New York City investigators are looking into 21 cases of ethical misconduct on the annual schools survey from 2013, Education Department officials said Friday.
The survey is normally used to decide on cash bonuses for principals of high-ranking schools and closing schools that score badly, the New York Daily News reports. The reports are also used to award letter grades to all public schools.
The Daily News reports that though principals are banned from tampering with survey results, some still try to find a way to cheat.
“It’s disgusting,” said a teacher at Public School 58 in Queens, where Principal Adelina Tripoli is under investigation for pressuring teachers to rate the school favorably.
“There’s no one watching out. So principals think they can do whatever they want. That’s what happened at my school,” the teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Daily News.
Education officials, however, said that the number of investigations is only a negligible percentage of all the schools that participated in the survey.
“The department takes very seriously every report of attempts to influence survey results and has protocols in place to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the process,” said agency spokeswoman Erin Hughes, according to the Daily News.