Hundreds of Long Island (N.Y.) public school principals are challenging the state Education Department and criticizing new standards for evaluating educators.
The new rules went into effect in September as New York State worked to win federal money under the Race to the Top program, which the White House said is designed to promote "innovation, reform, and excellence in America’s public schools."
Teachers and principals are evaluated, in part, on student performance on standardized tests.
“As building principals, we applaud efforts aimed towards excellence for all of our students. We cannot, however, stand by while untested practices are put in place without any meaningful discussion or proven research,” they say on a new website.
“At first glance, using test scores might seem like a reasonable approach to accountability. As designed, however, these regulations carry unintended negative consequences for our schools and students that simply cannot be ignored,” the principals say.
Teachers and principals receive a rating of 0-100 with 20 to 40 percent of their score coming from their students’ test performance.