference, SLOs, etc.

PEERS includes evaluation metrics for:

  1. Observation & Practice
  2. Observation/Evidence
  3. Building-level data or the School Performance Profile (SPP)
  4. Elective Data or Student Learning Objectives (SLO)
  5. Teacher-specific data, including PVAAS data
  6. Teacher Correlation/Relationship data

How is PEERS different from the Act 82 Excel documents available on the PDE website?

​PEERS provides the users with a web-based means to complete these final rating forms. The language and format are very similar, allowing for ease of use and consistency in addressing requirements of PA Act 82. The same business rules apply in both systems, in adherence to Act 82 rules and regulations.

Can we use PEERS in combination with other supervision and evaluation systems?

​Participation in PEERS is voluntary. It is an LEA decision to use some or all of the functionality in PEERS.

LEAs can use the entire PEERS application or specific components of PEERS. It is possible to use PEERS as a stand-alone tool for completing the summative evaluation forms (in lieu of the current Excel documents). Or, PEERS can be used in combination with other systems an LEA may already have in place.

What are some of the features of PEERS?

​PEERS pre-populates demographic information from PIMS on the PDE 82-1, 82-2, and 82-3, including LEA/district name, school name, educator name, and PPID. Staff are linked to their respective default evaluator- school administrator and district administrator. Additional evaluators, including co-evaluators, can be added to PEERS.

For each educator evaluated under Act 82, PEERS defaults to the most likely final rating tool, using the position code from PIMS. LEAs can change the form if the educator’s position requires a different form than the default, e.g., change from 82-1 to 82-3. Please note: It is the LEA’s responsibility to determine the appropriate form (82-1, 82-2, 82-3PDE) for the summative evaluation of professional employees in the various roles within an LEA, as defined and guided by Pennsylvania Rules and Regulations, Title 22 (22 PA. Code CH. 19).

PEERS pre-populates the SPP and the LEA has the option of choosing the school year. The SPP score is converted to the 0-3 score for 82-1, 82-2, and 82-3.

PEERS pre-populates the PVAAS three year rolling average if and when available for a teacher. The three-year rolling average is converted to the 0-3 scale for the final rating form in PEERS.

The “ready for conference” feature allows the evaluator(s) to conference with an educator prior to the official release and signature on the summative form. This feature mirrors the process followed in the typical supervision/evaluation sequence.

For the 82-2 evaluation process, principals have easy access to PVAAS Teacher Summary reports (within PVAAS), for the purpose of the correlation/relationship discussion with the evaluator.
The system provides on-screen guidance, including data entry flags and cues to check for data entry errors.

Summary reports on released forms are available to evaluators, including reports displaying the final performance ratings, broken out by annual, semi-annual, and periodic ratings. Summary data for the Observation and Practice ratings is available, displaying the numbers of educators in each of the performance ratings in each of the four domains. Also available is an educator summary report, showing each educator assigned to that evaluator, their assigned ratings in each of the measures, the overall performance rating, and the final ratings. These reports include an extract feature, allowing data to be converted to excel files. Summary reports in PEERS provide information that is required on the annual PDE evaluation summary report.

How secure is the system? Who has access?

​Data is housed securely within PVAAS. Users access PEERS using the existing PVAAS account system, through accounts that currently exist for these users or through new accounts that are created locally. Only the LEA has access to their data in PEERS.

No evaluations completed in PEERS or any evaluation results are reported to or accessed by PDE. Pursuant to 24 P.S. § 11-1123(i), LEAs have the responsibility to report aggregate results of all professional, temporary professionals, principals, and nonteaching professional employees to PDE.

Are multiple years of information/rating forms available in PEERS?

​Evaluators and teachers view one year at a time, with previous year data available as well. LEAs are encouraged and free to make local decisions regarding what they choose to print and/or store electronically at their own site each year. LEAs also have the option of extracting data from PEERS. The data extract includes data from all released 82-1, 82-2 and 82-3 forms.

