Seoul adopts new way of ranking principals

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Seoul adopts new way of ranking principals

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, led by liberal education chief Kwak No-hyun, won’t rate improvement of students’ academic performance when his office evaluates school principals’ performances starting this year, the Seoul Education Office said yesterday.

According to a 2010 evaluation plan for elementary, middle and high school principals unveiled yesterday, the education office will abolish evaluation of students’ academic improvement in an effort to discourage overly heated academic competition.

The office will establish new criteria to evaluate principals.

Under the former criteria, schools were rated on how their students’ academic performance improved and on the decrease in the number of students with poor academic performance. The new criteria will focus on programs that schools run to help students with poor academic performances improve without relying on hagwon, or private cram schools.

The Seoul Education Office will also invite teachers’ participation in rating principals’ performance. Currently, only parents are allowed to rate their children’s principals.

Principals will be rated in five rankings and those who receive the lowest grade twice during their four-year terms will not be reappointed.

“The new measure aims to improve educational competitive power rather than instigating competition among principals,” said Oh Hyo-suk, an official at the Seoul Education Office.

By Kim Min-sang []
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