EAST ROCKAWAY - A former fourth-grade East Rockaway teacher says she's being punished by her school district despite being cleared of cheating allegations.

For 17 years, Voula Coyle taught elementary school students in the East Rockaway School District.

Under the state's teacher evaluation system, she was rated "highly effective" for the past two years. She says her bosses told her to "dumb it down" and not let her students do so well because the district didn't want lower performing teachers to look bad when compared to her.  

Coyle says she refused to lower her standards and the district fired back with an investigation alleging she helped students cheat on tests. That claim was investigated by a state arbitrator, who cleared her of any wrongdoing.  

Coyle says she has now been pulled out of her classroom and benched with an administrative desk job.

She says she's willing to talk to the administration to get her back into her classroom. If not, Coyle says she'll consider legal action.

The East Rockaway School District did not respond to News 12's request for comment.