U.S / New York – A school teacher has allegedly been disciplined because her students did very well in her class.
Voula Coyle, a 4th grade teacher in East Rockway alleged the school district has punished her for her students’ high grades in standardized tests.
17 years of experience
Coyle, a teacher with 17 years of experience, claimed Rhame Avenue School administrators encouraged teachers to do a mediocre job in an effort to game the state’s ranking system.
Coyle was quote in an interview with FiOS1 News that the school district has engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation against her and has fostered “a divisive environment where the children are suffering”.
“They are not putting their concern where it needs to be: with the children and the taxpayers…and they are destroying my reputation in the community.”
Coyle is considering court action and wanted to be reinstated as a teacher. She stated she was reassigned from a teaching role to a clerical role in April 2014, in an effort by the administrators to prevent her from thwarting the district’s plans to get funded.
The NY Ed Department rating system flawed?
Her attorney, Vincent White, explained The New York State Education Department’s performance rating system is designed to reward instructors and schools when students show academic improvement from one grade to the next. But Coyle’s students’ scores either don’t improve or get worse while they are in fifth grade. This led to several fifth grade teachers to be rated as less than effective and the school’s entire score has been pulled down, which could pose a threat to state funding, according to Coyle.
Coyle also attested her superiors were constantly reiterating to teachers in the school to avoid getting good results, or “overachieving”, and to ensure the scores do not exceed the “effective” rating given by the state. She mentioned one faculty member said “our job is not to be optimal, but to be adequate. That underlying message of mediocrity was promoted,” Coyle said. Teachers were also told to accept that a third of their students would understand the material, another third would be average and the rest would fail, she said.
This news first appeared on FIOS1 News. EdChron.com has contacted The New York Education Department for comment.