Sheri Lederman, the Great Neck, Long Island fourth grade teacher who is challenging the state’s teacher evaluation system was in court Monday, where her husband/lawyer Bruce Lederman and state lawyer Colleen Galligan argued about whether the case should be dismissed.
Lederman’s overall rating was ”effective” and she’s tenured with almost two decades in the classroom. But she objected to the testing component, which counts for 20 percent of her overall evaluation but which Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to increase to 50 percent. In her most recent tests, her score year to year fell from 14 to 1 on a scale to 1-20. That’s not the score that she achieved but rather among her students who are tested at the start and then the end of the year to measure ”growth” or how much they’ve learned.
“There is no harm in being rated an ‘effective’ teacher,” Galligan said in moving to dismiss the case on the grounds that Lederman isn’t being harmed and therefore has no standing.
Galligan said the rating doesn’t impact her pay or tenure.
And the testing portion is only 20 percent, for now, of her evaluation.
Bruce Lederman, though, disagreed, saying “It absolutely does have job implications,” explaining that a poor or mediocre evaluation based in part on the test scores could, for example, hurt Sheri Lederman if she were to apply for a job at a new district.
“The teaching profession,” he said, “Is something where grades are important.”
Albany County state Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough had questions for both sides, asking among other things if the dismissal question was ”ripe” or timely in light of other data that was being sought.
After the brief hearing, the Ledermans explained that they had sought detailed data about how the student test scores were arrived, at but the state Education Department doesn’t divulge that information saying their request was ”overly broad” and it could threaten student privacy.
In short, NYSED doesn't have the data to prove Lederman's "ineffective" rating on the test component of her APPR evaluation so they're relying on the "No Harm, No Foul" rule that says since she was rated "effective" overall, there's no reason for the suit to go forward.
Notice too that they're trying to rely on "student privacy" for why they won't show the data.
But that's a jive excuse.
If they have the data to prove that Lederman was indeed "ineffective" on her APPR test component, they should show it to the court.
If they don't have the data, then Lederman's "ineffective" rating on the test component should be overturned and NYSED forced to make the test component ratings transparent to all educators (and only educators - not the press or general public) so that they can see what NYSED is basing the rating on.
To me, the NYSED calculations that have gone into APPR look a lot like Common Core math homework - overly complex, nonsensical and harmful.
We keep hearing how "objective" and "scientific" this rating system is.
Okay, then - show us.