City principals union head protests demotions

He says 15 have been reassigned over low test scores

August 23, 2012|By Erica L. Green

The president of the Baltimore principals union has vowed to protest recent actions he called "vindictive" and "capricious" after city schools CEO Andres Alonso demoted 15 principals whose schools had low scores on state tests.

In a memo obtained by The Baltimore Sun and sent to all city administrators, Jimmy Gittings said that the school system cited declining test scores for some of the demotions, though Alonso said in a recent "State of the Schools" address that he did not want "the work to be about MSA scores."

Gittings said some of the principals’ schools are under investigation for cheating.

He said that after he also spoke at the "State of the Schools" — where he remarked that the city's principals were punished no matter what direction their scores went in — more demotions were made.

"Surprisingly, that same evening two additional principals under test investigations were demoted to teacher positions," the memo says.

Gittings also said two principals were placed back in the classroom after an investigation for test tampering at their schools turned up no evidence.

Alonso said that his decisions to reassign principals are not capricious or arbitrary.

"I do not comment on specific personnel matters," Alonso said in an email. "I have reassigned principals to the classroom in the past, as I can do by law. The circumstances of each case is different, and is based on many things that involve the best interest of a school and the district."



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