As it happened , I was the keynote speaker on Saturday January 26 at the annual meeting of the New York City Elementary School Principals’ Association at the Brooklyn Marriott. Before I spoke, I had a candid conversation with some principals. I heard some of the usual complaints about how out of touch the DOE is, how outrageous is the flood of tests, how heedless the DOE is about the real needs of students and teachers, etc.
So naturally I asked why the principal survey showed such high levels of satisfaction with the DOE. Weren’t the responses anonymous?
I was told, by people who for obvious reasons I cannot name, that principals understand that there is no such thing as anonymity when corresponding by email with the DOE. Principals assume that anything sent to the DOE, even if they do not sign it personally, has the school’s ID. Given what they believe is the “vindictive” spirit of Tweed, most dared not take the risk of expressing negative views.
In the world of interoffice electronic communication, there is no such thing as a secret ballot. Or so they believe. And they were afraid to speak up.