Gerry, Teachers are as diverse a group as any other profession, within them you will find all types. Like any bell curve there will be a certain percentage at the top bottom and a majority somewhere in between. Most are in it for the right reasons, the few that aren't are like the bad eggs in any group, giving a bad name to everyone. I've been in schools where the peer review would work great. However, I've also been in a number of schools that had worse cliques that the junior high lunch room. If you weren't one of the "in-crowd" you would have been out no matter how good you were. There are so many variables that I'm not sure there is one foolproof method.
Helen has touched on an important issue: Administrators. I am the son of a former teacher turned principal turned superintendent, and have taught and worked in a number of schools over the past 15 + years. There are way too many poor admins. "running" schools. The best principals I've worked for were teachers for a while before becoming admins. Many admins are coming into it fairly early in their careers, and tend to forget the day to day of the of being in the classroom, and lack the experience to deal with the myriad of people and issues that they will be faced with. Admin pay?? that's another topic that can be debated over and over. Good admins are definitely worth good money. (How much is the big debate.) When you factor in the number of people, money, and importance of their product they are responsible for with their educational level. With all the talk about weak teachers, a lot of people look to the admin to get rid of them.... Part of the admins job is to make their teachers better too. One of the purposes of of observations and reviews is for improvement not just to document so you can get rid of someone. Being a coach as well, I relate a lot back to athletics, and admins need to be a sort of coach too. When people aren't performing the way you would like, coach them up. I contend that when you see a school where a number of teachers aren't up to snuff you will find a poor administration. Good leadership is at the core of any successful group.
Gerry, clean out your pm's