Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cuomo Thinks Sheri Lederman And Teachers Like Her Should Be Fired

From the Capital NY Morning Education email:

—At a separate event on Wednesday, when asked about a specific lawsuit from a teacher over a relatively new performance evaluation system, Cuomo said he’s not surprised and expects there her case won’t be the last. “Basically the way the teacher profession worked was, you got a job, you got tenure and then you basically had total job protection for the rest of your life,” he said. “This system says we’re going to have an evaluation system and if you don’t do well in the evaluation system, you could lose your job, so it really is jarring.” Capital’s Jessica Bakeman [PRO]:

Lederman is suing not because she isn't a good teacher (she is - see the accolades here), she is suing because Governor Cuomo's APPR system found her ineffective on the test based component, giving her 1 out of a possible 20 points, but never explained why she received this score.

This is particularly important since her students passed their state tests well above the state average and her scores were similar to the previous year when she was rated effective on the test component:

The lawsuit shows that Lederman’s students traditionally perform much higher on math and English Language Arts standardized tests than average fourth-grade classes in the state. In 2012-13, 68.75 percent of her students met or exceeded state standards in both English and math. She was labeled “effective” that year. In 2013-14, her students’ test results were very similar but she was rated “ineffective.” The lawsuit says:

This simply makes no sense, both as a matter of statistics and as a matter of rating teachers based upon slight changes in student performance from year to year.

Lederman was deemed effective overall as a teacher because of the other 80% of her APPR rating, but under Cuomo's latest APPR iteration, the test component will weigh as much as 50% of a teacher's rating, meaning somebody like Lederman could have the overwhelming majority of their students pass the state tests with scores well above the state average, still get dinged as ineffective on the test component and be slated for firing in another year if they don't "improve."

I cannot tell you how angry the statement from Cuomo makes me, because it goes to show once again how deceptive and dishonest he is when it comes to teacher evaluations.

NYSED has yet to show why Lederman was rated ineffective on the test component, but Cuomo doesn't much care about the particulars here, only that the system dinged her and therefore she must be ineffective.

NYSED tried to get the case dismissed, arguing the "No Harm, No Foul" rule since Lederman was still found effective overall despite the ineffective test component rating, but thankfully a judge ruled that Lederman's case should go forward.

Now NYSED will have to defend the rating in court, something they have been loathe to do because they know it is indefensible.

But nothing is as indefensible as Cuomo's statement about Lederman and the evaluation system.

Here we have an APPR system that is as hidden from scrutiny as the Wizard of Oz, that inexplicably found her effective one year and ineffective the next with test scores that were essentially the same, yet Cuomo treats the rating as if it is objective reality.

He essentially said yesterday, "Sheri Lederman is a bad teacher" because his flawed APPR system said so.

Unfortunately for him the APPR system is going to go on trial and now NYSED will have to defend it.

Let's see how that court battle goes.


  1. Just curious, any other professions/careers that are "tenured" for life like firefighters, NYPD, sanitation, corrections, MTA, etc, being newly evaluated to push them out too? Are teachers the only civil service job that is being singled out due to its weak reputation and mostly female staffings? Why can everyone pick on us and not the others? Is it because no one would dare threaten the NYPD or other male dominated careers?

    1. Is there a Danielson framework for "arrests made" properly?

    2. The police are spared because in the new paradigm the oligarchy needs the police to keep the 99% down.
      Witness the outcome of Occupy all over the country. Localities, NYC included, had the police force out the demonstrators.
      It is my understanding that new recruits to the American armed services are being asked if they will shoot Americans if the need arises.
      The goal is for the plutocrats to have unlimited and complete control.

  2. Cuomo pushed this system onto localities. The weakest part of the process is the handling of state scores in a rigged up value added bamboozle. The American Statistical Society has indicated this system is flawed and could do great harm if it was used in personnel decisions. That won't stop Lil'Mario from insisting that you need to use the APPR system he described as "baloney" to fire teachers. Nor will Pearson's flawed tests (remember the Pineapple and Hare racing story), nor John King's arbitrarily set "cut scores." How would you like to be a school district next year that faces a zero percent tax levy cap and want to spend large amounts of money on legal fees in teacher removal cases that are going to be laughed out of court? Sound like good policy being made in Albany? Thank your legislator and Quid Pro Quomo for this fiasco! Rembember--the one who pays the piper calls the tunes--and the people paying off Cuomo are getting exactly what they want! Oh by the way--anticipate that next year's tax levy cap will be at 0%--any increase in your local budget will require a sixty percent supermajority vote! Moody's projects CPI for 2015 calendar year to be 0%!

  3. Teachers are the only professionals with a union that colludes with Cuomo and the neo-liberal democrats.

  4. Cuomo libeled Sheri Lederman.

  5. Secret this and secret that. That's something you can count on when you are dealing with the billionaires that act as if they were voted into office. The formula is secret, the tests are secret, the cut off scores change every year and are not determined until After the test results are analyzed. This is scientific? Sick. Only billionaires can make money? Preet, hurry up.

  6. I think Cuomo should be fired. Does anybody have any VAM metrics on him?

  7. The way this system worked, the teacher did a good job, the governor put in a junk evaluation system, the case is headed for court, and the people will see in a big public venue that the evaluation system does not hold up to scientific or statistical scrutiny. That day cannot come soon enough.