DECATUR, Ga. -- On Monday, DeKalb County announced nine principals at schools across its district are being removed from their positions because of a lack of performance.

According to the district, it's part of its new data-driven review process led by the School-Based Leadership Reorganization process to ensure under-performing schools are making consistent and measurable steps toward improvement.

"This is about accountability, this is about progress," said superintendent Dr. Stephen Green. "This is about setting expectations for all leadership at the top and for me, but also at the building level."

The district said the nine elementary school principals did not demonstrate the required progress in five key areas and will be removed from Dresden, Rock Chapel, Panola Way, Oak View, International Student Center, Shadow Rock, Stoneview Flat Rock and Snapfinger.

Parents spoke out against the decision at the school board meeting Monday night.

"What I would like for you to know is the decision to reassign our principal is already having a ripple effect," one parent said. "It's demoralizing and it is deflating."

Despite that, the superintendent said the principals had three years to show progress and failed to do so. The district said it will "seek the next generation of principals" through a pool of high-performing assistant principals, other applicants and its leadership training program.