​What do principals (evaluators) see when they access PEERS to complete teacher evaluations?

​Principals see a list of their teachers, pre-populated with information from PIMS. If teachers need to be added or removed from their list, they can work with their PVAAS District Admin (or district “Administrative Evaluator(s)”) to have these changes made. Each professional employee has a defaulted/most likely form (either the 82-1 or 82-3). LEAs can change to a different form, if needed, e.g., change from 82-1 to 82-3, or form 82-3 to 82-1. Please note: It is the LEA’s responsibility to determine the appropriate form (82-1, 82-2, 82-3PDE) for the summative evaluation of professional employees in the various roles within an LEA, as defined and guided by Pennsylvania Rules and Regulations, Title 22 (22 PA. Code CH. 19).

Can more than one evaluator contribute to the completion of summative evaluation form?

​Yes! More than one evaluator may have access to an individual’s rating form during the input phase in developing the summative report. The system is designed with a “lock” feature: users input information into the forms one at a time, eliminating the danger of overriding one another’s changes. Additionally, the PEERS system allows evaluators to view who the co-evaluators are for each specific educator, providing for enhanced communication among evaluators.

Are final rating form calculations done automatically in PEERS?

​Yes! For example, the Observation & Practice section allows the evaluator to enter the 0-3 rating for each domain of the Danielson framework. The values are updated automatically when a rating value is entered or changed. The final value is also calculated once all of the ratings are populated, and is updated any time a rating value is changed.

What if an educator does not have an SPP score?

​If an educator is associated with a school that does not have an SPP, then the Observation & Practice value is automatically substituted.

How is data entered for the Teacher Specific portion?

​The Teacher Specific section of the 82-1 requires the evaluator to enter both percentages (weightings) and ratings for the applicable parts for each educator as some of the percentages or other rules may be LEA specific. Once there is a three-year rolling average for PVAAS teacher specific data, this value will be automatically pre-populated in PEERS. The PVAAS three year rolling average will be converted to the 0-3 scale in PEERS.

In the event that an educator does not have any available and applicable data as determined by the evaluator/LEA to support these four metrics, PEERS substitutes the Observation & Practice rating. The percentages in this entire section must total 15%. If the percentages entered do not total 15%, the evaluator(s) will see an error flag to alert them.

How is Elective Data entered?

​The Electives section is similar to the Buildings section, in that it allows the evaluator to enter a single value or multiple values. In the event that there are no elective ratings, the Observation & Practice value is substituted.

Can the evaluator make changes to the summative forms during the process?

​The summary section is the accumulation of all the previous sections and ratings.

This view is not editable, but rather allows the educator and evaluator to see how the sections combine to produce the performance rating. (If an evaluator needs to edit any sections of the form, s/he can navigate using the links at the top of the page or by using the pencil icons on the summary screen.)

How do teachers and/or administrators “sign” a summative evaluation form?

​Once the summary form is ready for viewing by the educator, it can be printed, and a handwritten signature obtained. This typically follows the “ready for conference” stage of the process, in which the completed (but not yet released to educator) form is shared and discussed with the educator. Following the conference phase, the educator’s form is released and a printed copy is signed by the educator.

Where can I get more information or support?

​You can find more information about PEERS by clicking on the Pennsylvania Educator Effectiveness Rating System (PEERS) link located on the PVAAS login page. Various supports and resources are available. (District Admin and School Admin account holders can access the PEERS resources in the Online Help when logged into the PVAAS password-protected site.) Email pdepvaas@iu13.org for assistance accessing these resources.

For questions or support related to the system and its functionality, PVAAS accounts, or access, please contact SAS® EVAAS® via the “Contact Us” link, found at the top right of the PVAAS site.

For questions or support related to PA Act 82, Educator Effectiveness, and PA policy, please contact PDE at ra-edeff@pa.gov.