In NYC, questions about school climate surveys
In Baltimore this academic year, the annual school climate surveys completed by parents, teachers and students will be administered under much tighter regulations. The results will be used in evaluating principals.
In New York City, such surveys are already used as a factor in giving schools A through F letter grades. If low enough for long enough, those grades can cost principals their jobs and prompt school closings.
The New York Post reported yesterday that more than 60 principals there were urged to keep the surveys away from "toxic" students who might bring their rankings down. In a document posted online last year by a school system official, the article says, "Principals were also advised to have school staffers help parents not only with translating a survey, but with 'filling it out,' and to urge students and teachers to complete the surveys following 'fun' events." The article quotes parents who say their principals told them falsely that low marks on the surveys would cost their schools funding.
The Post reports that the document in question has been taken down from the New York education department's Web site, but the department defended the integrity of the surveys.