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The DoE sets us up principals to cheat, then punishes them for it (maybe)

March 21, 2013 pm31 12:55 pm

The NY Daily News has uncovered several instances of principals pressuring students to fill out favorable Learning Environment surveys. This is not at all surprising.

The DoE has a series of “accountability reports” – all depend on data – and all encourage cheating. Principals’ bonuses depend on the Learning Environment survey. Progress Reports partially depend on them. The stakes are high. The surveys are subjective.

None of us would cheat. Easy to say, when we are not placed in that situation. And honestly, many principals do not cheat. But the pressure is real. It is, in some cases, excruciating, when your pay and the jobs of your staff are on the line. I bet the real number of cheating principals is 10 times or 100 times higher.

And all of these accountability reports have the same effect – high stakes, soft data that the DoE pretends is hard. What result do we expect? Cheating on credits, cheating on graduation rates, cheating on denominators for regents, cheating on Learning Environment, etc, etc.

There is another scandal here. Back in the day (be careful, back in the day they talked about back in the day), administrators, always experienced, usually skilled, rated teachers. Super administrators, always experienced, usually skilled, rated schools.

Today?  Outsiders do the rating. These accountability reports? They make the rater unaccountable.

Quality Reviews? Ridiculous!  Outsiders who nothing of the school spend two days. Where are our experienced school leaders…?

We have data, check off sheets, and untrained managers running our schools. They must encourage cheating, because they must rate teachers, principals, and schools on something that fits on a spreadsheet, since they can pretend to read a spreadsheet, but they cannot pretend to understand teaching.

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