Alonso declined to name the schools under investigation but said it would be "extraordinarily wrong to assume that every reassigned principal or administrator has been reassigned because of prior allegations of cheating at a school. That is not only factually wrong, but a huge injustice to people who have been reassigned this year."
In his memo, Gittings told administrators that there were more than 100 retired principals mobilizing to fight "unjust actions taken against our fellow colleagues."
Retirees confirmed that they planned to start by flooding city schools headquarters with a letter-writing campaign.
Yetty Goodin, who retired in 2009 as a principal of Garrett Heights Elementary/Middle after leading the school for 17 years, said the recent actions against principals are familiar.
"We can relate because we were in the same position and received the same pressure to perform," she added. "We've been in that place where our evaluation as principals and instructional leaders was that we had to get our scores up — or else."