One of the District’s most prominent principals won’t be returning next school year. Wilson High principal Peter Cahall has been told this will be his last year running the school because of poor student test scores, a firing he calls “capricious and arbitrary” in a letter he wrote about it to members of the D.C. Council.
Cahall made headlines this year by coming out of the closet during Wilson’s gay pride celebrations. Cahall declined to comment on his exit. District of Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz also declined to comment, citing a policy on not discussing personnel matters.
DCPS principals are evaluated on a complicated goal-based metric, so it’s hard to know how Cahall purportedly fell behind in test scores. The school’s DCPS profile lists it as a school that needs more work on achievement gaps between students, but the school outperformed the average DCPS-wide test score increase in some categories.
In his letter, Cahall lists some metrics of his own, which include scoring gains for minority students and improved attendance rates. Cahall’s letter, in which he describes an “adversarial relationship” in the school system, is embedded below.
“I have been successful in every jurisdiction and school that I have led,” Cahall writes in his letter. “The decision to not renew my contact [sic] is purely capricious and arbitrary.”
Photo courtesy DCPS